Saturday, 23 March 2013

Delirium (Delirium #1) by Lauren Oliver

Delirium is set in a post modern society where love is seen as a disease and even speaking the word is blasphemous. The only way around not contracting it is to get the cure, something which, by legal rights, every 16 year old must get. The authorities even lock away uncured people who show symptoms of the deliria, symptoms such as sweaty palms and a racing heart, wild excitement and ecstasy, intoxication or a disturbed state of mind, caused by heart break. 

1) The Concept

I tend to avoid reading Dystopias now as I can only take in so many of these genre/themed prose before they all morph together in my mind and I forget about them, simply because they have become tedious,unoriginal and therefor unmemorable. However, Delirium is completely unique to the others. It's obvious that Lauren Oliver has taken a lot of time into planning everything, as the concept is thoroughly detailed, deep and meaningful so much so that it could actually be believable. 

2) The Writing

Lauren Oliver depicts a scene perfectly, catering to all of the senses: sight, sound and touch. 
Her sentences and descriptions are elegantly strung together providing us with beautifully vivid prose. Vivid in a way that I feel as though I have experienced a Portland sunset or being in the Wilds all by myself. Every aspect of the society has been covered and every bit of Oliver's writing is thorough.

The characters in the book are fully rounded, each with their individual back story to furthermore support the development of them as people, and their personality traits. Nothing is rushed, the pace is slow and deliberate and while I did find myself scanning through some of the pages hungry for a bit of action and character dialogue, I appraise Oliver for not packing in too much repetitive and typical YA character encounters. I think the pace of the book is actually part of what made it feel real to me. Nothing was rushed. 

3) The Characters and Plot.

I could connect emotionally with the characters. I identified with Lena on many levels and enjoyed reading the book from her perspective. She was definitely a reliable source of information that was vital for the readers understanding, yet she was still identifiable with her thoughts and feelings. And ALex? Well. I fell in love with Alex, just as much as Lena did. He was sweet and brave and also a believable character. I don't know what it is about Oliver's depiction of this character because despite how perfect and admirable he is, he is still to me, realistic. Other secondary characters such as Hana, Carol, Gracie and Jenny also reminded me of people I know in real life. Especially Gracie. She was so cute and completely reminds me of my cousin Megan, while Jenny resembled my neighbour's daughter in character and antics.

Conclusively, I am definitely impressed with this series. It stands out among it's kind. Oliver's writing is incredible and I was completely addicted to this book, so much so that I played up my "winter flu" to give myself a day off from college to read it. Addictive is not the word. The ending definitely leaves you craving for more. Pandemonium, the sequencing book in the series gives you that. 

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