Shiirleyy's Bookshelf has migrated to Dear Shirley ! I will continue to post book reviews but there will also be a lot of personal and travel-related posts :)

Book Review: Delirium by Lauren Oliver

21 Dec 2011

Title: Delirium
Author: Lauren Oliver
Publisher: Harper Teen/Hachette Australia
Release Date: February 1st, 2011
Format: Paperback

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.

Holy crap. I NEED THE SECOND BOOK NOW! Like, quite literally NOW. I don’t know how I’m going to survive until MARCH for the release of Pandemonium; that killer ending has taken control of all my thoughts now. If I don’t get Pandemonium soon, I’m seriously considering flying all the way over to Canada (where bloggers already have copies of Pandemonium...I think..?), and kidnapping the first copy I  find. I don’t care if I’m arrested, killed or somehow die in the process, I JUST NEED TO READ THAT FREAKING BOOK!!!

Ranting aside, Delirium is definitely a delightfully unique book. Imagine a world where love is considered a disease (in this case, Amor Deliria Amosa)¸ and everyone, once they reach adulthood, must undergo an operation (or several, depending on whether the first operation works) to cure this ‘disease’. Once cured, these people will feel no more love, anger, pain, and basically no more emotions in general. Their life is then considered safe and happy. Their 18 years of life will all seem like a faraway dream, and so many siginificant and happy times will just be forgotten. They’re supposedly happy yet, from the way these people are described through the eyes of Lena, our main characters, they may as well be walking zombies. Imagine living in a world like that!

As with many dystopian novels, we have our main character who is brought up to believe the government is God, and what they’re doing is for the benefit of the society. Lena, has accepted that she will graduate high school, attend the compulsory evaluation where she’ll be tested and then paired with her future husband. When she turns 18, she’ll go through the treatment and become one of the cureds. However, with only 95 days left till her treatment, she meets Alex; gorgeous, wild and different. From then on, she realises everything she’s been led to believe may not be the truth after all, and perhaps, just perhaps, she’ll be able to create her own future without the government’s intervention.

Excuse my fangirling, but ALEX <3 I don’t know how anyone can NOT like him! He’s charming, a tad mysterious and completely faithful to Lena. He’s able to urge her, a little bit at a time, to start seeing the society objectively. He’s so patient, and just such an incredible character! What he did at the end of the book is so noble and heroic, it totally broke my heart! His romance with Lena is so incredibly sweet and heartwarming! They’re definitely a match made in heaven. (Yes, I know I'm being cliched) 

My final thoughts? That killer ending will be the death of me, for sure! Other than that, this is truly a spectacular novel set in an imaginative dytopian world, filled with intense action and both heartbreaking and heartwarming scenes. Beautifully written, this story will stay with you long after you finish the last page.  

Oh, and before I go, there’s one last thing I have to say; even though I’m eagerly awaiting the release of PANDEMONIUM, if there is a LOVE TRIANGLE ( which, according to the blurb, is quite possible) , I will be so, very, INCREDIBLY disappointed.
Okay, I’m done. Adios!


  1. Yea, I totally agree! if is the type that will haunt you for a long time...I don't think I've read another book with an ending that had such an effect on me...Ahhh 3 more months! Thank you<3

  2. Ahhh THAT ENDING. I Hated it but I also loved it! *sigh* ooohh Brenna says theres no love triangle in Pandemonium! HAPPY SHIRLEY. Ohmygoodness, ALEX <3 I want MOREEEEE! Hahaa, thank youuu<3

  3. Ahhhh this has officially shot up on my list of 2011 faves!!! Sooo glad you loved it so much :D
    OMG. YOU ARE SOO LUCKYYY!!! US too?!?!?! I wish Aussies publishers will hurry up and send them out too :S Doubt it though....we hardly ever get ARCs! Now you're making me even more excited for Pandemonium!!!! Oh don't worry, I'll never forget the ending of delirium! It's pretty much been imprinted in my brain now! Thank you for stopping by:)

  4. When you're arrested or suffer a terrible death while overseas, can you please make sure that your stolen copy of Pandemonium gets sent express post to me?!?! Er... I meant "IF". And um. Yeah. It would be awful if that happened. BUT PLEASE DON'T FORGET - SEND IT TO BRODIE :D

    SQUEE! So so so so so SO happy you loved this! THE ENDING. DUDE. Lauren Oliver may be a super talented genius, but she's bloody evil. I am desperate to see what's going to happen now! But more than a little scared. Amazing review, Shirley. I totally want to reread this now!

  5. Oh, I see how this is Brodie! You want me to die overseas just so you can read the kidnapped copy of Pandemonium without having to fight me over it :P FINE, but only IF I finish it before my untimely death!

    YAYYYY!! You loved this tooo <3 *goes off to read your review* At least there's no love triangle in the second book!!! *grins* Can't wait to see what happens now :D

  6. LUCKY!!! I hate love triangle, like you!! Thanks to Brenna, my worries are all lifted!! HAPPY CELINE too here! I have a bad feeling it's going to be another cliffhanger in Pandemonium, LOL!

  7. True! Do we actually ever get ARCs? I've never seen what an Aussie ARC books look like!

  8. you are welcome! x

  9. LOL, yeahhh I bet there's another cliffhanger :S
    Yeah aha, Aussies do get ARCs, just...rarely :/ it looks the same ( unless the ARC doesn't have a cover) just with a strip up the top or down the bottom, with 'uncorrected proof-not for sale' across it..

  10. Well, that's great! Aussies need to get more ARCs. Thanks for the info. Maybe one day I'll get an actual ARC in hardcopy and see what it's like for myself! :)

  11. Awesome review my dear! I dont really mind if there is a love triangle in Pandemonium because Lauren Oliver is such a kick-ass writer that Im sure if she does that, she will masterfully do it! XD
    Amen! XDD

    Happy Holidays!
    Dazzling Reads

  12. Eeek I'm super curious now about that ending. I still have yet to pick this one up but it's been on my wishlist for lke 20 years ugh! I really have to get to it soon!

    Xpresso Reads

  13. Thank you so much hon! AGREED. Lauren Oliver is truly a fantastic writer! As much as I don't want a love triangle, I have to agree that Lauren will write it in a way that I probably can't help but love! Now I need to check out her other books <3
    Enjoy your holidays :D

  14. You have to read this Giselle!! It's so,sooo amazing! And I hear Pandemonium ARCs are being sent out in Canada now! Sooo...hope you get to it soon!

  15. omg so glad you loved this book! I know that ending was a killer, the kind of ending that will haunt you for as long as it takes. I kind of want to reread this again, but that ending is just going to make me more anxious for the second book. Loved your review. x


  16. Eeeek this was my FAVOURITE book this year! I like what lalaine said about it being haunting :) I'm definitely hoping to reread it soon! I just love the way Lauren writes.

    Oh, and Pandemonium ARCs have been sent out in both Canada and US now :) I just read mine last week- and I have to say that I had some of the same worries you did, but don't worry! I really liked what Lauren did in Pandemonium. It didn't move me QUITE as much as Delirium, but that would be kind of hard to do ;) And there isn't a love triangle in Pandemonium. Just keep in mind the ending for Delirium.

    Brenna from Esther's Ever After

  17. I couldn't agree more!!! The ending was such a killer, wasn't it? I want the sequel like now! And yes for Alex<3 I am also getting a bit worried about the love triangle. As always, great review!


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