Delirium by Lauren Oliver
Delirium is the story of Lena Haloway. She is 17 years old and eagerly awaiting her 18th birthday. That is the day she will undergo her procedure to be cured. Then she will be officially an adult and will never have to worry about contracting amor deliria nervosa.
Years ago, the US government closed their borders and made the cure mandatory. It calms people. It frees them from the chains of the deliria.
Lena’s past is burdened by the deliria. Her mother was never properly cured. She had undergone the procedure a few times, but it just never stuck. Eventually she committed suicide. At the age of six, Lena became an orphan. So, Lena cannot wait to be cured. To her it makes total sense. The government is only trying to protect them.
However, the summer before Lena’s procedure, things change. New experiences show her that the borders are not just keeping the deliria out. They are penning the people in. Those who don’t want the cure are forced kicking and screaming onto the operating table. And those that have undergone the procedure, they aren’t just free of “disease.” They are different. They are not the same people they were before. They are unfeeling. Cold. Even cruel.
Lena faces an internal and external battle as she struggles between what she has been taught, and the new things she has seen.
This is what all the the textbooks and the Book of Shhh and parents and teachers have always warned me about. I don’t know whether they’re right or Alex is. I don’t know whether these feelings–this thing growing inside me–is horrible and sick or the best thing that’s ever happened to me.
When this first book was first described to me, I thought it sounded laughable. However, I trusted the taste of the person who recommended it to me and gave it a hook. I’m really glad I did! It was amazing! It was a very exciting read, full of raw emotion, action, friendship, and adventure. It was a coming-of-age novel set in a future dystopian America. There seem to be a lot of these types of books cropping up lately–but maybe it’s that they are just becoming popular now. Either way, I love the genre, and find this one top notch. If you enjoy young adult dystopians, you should definitely read this one if you haven’t yet.
Beth is the founder and editor of Fuelled by Fiction. She is a twenty-something east coast Canadian girl who loves writing about books and feminism.