Tuesday, June 11, 2013


It is time for another book review post! I recently finished Lauren Oliver's remarkable Delirium trilogy. The trilogy is a dystopian series that revolves around the life of Lena Holoway. Lena lives in a society in which love - or deliria - is viewed as a terrible disease and one that must be prevented. Scientists are able to cure the disease and keep it from contaminating others. The government makes certain that all citizens receive the cure at the time of their 18th birthday. Before her procedure, Lena encounters the unthinkable disaster: she falls in love.

Delirium is the first in the trilogy, followed by Pandemonium and Requiem, respectfully. Obviously, I won't go too in-depth about the plotline because I know you don't want spoilers! This trilogy is a riveting portrayal of the powerful advantages and shortcomings of love in a dangerous world. Oliver weaves a complex picture of what it means to be in love when all others are against the idea of something so uncertain. I found her writing style to be refreshing and incredibly in-depth. She has a unique way of perceiving the emotions of people. Lena is a character who grows stronger throughout the course of the trilogy and ultimately discovers her own beliefs on life. Many of Lena's thought-provoking passages stood out to me over the duration of the novel:

"It's so strange how life works: you want something and you wait and wait and feel like it's taking forever to come. Then it happens and it's over and all you want to do is curl back up in that moment before things changed" (Oliver 38).

Wow. Talk about a powerful statement. While I was reading this book, I was going through some serious life changes and choices - things that at the time, I knew I wanted more than anything. Oliver delves deeply into the human spirit and reflects humanity's difficulty in accepting change through Lena's own thoughts and feelings. As an educator, I strongly believe that the author has the power to teach us lessons about life through his or her writing, and Oliver does an incredible job with this. Books belong to their readers and the lessons that we take away from them are the ones that will stay with us forever.

One more passage I want to share from the novel is this:

"Sometimes I feel like if you just 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 tilt. Just for a second. And if you somehow found a way to live in that second, then you would live forever" (Oliver 108).

I'm sure we've all been there - caught up in the importance and complexity of a moment and wish we could hang on to it forever. We know that if we blink, or look away, the moment is lost in a sea of others. Lena wistfully learns throughout the course of the trilogy that she can't always freeze time and live in a moment forever. What makes her a strong character is her ability to move beyond a moment and in many ways, embrace the chaos.

Overall, you will not want to miss this well-written series. Delirium will make you think, make you smile, make you laugh, and even maybe make you cry. The action will keep you turning pages for hours as you chastise yourself that you were "only going to read one more chapter" (been there, done that). And ultimately, I hope you learn what Lena does: "...that life isn't life if you just float through it. I know that the whole point - the only point - is to find the things that matter, and hold on to them, and fight for them, and refuse to let them go" (Oliver 263).

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