Sunday, 1 December 2013


Lauren Oliver
London, Hodder, 2011, 393p

I feel like I know way too much about Oregon, having read this and If I Stay - both set in areas a short distance from each other.

And yet neither novels really brought the area to life, making limited use of visual imagery and vivid descriptions.

I am disappointed to have not been able to finish this novel. I gave it 100 pages, but found it to be moving too slowly. Perhaps I am still recovering from my William Boyd hangover, but I suspect it is more to do with the style and story of Delirium.

In this dystopia, love has been diagnosed as an illness, and teenagers await their eighteenth birthday when they can be cured. On the day of Lena's evaluation, when her future following the proceedure will be decided, she meets a boy who causes the symptoms of love.

I love the concept of this novel, and embarked upon it with enthusiasm and ardour. But within the first 50 pages, so little happened that I found myself jumping ahead, looking for some plot development. Even the characters didn't grow that much - it is implied that Lena has some subconscious concerns about the cure from the beginning, when we are informed that her mother died following unsuccessful proceedures and sometimes the illness can be genetic.

And to be honest, it is pretty clear where it is going. There are so many dystopian trilogies available to young adult readers at the moment, making it hard to find something original. Yet with such an unusual concept - with love being a disease -  I'd hoped this might be something different.

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