Review: DELIRIUM by Lauren Oliver

Lauren Oliver
480 pages
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: August 2nd, 2011
Source: Special Edition Hardcover from Publisher
Rating: LIKED

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.

   It happens pretty often: I’m practically the last person to read a book everyone’s raving about. This was exactly the case with Lauren Oliver’s second novel.

   Even without the excitement surrounding Delirium, it was a book I really wanted to read because of the premise. A dystopian society where love is a disease was something I had never heard of before – something that fascinated me. And I picked it up solely for that reason.

   Lena Holoway is your average girl, maybe even less than an average girl. She’s not pretty and she’s not ugly. She’s not rich and she’s not poor. Her dad died when she was only an infant and her mother killed herself when she was 7. Her mother’s suicide made life miserable for Lena. Everywhere she made an appearance, the dreadful word is whispered – suicide.

   Lena lives for the day of her evaluation, where she’ll make the evaluators smile and end up paired with a boy she doesn’t even know. She counts down the days until she’s have her procedure. Until the day when the deliria can harm her no more. Until love will no longer be an emotion she’s capable of. That all changes when she meets Alex.

   Although the premise – a society where love is a disease, is unique, the story had an overall predictability to it, as do many dystopians these days. The girl thinks her life has been perfected by her society. The girl can’t wait for a certain change. But days before that change, the girl finds out all is not right. Though overall plot was predictable, the subtle twists and turns were completely unpredictable, and most definitely kept me on the edge of my seat wanting more.

  Delirium was a long, winding read. I enjoyed the premise and the story, though at times I felt the story lagged and drew out too long. Lauren Oliver’s prose is certainly something to praise. All in all, I won’t say I loved it, though I certainly liked it. And after that ending, I am practically gasping for Pandemonium – book two is definitely going on my wishlist.

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Hafsah Faizal is a YA author, designer, and blogger. Her designs have graced the sites of New York Times bestselling authors, bloggers, and more. She resides in Texas, with her family.

November 29, 2011



  1. Reply


    November 28, 2011

    I found the story itself quite like YA paranormal romance – the ones like Twilight and Fallen – in places, which I didn't like. Still, I'm excited about the sequel!

  2. Reply


    November 28, 2011

    It definitely took me a little while to really settle into this one, I agree it was slow in parts, but by about halfway when things picked up with Lena and Alex I just couldn't put it down! And I nearly died at the end. Fabulous review Hafsah!

  3. Reply

    YA Book Queen

    November 28, 2011

    There was definitely some predictability, but that ending was jaw-dropping! I so wish the sequel came out sooner,

    Great honest review, Hafsah! :)

  4. Reply

    Lauren M

    November 28, 2011

    I felt similarly. Delirium reminded me so much of all the other dystopian books out there! I liked Delirium, but I didn't love it (like everyone else seems to :P). Also, that ending was killer!

  5. Reply

    Linda: Book Ninja

    November 28, 2011

    Agree! I really liked it but didn't love it. Although the story was definitely unique, it took me a while to get into the book. It got so much better towards the end. Can't wait for Pandemonium!

  6. Reply

    Uomo di Speranza

    November 28, 2011

    Maybe the reason why there's that predicatbility is that so many authors are writing dystopian these days…as with paranormal romance. I just wish realistic fiction could have its heyday again…

  7. Reply


    November 28, 2011

    Trust me you are not alone in the world. I have not yet read this book either. I own it, just haven't gotten a chance to read it yet!

    I'm glad that you liked this one.
    Thanks for the great review. :)

  8. Reply


    November 29, 2011

    I still haven't read this one. I'm also really fascinated by the premise and i Love dystopians but the hype is a bit overwhelming I'm afraid to hate it o_O

    Xpresso Reads

  9. Reply

    Julia :)

    November 29, 2011

    I really LOVED this book! It really made me think and appreciate love in a whole new way. I'm glad you enjoyed it too even though you weren't totally in love with it like I was. :)

  10. Reply

    Mary @ BookSwarm

    November 29, 2011

    It was a bit laggy in places but such an interesting concept and great writing, which made up for it in my mind. I'm looking forward to reading Pandemonium and seeing where she goes with it.

  11. Reply


    November 29, 2011

    I loved Delirium when I read it well over a year ago but that was before I'd read many dystopians and I LOVED it. But if I was to read it for the first time today I'm thinking that maybe I wouldn't love it as much.

  12. Reply


    November 29, 2011

    Haha no your not the last to read this book I still haven't read it. I do like that Delirium is dystopian and I like the concept that love is some horrible disease that you get cured from but still this book doesn't grab me. Maybe one day I will read this though.

  13. Reply

    Lovey Dovey Books

    January 23, 2012

    I was skeptical about reading Delirium because I hadn't read too many books in the dystopian genre before. I'm glad I gave it a chance because it was wonderful and the ending was shocking as well as it was heartbreaking.

    Candace @ Lovey Dovey Books

    Thanks for the review!

  14. Reply


    January 24, 2012

    Oh, I've been debating about reading this book. It's been on my to read list for sometime…I think I might just bump it up and see what it's all about. Thanks for the review :-)

  15. Reply


    January 28, 2012

    I loved this book so much, and don't worry, I read it pretty late as well :P I can't wait for Pandemonium though, that ending was totally cliffhangery :P Great Review!

  16. Reply


    February 13, 2012

    I have to agree in that dsytopia's are predictable in the manner of girl thinks her life is perfect then her mental world comes crumbling down. I havent read many dsytopias but that plot seems to be the trend. Right now im on ch11 and its a little slow for me so hopefully itll pick up soon!

  17. Reply


    March 1, 2012

    I'm with you on this. I didn't love Delirium either but i'm very eager for Pandemonium. Awesome review.

    ~Paige @ Comfort Books

  18. Reply


    December 22, 2012

    I did really like this one too!! I'm a big fan of Lauren's writing style. I didn't LOVE it, but it was really good!!