Oct 13, 2011

Review: Delirij (Delirium #1)

Delirij (Delirium, #1)Delirij by Lauren Oliver
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Source: bought
Summary (Goodreads)Before scientists found the cure, people thought love was a good thing. They didn’t understand that once love -- the deliria -- blooms in your blood, there is no escaping its hold. Things are different now. Scientists are able to eradicate love, and the governments demands that all citizens receive the cure upon turning eighteen. Lena Holoway has always looked forward to the day when she’ll be cured. A life without love is a life without pain: safe, measured, predictable, and happy. 
But with ninety-five days left until her treatment, Lena does the unthinkable: She falls in love.

I admit that I had VERY high expectations of this book, mainly because I loved Before I Fall and the great premise of Delirium. I've been itching to read it, my world was shattered when I was denied to read it on NetGalley, I screamed when I saw it within my reach for less than the price of a pizza...well, you pretty much get the picture. From the beginning, I had a love-hate relationship with it. First of all, the slow build up didn't work for me (someone told me that they preferred it that way, so it's a matter of taste, obviously.) Lena as protagonist was pretty dull, and I wanted her to be stronger, more decisive, less obliging and all-together more alive. With all that "I can't wait for the procedure", she was already getting on my nerves. Yes, I get it, that's the world she lives in, that's what she was taught, that's what the government requires...At moments it felt like Lauren made her do things for the sake of the story, not the other way round. Like she needs to do them because she is the main character, not because that's what she would do by her own will. I also wish we actually met someone from the other side, because freedom and love aside, I imagine it's not milk and honey there either (guess we'll have to wait for Pandemonium...sigh).

Now that I got the things I didn't like out of my way, here's what I loved:

The great sense of totalitarianism that Lena's world is caged in. The terror of getting caught in doing something illegal that oozed from the pages. The brutality of the system, the submissiveness in the atmosphere. In terms of getting the dystopian aspect done, the author did an amazing job. Like in Before I Fall, there were parts that were so charged with nostalgia that they brought tears to my eyes. I loved the writing, Lauren's beautiful writing was visible even in the translation (which was surprisingly well-done.) And needless to say, the ending. Cliffhanger as expected, but boy, it made me yell and shiver.

The cover of the Croatian edition is beautiful. All over the cover, there's 'love' written. (Recall a particular scene from the book.)

Final verdict? A very good book. Maybe it didn't completely live up to my expectations, but I loved it still.

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