I finished reading the Delirium Series (Delirium, Pandemonium and Requiem) in October. The entire series left me breathless and lost for words. So lost, that I’ve been trying to figure out how I was going to write a review. This series written by Lauren Oliver impacted me in a way that YA books often fail to. I’m not saying it was perfect, but it has wriggled its way into my soul and changed me.
I entered the world of Lauren Oliver through her book Panic. I was interested in Panic simply because it was a YA novel that didn’t unnecessarily drag itself through 3 or more books. I’m a quick reader and I generally enjoy fast paced books. So after Panic blew me away with its raw look at teenage angst, the search for oneself and the desire for freedom, I knew I had to read the Lauren Oliver’s other series.
The official teaser of Book 1 is:
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.
After that, I had to read it. I have a love/hate relationship with love. Romantic love has been in my life but it hasn’t ever turned out as planned. I also have a young daughter, whom I love with all my heart, but the intensity of maternal instinct is enough to drive me insane. Love is a crippling emotion in all its forms.
But here’s the problem: I still do not know how to express myself when it comes to Delirium. It’s so caught up inside me that every time I try, it doesn’t seem to come out right. SO I’m going to attempt to make this a fact-based post, and leave out all the fluffy emotional stuff because it would probably cause a lot of spoilers for all you who haven’t read it yet. (I’m saying YET because you have to!)
Also, it’s important to note that I did not read all the accompanying novellas. (Annabel, Raven and Alex) but I did read Hana. After reading novella 1.5 I decided against reading any more because they did not add much value for me, considering the 3rd book left me gobsmacked and I selfishly didn’t want anything to ruin it.
The premise of the book was enticing, a near-future Earth, set in what was the United states, where love is outlawed and thought of as a disease. It was an interesting idea, and I wanted to see how it would pan out. The story is typical in the dystopian fashion of 1 person rebels against the status-quo, joins a team to over throw the government, etc. But because we saw it through Lena’s eyes, we see the people behind the rebellion. The struggle of the outsiders, unedited and cold. In Requiem, we also get a peek into her friend Hana’s world, which helps to bring the story into a full 360 as we see both sides of the struggle.
The covers were just ok. Just pretty and cohesive and, well, pretty. I think they could have been changed, but I also like the simplicity of a simple portrait with flowers. The flower theme was continued throughout the novella covers as well.
I enjoyed the formatting of the chapters, including the little nursery rhymes, quotes and press releases woven into the stories. It helped add depth to the world outside of Lena’s 1st person point of view. Lauren Oliver also did this in Panic.
This book speaks so much about love. The ups and the downs. Sometimes I wish I couldn’t feel at all, but then what kind of life would I be living? The Delirium series reminded me that love has a million sides and in order to enjoy the best parts, you need to accept the bad. And if there were no bad, how would you even notice the good?
I’ll admit it: I’m going to be a Lauren Oliver fan for life now. There’s so much in this series that impacted me on such a personal level, but it’s chock full of spoilers so as a courtesy, I will keep those thoughts to myself for now. Just to put the emotions in perspective, I finished this book during rush hour on a crowded train – I cried in public. Once I can get my fingers to type out my feelings, I might do a follow up review.
Take Down The Walls.