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Magan: Delirium by Lauren Oliver

book cover for delirium paperback, delirium young adult review lauren oliver, person who didnDelirium by Lauren Oliver [twitter | website]
Publication Date: February 1, 2011
Publisher: HarperCollins
Pages: 441
Target Audience: Young Adult
Format read: Paperback (special edition with lots of extras)
Why I bought it: I wanted to give the series another try.

Summary: Love (or the deliria) has been deemed a disease. It is mandatory that everyone must be cured of the deliria once they turn 18. Lena is a few months away from her 18th birthday when she begins to question being cured, meets Alex, and discovers that the society doesn’t function as perfectly as she once believed.

I mentioned in this In My Mailbox vlog that I read Delirium last year and didn’t love it. Why? you ask.

I whittled it down to a few reasons, and mostly I believe that it was terrible timing. I read Delirium immediately after finishing Divergent by Veronica Roth, which happens to be one of my very favorite books. I went into Oliver’s world expecting the fast-paced, kick ass heroin I loved from Divergent. The two worlds, while both dystopias, are so incredibly different, as are both authors’ writing styles. This year when I went to ALA, I met several friends who convinced me to give Delirium another try. So I did.

And I abso-freaking-lutely loved it.

I hereby admit that I was 100% in the wrong to have read two dystopias back to back. I confess that I am a complete Lauren Oliver fangirl now. I wish I could take back the months that I didn’t recommend Delirium to my friends because all I want to do now is sing its praises from the rooftop.

Because this is a release from last year, I am just going to cover a few of my favorite aspects of Delirium:

  • Oliver spends a lot of time allowing us to see Lena in her natural environment before shocking us with Lena’s doubts about the cure. This gives us a chance to really see how much Lena believes in everything, how anxious she is to receive the cure (and why that is), and how automatron-like she is because she doesn’t really think for herself. Every single decision she makes is based on how she can be a good citizen and not break any rules.  Reading this the second time, I saw how well Oliver used this period of change to develop the details of the world; I even felt convinced, at times, that the cure was worthwhile.
  • The process of Lena unraveling is a slow progression. She doesn’t meet Alex and then woah! everything falls to pieces. Oliver was very intentional when it comes to Alex. Just as Lena slowly loosens her reins, we slowly fall in love with him, too. He has secrets and is very mysterious; Lena eventually has to learn all of those things and they aren’t easy for her to digest. I love, love, love that Lena and Alex don’t have an insta-love relationship. They definitely defy the odds, though, because Lena is all about the cure.
  • One of the things I’ve learned to enjoy more in the last 9 months is books that have less dialog and more description. During my first reading, I wasn’t a huge fan of the large, solid chunks of writing. I love seeing characters interact, but I’ve gotten much more acclimated to taking in the details. In fact, that’s something I now see Oliver does extremely well.
  • Even though I’d read this before, I felt so much more connected to it this time. I understood Lena and didn’t feel the same frustration. I accepted that she was do-gooder (not saying this is a bad thing!) and rarely broke the rules. I didn’t expect her to suddenly “find herself” and then make an abrupt change. I really, sincerely believe that I went in to Delirium the first time expecting something from the story – having my own opinions about what Oliver could do with such an awesome concept –  instead of allowing myself to enter Oliver’s world with an open mind.

I do have to say that while I was convinced to re-read Delirium, no one convinced me to change my opinion. I wasn’t paid off by the book mafia or anything. I really felt like the book deserved another chance since so many people have raved about it. I’m really glad I read it again.

So I ask you, readers, what book did you really feel disconnected with that others seemed to love? Did you read it again and did your opinion change?

Add to Goodreads | Buy on Amazon | Read my review of Pandemonium

July 24, 2012 - 12:01 am

Top Ten Tuesday: In Which the Worlds Felt Real, Yo. - […] 6. DELIRIUM by Lauren Oliver (Goodreads | Amazon | My Review) […]

June 14, 2012 - 11:12 pm

Alexa @ Alexa Loves Books - I’ve got to say, I’m pretty curious about this book myself since I’ve seen it just about everywhere and the premise does sound intriguing. I don’t have time to read it just yet, but I hope I get to it soon!

March 10, 2012 - 4:43 pm

Jasmine Rose - I’m so glad you gave it another shot and loved it! I always try to pick my books based on my mood that way I can be a much better judge about whether I liked the book or not.

March 10, 2012 - 10:29 am

April Books & Wine - I feel like the disconnecting with books everyone seems to love happens with me a lot. Or because I’m a huge mood reader, if I’m not currently in the mood for a book, I set it down and pick it up much later. Like, okay when I first read Nine Rules To Break When Romancing a Rake I was like, this is dumb. So I set it aside and came back to it several months later and fell in love and got why so many people rave about Sarah Maclean.

I’m glad you tried Delirium again and wound up really liking it!

March 10, 2012 - 1:20 am

Jana @ That Artsy Reader Girl - YAY!!! Magan, I love that you loved this! And I am so glad you were patient enough to re-read it. I swear, re-reading is something I can never bring myself to do! I feel like I never have the time. Timing is everything, though, like you said. I think there might be books out there that I’ve disliked that deserve a second chance. Let’s see if I ever have time! Haha.

March 9, 2012 - 10:26 am

Magan - Jayla, YES! I think I may have fallen in love with Pandemonium even more. It’s so rare to love a sequel as much (or more) than the first book, but WOW was my heart racing with anticipation the whole time!

March 9, 2012 - 10:24 am

Magan - Annette, I think based on how my opinion changed after reading Delirium again, I would say give Finnikin on the Rock another chance! I was really hesitant to try Delirium again, but it felt SO good to finish it and LOVE IT. And yes, you should absolutely read Pandemonium soon. Plan to spend a day tucked away from life because you’ll be so absorbed with reading it! 🙂

March 9, 2012 - 9:39 am

Jayla - I agree with all your points 100% and those are the reasons I fell in love with this book.

I just finished Pandemonium and it was just as fantastic!

March 9, 2012 - 8:27 am

Annette - Sometimes I know my mood affects how I feel about a book. And I agree with you, I always try to switch up genres…especially if I really LOOOVVVEEE a book, I don’t want to read another of the same genre too soon.

I couldn’t finish Finnikin of the Rock. Anyone want to convince me I should try again? It may have been my mood, but I don’t know.

I also didn’t like the Iron Fey series (I know, please don’t throw things at me…) But I think that was more a genre issue — I just didn’t like the high fantasy aspect. Can’t wait to read Kagawa’s new one, though!

Glad you gave Delirium another chance…I’m trying to get my daughter to finish Pandemonium so I can read it!!!

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