Review: Delirium by Lauren Oliver

Did you know that instead of the boring blandness of solid colors that usually rest underneath the dust jacket of any hard cover book is a woman’s face? I don’t know who this woman is, but upon further inspection, pieces of her face appear through the cracks in the letters Delirium.

Wow, and here I thought this cover was a little bland. Oh! And it’s metallic, not turquoise, and it changes colors when the light shifts. Sometimes it looks emerald green, othertimes, steel blue, and sometimes cyan.

Regardless, I am now determined to write a dystopian novel. The last four books I have read have all been dystopian, and now I am inspired.

Where to begin? Ahh, with the blurbs before each chapter. I love the inserts from literature, both children’s and scientific, and even religious in some cases. Before each chapter Lauren Oliver begins with a quote from a book that exists in Lena’s Portland. There’s one little children’s poem I will never forget.

A Child’s Walk Home

Mama Mama, help me get home
I’m out in the woods, I’m out on my own.
I found me a werewolf, a nasty old mutt
It showed me its teeth and went straight for my gut.

Mama Mama, help me get home
I’m out in the woods, I’m out on my own.
I was stopped by a vampire, a rotting old wreck
It showed me its teeth and went straight for my neck.

Mama Mama, put me to bed
I won’t make it home, I’m already half-dead.
I met an Invalid, and fell for his art
He showed me his smile, and went straight for my heart.

The concept of this book is beautiful, and the writing is flowing and even and so thick and eloquent. I found myself lost in the simplicity of it, sometimes in the gruesomeness of it, but I was otherwise elated with the book. Also, Lauren gets brownie points for having one of the best kissing scenes ever.

The poem isn’t the only thing that drew me into this book, it was the sheer awkwardness, a society without love, people who are detached and unemotional. Those were some of the most difficult scenes to read, knowing how different people are without love in their lives.

This book does a good job of telling us how fragile and strong the power of love is, and for me that’s a message that can’t be ignored. It is obviously a 5 star book for me.


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