Delirium (Delirium Trilogy)

Image of Delirium (Delirium Trilogy, 1)
Release Date: 
August 2, 2011
Reviewed by: 

The first in a trilogy, Delirium is Lauren Oliver’s follow up to the heartbreaking and beautiful debut, Before I Fall.

Delirium is a dystopian tale set in a new America, a world where Romeo and Juliet is no longer one of the greatest love stories of our time—but a cautionary tale. Where strict rules to live by are contained in The Safety, Healthy and Happiness Handbook aka The Book of Shhh—and under penalty of severe punishment, need to be abided.

A world where love is a disease, something to be feared—and permanently cured.

Lena Haloway Tiddle has lived in Portland, Maine, her entire life. Lena’s father died when she was born, and her mother committed suicide when she was six. Despite having the procedure three times, Lena watched helplessly as her mother spiraled out of control, the delirium of love slowly driving her mad, sending her over the edge of sanity—and, eventually, a cliff.

Now orphaned, Lena and her sister Rachel were sent to live with her aunt and cousins, taking their surname of Tiddle, as the Haloway name had become synonymous with “sympathizer” and “suicide.”

Now, only 95 days from her 18th birthday, Lena remembers her mother’s pain and the day they dragged Rachel from the house, kicking and screaming, after she’d been infected; and she can’t wait to be cured.
On the day of her evaluation, some of the “resisters” have staged a protest by releasing hundreds of cows into the labs with the words “not cure. death.” written on their flanks. Hiding behind a table, Lena looks up in time to see a boy looking at her through the window—and he’s laughing.

On a run with her best friend Hana, the girls run into the same boy again; his name is Alex, and there’s something about him that Lena can’t quite put her finger on.

Although she tries to ignore him, Lena finds herself thinking of Alex more and more. Concerned that she’ll be infected before her procedure, Lena keeps her distance. After secretly spending time together Lena realizes that she wants to spend every waking minute with Alex.

Alex shows Lena so many new things—new truths—which make her question everything she has ever been told: from the borders that surround her town, to the severe restrictions on her freedom, and most importantly, about love. Now only days from her procedure, Lena worries that time has run out.

Once again, Lauren Oliver masterfully creates new worlds and characters that leave the reader little choice but to be swept up and away. Oliver’s deeply emotional and incredibly well-honed prose commands the readers’ attention and captures their hearts.

With a pulse-pounding tempo and unforeseen twists and turns, Lauren Oliver has opened the door on a fantastic new series; the second book can’t come soon enough.