A Book Review: Delirium (Lauren Oliver)

Favourite Quotes:

  • The most dangerous sickness are those that makes us believe we are well – The Book of Shhh
  • The deadliest of all deadly things. It kills you both when you have it and when you don’t.
  • Sometimes I feel like if you watch things, just sit still and let the world exist in front of you –sometimes I swear that just for a second time freezes and the world pauses in its title. Just for a second. And if you somehow found a way to live…
  • That love will turn the whole world into something greater than itself. Human beings, in their natural state, are unpredictable, erratic and unhappy. It is only once their animal instincts are controlled that they can be responsible, dependable and content. – The Book of Shhh

I have waited for this book for months since I read his first book, Before I Fall.

The book centred on the disease called amor deliria nervosa. The setting is in Portland, a whole dull different Portland where everyone who is cured seemed to be numb from any emotion.Lena, protagonist of the story grew up with her aunt wants nothing but to be cured and be free from the disease that she believed to have caused her mother suicide.

The citizens of Portland are subjected to an evaluation, get cured and get married to whoever the government wants and then live a normal life. They have a rule called segregation where boys and girls go into exclusive schools until they reach the university. Their lives are being controlled by the government and made them believed it is for their own good.

Lena lived a very normal life not until she met Alex.  Alex is part of the Invalids that lives in the Wilds. She grew up thinking that people like Alex are not safe. Then she contacted the ‘disease’ and everything she believed, everything she wanted in life changed.

I think amor deliria nervosa is love. Love really makes you sick, psychologically and physically. It makes you eat less, sleep less and restless. Maybe that is why people is Portland preferred their people without emotions because they can be more useful.

The book Delirium is one of the best fiction stories I have read that deals mostly with Psychology. Lauren Oliver made a very distinct description of the two places that you could feel you are walking through the streets of Portland or the road that has been bombed during the blitz. Quotes found at the beginning of the chapters are also entertaining, all those nursery rhymes and proverbs from the Book of Shhh.

I have two favourite scenarios from the book — the first one when Gracie, a child who never speaks shouted at the top of her voice and shocked the people around her to allow Lena’s escape. The second one is Lena’s final escape. It is so heart-breaking that my heart really ached at the end of the story. It was no happy ending for Alex and Lena yet you felt satisfy at the end of the book because you can really feel the love that Alex had for her. The way that he saved her and sacrificed himself in the hands of the authorities makes you want to sigh and wished your boyfriend can do the same.

Yes, this book is worth reading. If this is not better than Before I Fall, it is as good as it.

Two realizations upon reading this book:

1.       Love is not or never a disease. It is never an infection, although is communicable.

2.       Lauren Oliver is my new favourite author.


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