The story world that Oliver built was a very believable one, backed up by the epigraphs at the beginning of every chapter. The concept of amor deliria nervosa was fresh, unique and so terrifying. Love, any kind of love, was a disease. Imagine any trace of affection erased from your world. It would be like talking to someone without really reaching out, without really connecting. The thought of being detached and being numb after getting cured, of not being the same person again, was too scary for me.
Lena was an average girl. She liked to call herself 'in between' - not pretty nor ugly, just plain simple. Her mom committed suicide after remaining tormented by the disease after three attempts to get cured and since then, her aunt Carol took her and her sister, Rachel, in. She lived with them and acted as polite and obedient as possible. She has been counting down to the day of her procedure, the day when she would be cured at last. She looked forward to it, wanted to be safe from the disease, wanted to be safe from the fate of her mother. Lena was a likable character but I have to admit that in the beginning, I didn't like her that much. But Lena started changing after she met Alex.
Alex was a guard working for the government. But there was something about his stance, his eyes and his words that convinced Lena that he was different. True enough, he was not a simple rule-following, rule-implementing guard, he was more than that. At first, there was just a mild attraction tossed in with irritation between the two. But his wild bright auburn hair, his gleaming eyes, his warmth and his natural charms made Lena fall for him. He was different from all the other boys - he was daring, thinking, laughing, feeling, and most of all, he was alive. Their relationship was the sweet first relationship sort with heightened intensity and urgency due to the danger and the risk they were in every time they were together but for the two of them, it was all worth it.
I loved how Lena grew in Delirium. In the beginning, she was so eager to get the cure, so eager to be saved from the possibility of her having amor deliria nervosa and so against breaking the rules. But meeting Alex changed her in a way that meeting other people couldn't and wouldn't possibly do. She fell in love with him and amor deliria nervosa - the very thing that she wanted to be saved from - changed her. Together with Alex, she broke the rules, embraced freedom, life and love, and saw the world through a different lens. Instead of seeing a safe, secure and peaceful world, she saw an unfeeling, numb, detached world. Everyone seemed to have a bubble surrounding them, protecting them from the rest of the world and at the same time, preventing them from really touching, reaching out to people on a deep, emotional level.
Delirium is a beautifully written dystopian romance that will sweep you off your feet. I love, love, love Lauren Oliver's writing. It's too beautiful! Fans of Matched by Ally Condie and Before I Fall will love this one. However, this book is more suited for readers who aren't looking for a kickass, action-filled, fast-paced dystopian. Delirium dwells on every moment of Lena's life. Imagine pausing a video and zooming inside the character's mind. I think that's the best way to describe it. I highly recommend it!show more