Great concept and writing, but Delirium did not move me like Lauren Oliver's first book, Before I Fall.
Synopsis: Lena lives in a world where Love - also known as "amor deliria nervosa" - is a disease, the most deadly disease, for you suffer when you have it and when you don't. In the world that Lauren Oliver has created, this disease has a cure. Eighteen year olds are cured with a medical procedure, at which time they are given a suitable match. Occasionally, the cure doesn't take, or a person rebels, and those people, and their sympathizers, are never heard from again.
Just from reading the concept for this book, one can get a pretty good idea of what is about to happen to Lena and her world.
"You can't truly be happy unless you're unhappy sometimes."
There were parts of Delirium I wanted to read out loud, highlight with a big yellow marker and quote it back and forth. Lauren Oliver has a way with words, and the writing was great.
Each chapter began with a quote from one of the guidebooks that the world of Delirium uses to educate their people. Oliver's clever interpretations (or misinterpretations) of the major texts which many of us live by today - like the Bible - were ingenious. I also found it extremely interesting that Romeo and Juliet had been turned into a "cautionary tale."
I wish I could judge this whole story on the last few chapters, because that's when Oliver's pace really picked up steam. Up until then, the novel was a bit flat and predictable. There were even parts that, while it is a dystopian society and we have to suspend our disbelief, were not realistic at all. I wasn't quite sure how every word and every step had to be so in-line with regulations, yet there was a rave on the other side of town on a pretty consistent basis. I also had a hard time with the relationship between Lena and Hana, her best friend. I didn't completely trust Hana, and that distrust didn't feel like it was an intentional part of the story.
The last few chapters, and especially the end, were pitch-perfect, though. The pace was fast, the dialogue felt natural, and the final few pages kept me on the edge of my seat. The ending - OH THE ENDING - was strong enough to make me want to read the next book in this new trilogy.
I went crazy for Lauren Oliver's debut, Before I Fall, but this one didn't have the same heartbeat for me from start to finish. I do love the way this author's mind works, and I enjoy her writing, so even though I didn't love this book, I'm still looking forward to the next book.
About the Book:
Reading level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 448 pages
Publisher: HarperCollins (February 1, 2011)
About the Author:
Lauren Oliver was previously an editorial assistant at a publishing company in New York. A graduate of the University of Chicago and the MFA Program at New York University, she is now a full-time writer. She divides her time between Brooklyn, New York, and anywhere her friends will let her crash on their sofas. She enjoys reading, writing, cooking, running, dancing, and yes, long walks on the beach (or, more practically, along New York City streets). Please visit her on the web at www.laurenoliverbooks.com.
Disclosure: A copy of this book was provided by the publisher
There are so many books at BEA, but there are a few that I'm really hoping to get my hands on this week. I thought I'd share my wish list with you, and when I come back, I'll let you know how I did. Something tells me the ADD in me is going to strike and I will be completely distracted by something new and shiny.
In the Garden of Beasts by Erik Larson The Night Circus by Erin Morganstern Robopocolypse by Daniel H. Wilson Silver Girl by Elin Hildenbrand Abyss by David Hagberg We The Animals by Justin Torres Plugged by Eoin Colfer Children and Fire by Ursula Hegi
Young Adult Titles:
The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater The Unbecoming of Mara Oyer by Michelle Hodkin Shelter by Harlan Coban Crossed by Ally Condie Down the Mysterly River by Bill Willingham The Carrier of the Mark by Leigh Fallon
Middle Grade Titles:
Attack of the Vampire Weenies by David Lubar
Dragon's Tooth by N. D. Wilson
Floors by Patrick Carman
It's the First Day of School Forever by R.L. Stine
The Apothecary by Maile Meloy
Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes by Jonathan Auxier
*There are more titles I'm really interested in, but not all of them have cover art yet!
One of my favorite things about BEA last year was the discovery of something unexpected. It was being introduced to an amazing book that I had not heard of, didn't know was coming, didn't have on my "must have" list.
While I am working my way around the BEA show floor today, I wanted to reminisce with you about a few of the happy accidents I discovered during the 2010 BEA.
ROOM by Emma Donoghue
The booth at Hachette Book Group was not easy to get into last year. It was a testament to how hot their books were, but I was not about to risk bodily injury. On the last day of the show, in the last few hours, I went over to the near-empty booth and chatted with one of the reps from Little, Brown. She took a few minutes and told me about the book she was most excited about: ROOM. Needless to say, it became one of my favorites of the year.
THE STRANGE CASE OF ORIGAMI YODA by Tom Angelberger
I camped out in the ABRAMS booth waiting for Jeff Kinney to sign my son's copy of Diary of a Wimpy Kid. While I was waiting, this little paper Yoda caught my eye. What is THAT book?? I needed to know, because in our house we love middle grade and we love Star Wars! Not long after, I got to meet author Tom Angleberger, and yes, this is a favorite in our house, right up there with Wimpy Kid!
MATCHED by Ally Condie
Call me shallow, but this cover called to me. I knew nothing about the book, nothing about the debut author, Ally Condie. All I knew is that it was pretty and shiny and I wanted it. Little did I know then that it would become my favorite YA of 2010!
*I will be camping out today waiting for Ally Condie to sign the sequel, Crossed!
THE ETERNAL ONES by Kirsten Miller
Penguin deserves all the credit for my bringing home this gem of a book by Kirsten Miller. I was on my second day of the show, and I was exhausted. I wasn't sure if I wanted to stand in line to get my 50th book. The rep from Penguin saw me contemplating the line, and she said, "I know you don't want to stand in line, but you have to take the book. Trust me. You're going to love it." She was right!