27 February 2014

Audiobook Review: Delirium by Lauren Oliver

Title: Delirium
Author(s): Lauren Oliver
Genre(s): Dystopia, Romance, Science Fiction, Young Adult
Publisher/Date: HarperCollins / February 7, 2012
Series: Delirium (Book #1)
Love: a single word, a wispy thing, a word no bigger or longer than an edge. That's what it is: an edge; a razor. It draws up through the center of your life, cutting everything in two. Before and after. The rest of the world falls away on either side.” -Magdalena Haloway-Tiddle

Case Study
Ninety-five days, and then I'll be safe. I wonder whether the procedure will hurt. I want to get it over with. It's hard to be patient. It's hard not to be afraid while I'm still uncured, though so far the deliria hasn't touched me yet. Still, I worry. They say that in the old days, love drove people to madness. The deadliest of all deadly things: It kills you both when you have it and when you don't. (synopsis from Goodreads)

The Game's Afoot
Guys. Guess what!? I'm in love and I don't care who knows it!

I have it bad. A serious case of derliria amor nervosa. I am completely, hopelessly and totally in love with Delirium. I know I'm a little late to the game when it comes to Lauren Oliver's books and I don't know why I've avoided this series for so long, but better late than never, right? 

In Delirium, Oliver has created a unique dystopian society, one where love and passion and feeling is a sickness, something to be avoided and feared and cured. It's really quite brilliant and so, so scary. Just imagine a world without love, and not just love, but a world without pain or hate or fiery passion. The cure for amor deliria nervosa renders people into shells of their former selves. Their vibrancy is gone. They are zombie-like. They don't feel. They don't care and people who don't care are capable of doing terrible things because they lack compassion, the ability to relate. There's no remourse or responsibility for their actions. It's all about duty and safety and security in this highly regulated society. Just think about it. What kind of life is that? A life like that, even one without pain, is not a life worth living and that's what our MC, Lena, eventually learns. 

I loved watching Lena's transformation from a silly, obedient, little girl into a strong, vibrant, self-aware woman. At first, she was kind of hard to relate to. She was so young and naive, not questioning anything or anyone around her. It was frustrating. But it was also authentic given the narrowness and control required to live in her world. The more you start to understand her world, the more she starts to grow on you. She's more than just a shell and as you get to know her, you unearth this dazzling fighter. She fights for what she believes in and for the people she loves. She's inspiring. And while we're speaking of love, I LOVED her friendship with Hana. I LOVED her relationship with Alex. There is depth to each of these relationships, they're layered and they aren't perfect which lends to their believability.

I really enjoyed the intros to each new chapter. Oliver begins with a relevant philosophy of the time or commandment from The Book of Shh, which added to the authenticity of the dystopian environment. And she's done a great job of crafting such a scary world with her vivid imagery and incredible world-building. This truly has to be one of the most beautifully written stories I've ever read. Oliver has a way with words, a way of making a sentence seem like it's the most lyrical and poetic thing in the world. I also have to give Sarah Drew some serious cred for her narration of the audiobook. She is definitely one of my favourite narrators. Everything about her performance was perfect, she added so much dimension to the words, so much soul. 

My experience with Delirium was a little like Lena's journey --- I started out wary, scared. But the more I read, the more I learned, the more I was wooed by Oliver's gorgeous prose and engaging characters, the more I began to fall. It was like fireworks exploded within me. It touched me and it's hard to put into words just how much it blew me away. This book is a profound whirlwind of depth and beauty and emotion. This book makes you feel things, amazing things, so much so that you want to cry and laugh and live. It's been a long time since a book has really made me feel this way and it's so freaking incredible. THIS is the power of words. THIS is why I am and always will be a reader. Because of books and authors and moments and feelings like this.

Summary Prognosis
Delirium is a thought-provoking, gorgeous story about passion and love and fighting for what one believes in. This book will make you think and feel things and want so much more. Oliver's prose is poetic and her characters, layered and relatable. And the narration by Sarah Drew is incredible --- she's one of the best narrators I've ever heard. It's been a long time since a book has made me feel so much and I'm so glad I gave this book a chance. Oliver has found herself another unabashed fangirl and I can't wait to finish the rest of this series.

Rating: ★★★★★

Read It: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Audible
Discuss It: Goodreads | Author's Website


  1. I'm glad you loved this one! The first book is my favorite of the trilogy. Have you read Oliver's Before I Fall? That is the book that made me love her. :) I hope you enjoy the rest of the series!!!

    1. This series has gotten me SO hooked! I'm really excited to read Oliver's other books as well (I am an Oliver newb, afterall).

  2. I am so glad ya liked it. I really enjoyed this one. You need to finish the series though ASAP haha I want to know what you think of the last book.

    Ashley @ The Quiet Concert

    1. I'm about halfway done the final book now and OH MY GOD. I know WHO I want her to end up with, but I guess the question is, WILL she end up with him!? GAH!

  3. It's been a while since I read this but it was one of the first YA dystopian books I read and I remember really enjoying it and I think Lauren Oliver is a really talented & clever lady ;)

    1. She really is. Honestly, as much as I'm enjoying the story itself, it's her prose that's really pulling me in. I'm nearly done the final book in the series and I'm excited to see some of her other stuff.


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