Review: Delirium

German Cover

English Cover













by Lauren Oliver

Delirium # 1

First Sentence:
„It has been sixty-four years since the president and the Consortium identified love as a disease, and forty-three since the scientists perfected a cure.“

Last Sentence:
„I love you. Remember. They cannot take it.“

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 government 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. (Source:

My thoughts about the book:
There are many readers who love this book and others who don’t like it so much. Because of the huge positive resonance of the other readers, I was eager to read it but unfortunately this book couldn’t fulfill my expectations.
To be honest I couldn’t really get along with the writing style of Oliver. What surprised me as well because I had no problem with that in her other book ‘Before I Fall’. I think her style was too melodic, which fit rather poetry or poem books than dystopian novels and therefore the language blocked the suspense and the reading speed in the book. In fact thereby the events falter and in my opinion Oliver has described more the feelings, the thoughts of the main protagonist and the surroundings, than to make the plot varied and exciting.

What I really liked in this book was Oliver’s idea that in this future love is considered as a mean illness and is responsible for heart attacks, strokes or even for death. There has been a whole new entrée to the entire dystopian genre and because of that I was very curious. But in my opinion the author could have made more out of this great and interesting idea.
Already from the beginning the story with the totalitarian supervision society appeared very alike other books I’ve already read on this subject (for example: ‘Uglies’‚ ‘Matched’ …). In where the main protagonist, here Lena, is also persuaded of this system and recognize only step by step that it’s not right. As so often in such books an attractive boy gives the impulse for the mind- changing, in this case he is called Alex, who falls in love with Lena from one meeting to the other. Now together they are forced to work in secret against this tyrannical system, otherwise they would risk to get in prison or even to be killed.

Particularly Lena seems to me in the whole book, especially at the beginning, very naively and blue-eyed and denies herself. Also the fact that over and over again it is described that Lena isn’t the most attractive girl and her best friend Hana looks like a model, but though in the end Lena is the‚ special’ one, let me roll with the eyes more often than once. How often do I’ve to read something like that again? But especially here it sometimes has forced me to feel ashamed for her. (At least I’ve been spared to read another love-triangle, like other YA books like to have in it.)

Like I’ve already mention further up, the basic idea that love is a sickness and that we would be happier and healthier without the along going feelings, also like pain, was great. And besides that Alex is one of the rare positive things in the book. Alongside the writing style I also didn’t like the story which I saw coming like this from the first pages on. There was little tension or astonishing idioms which surprised me. Either Oliver has given too clear hints in the plot of the book, or the action was just too straight that everyone could come to the same conclusion.

SPOILER ALERT! Stop reading if you haven’t read the book yet!

To summarize the story in a few words: Clueless girl and intelligent, attractive boy fall in love with each other, in a world where love is forbidden and is considered as an illness. What happens then? They must conceal it! Besides that, they also figured out a few more unpleasant details in this kinky society and afterwards they try to break out and flee. Please, put up your hands – for whom of you wasn’t it clear that one of them didn’t make it? That was no surprise! And like I already considered the right end, it was for me like this almost the whole book. Actually I didn’t need to read the entire book to know what happens. I just would have missed the poetic description which wouldn’t have disturbed me a lot.

If I now take a look at my review again and consider, how much I’ve been annoyed while writing it, I must admit that I was more disappointed with this book than I wanted to admit to myself. Therefore I revise my rating from 2.5 to only 2 points. At the moment I don’t know if I’ll read the second book in this series, thought it’s rather unlikely, but I’ll see what the future brings. It just wasn’t my book and now I’m curious how you liked it and what you have to say about it. I’m looking forward to your comments regarding your opinions about ‚Delirium‘.

The English cover is definitely an eye-catcher and makes everybody absolutely curious for the book. But unfortunately I didn’t like the German one and it doesn’t look very appealing..

All in all:
I can’t quite understand the hype for this book and I probably won’t read the second part in this series..

2 of 5 points


Lena: „And now I know why they invented words for love, why they had to: It’s the only thing that can come close to describing what I feel in that moment, the baffling mixture of pain and pleasure and fear and joy, all running sharply through me at once.“

Alex: “ ‚Everyone is asleep. They’ve all been asleep for years. You seemed … awake.‘ Alex is whispering now. He closes his eyes, opens them again. ‚I’m tired of sleeping.‘ „

Lena: „I’d rather die my way than live yours.“



# 1: Lauren Oliver – Delirium »
# 2: Lauren Oliver – Pandemonium
# 3: Lauren Oliver – Requiem


copyright: Jonathan Alpeyrie

About the author – Lauren Oliver:

BORN: 1982 in New York, New York

RAISED: Primarily Westchester, New York, with brief forays to Paris and a short stay in Queens

EDUCATED: Graduated from the University of Chicago in 2004 and from NYU’s MFA program in 2008

WORKED: As an editorial assistant and then assistant editor at Razorbill, a division of Penguin Books; currently, co-owns the literary development company Paper Lantern Lit.

Visit her Website »»


Veröffentlicht am 26.01.2012 in * English Reviews, YA Fantasy und mit , , , , , , , , , , , , , , getaggt. Setze ein Lesezeichen auf den Permalink. 2 Kommentare.

  1. still haven’t started this book. I should read it for my TBR challenge. The German cover is pretty awesome, but I still prefer the simplistic beauty of the American version. Great review. Thanks for the spoiler alert.
    -FABR Steph@FiveAlarmBookReviews

    • Hy Steph,
      thanks for stopping by and your comment. Nice to hear that you liked the review.
      Do you know when do you want to start with Delirium? Because I’m really curious how you’ll like it…
      And to be honest, I like the American Cover much better 🙂
      greetings Tina

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