Lauren Oliver’s novel Delirium is a must-read for any lover of dystopian Young Adult novels, which is the category that this book falls into. That said, this book is a fast read, but it is at times challenging.
The plot centers around the fact that in this futuristic United States, scientists have determined that love in all its forms is a disease that must be cured. When citizens reach the age of 18, they must undergo “the cure”, which is a type of brain surgery designed to eliminate the body of most of its feelings in order to protect the order and sameness of society.
But what happens if, before you can be cured, you fall in love?
17 year old Lena is counting down the days until she can receive “the cure” just after her 18th birthday. Her whole life hinges on this procedure. It’s against the law to refuse the procedure. Every citizen who lives within the city’s electric fences is required to receive the cure. However, when she is only a couple months shy of her birthday, Lena meets someone and falls in love.
It is this awakening to feelings that sets off a series of events that changes Lena’s life forever. For the first time, she begins to question authority. She begins to question if what she’s been taught her entire life is true. What if everything you’ve ever been told is a lie? What if your entire world was turned upside down and you had to choose between the life you’ve expected and a new, scary and illegal life that may be the only way to truly live?
This is a novel about rebellion and taking chances. It’s a novel about awakening to the possibilities within yourself, and it’s a novel about a struggle to find meaning in a world where all passion and love has been wiped away.
It’s really difficult to write this review without giving away the plot. Let me just say this. If you’ve read this far and you’re wondering if this book is for you, it probably is. I wouldn’t recommend it for children, though. I’d give it a PG-13 rating because it is violent in several sections. The violence did disturb me, but overall, the message of this book was powerful. It was an unforgettable read.