Book recommendation: Delirium, by Lauren Oliver

Part of me thought I’d be done with YA dystopian by now, but that part of me was wrong. I keep finding novels in that genre that I want to read. And, to be honest, I’m quite glad that I do.

I added Delirium, by Lauren Oliver, to my Kindle quite a while back–far enough back that I don’t actually remember exactly when it was. Like most of the books I buy lately, it took me a while to get to it. But it didn’t take me long to get through it.

Lena lives in a world where love hasn’t only been outlawed, it’s been cured. At almost eighteen years old, Lena is quickly approaching the day she’s been waiting for all her life: the day she’ll be administered the cure. Soon she’ll be safe from the disease that plagued society for far too long, safe from the disease that killed her mother. But the closer Lena gets to her eighteenth birthday, the more she starts to wonder if getting the cure is what she really wants.

Honestly, my little summary there doesn’t do this book justice. It had me hooked right from the beginning. The concept of there being a cure for love… it was intriguing. I wanted to know more about the society such a concept would lead to. It turned out to be a bit of a scary society, which I suppose shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. What did come as a surprise was the twist partway through. I’d partly expected it, but it went in a direction I hadn’t anticipated.

I’ll also admit, though, that for a while I thought I might not end up liking Lena. She seemed to agree with the society almost too much, to go along with things too blindly. At the same time, however, that fit the story so much better than if she’d had a quick change of heart. The progression of her character was more natural this way, and therefore more realistic. That aspect definitely outweighed my initial feelings about her.

Some of my favourite parts of the novel, though, were when I discovered more about the relationship dynamics. I loved the contrasts between them, especially the contrast between Lena and Hana’s relationship and the relationship Lena had with her family. That alone makes the novel worth reading.

Goodreads Summary

They say that the cure for Love will make me happy and safe forever. And I’ve always believed them. Until now.

Now everything has changed. Now I’d rather be infected with love for the tiniest sliver of a second than live a hundred years smothered by a lie.

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