Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Lauren Oliver skillfully introduces us to a society where people are either afraid of love or are numb to it. For the past 43 years, the government has stamped out “messy” emotion in favor of a more ordered existence. Most accept it, as having the surgery makes you immune to heartache and pain. But of course, there are those who resist. As an “uncured”, 17 year old Lena, needs to be protected from those resisters, and there are strict measures in place to ensure her protection – a curfew, raiding parties that look for offenders, unisex education and socialization.
Though it was a bit implausible to me that a society that abhors love would allow the family unit to remain intact, putting its most vulnerable citizens – those uncureds under 18 – at unnecessary risk (if they REALLY wanted them safe, they’d lock them up in unisex dorms until they got “cured” - although that still wouldn't keep everyone safe, obviously), the world-building suited the main plot brilliantly. Because, of course, for the story to work, Lena has meet an uncured guy to her liking (and Alex fits the bill) and have the opportunity to sneak out and spend time with him.
And DAMN, if I may say so, Lena’s scenes with Alex sizzle, making the novel soar to dizzying heights of emotion.
But it isn’t just romantic love that is so well explored here. Lena has a very close relationship with her best friend Hana that is heart-breakingly real, and we also see snippets of the happy familial love she shared with her mother.
The shock ending underlines and gives even more depth to the powerful themes of the necessity of love and the meaningless of life without it. I, for one, can’t wait to read the sequel.
DELIRIUM comes out February 1, 2011. You must read this book. Find out more about it by reading my interview with Lauren that I posted earlier today.
5 Zombie Chickens – The Ultimate Dystopian Reading Experience
See index of all dystopian Reviews on Presenting Lenore