Saturday 12 March 2011

Delirium - Lauren Oliver

Scientists long ago discovered that love is actually a disease and they have found a cure. At the age of 18 everyone must go through surgery to receive the cure. They are then partnered off depending on their interests, grades and how well they did during evaluations. They are also told if they are able to go to college first or start their family straight away as well as how many children they will have. Everyone is happy. Lena believes this and is looking forward to having the cure which is just 95 days away. She knows more than anyone what the disease can do to people. Her only anxiety is doing well during the evaluations. Her best friend Hana on the other hand has doubts and voices them only to Lena. This just makes Lean nervous. The last thing she wants is the disease. She just wants to erase her family history by making her remaining family proud. That is until she meets Alex who shows her that love might not be a disease after all. Now straight laced Lena is the one breaking the rules and in the process learning some truths about the world.

Dystopian novels seem to have replaced the paranormal ones in the teen genre. Or at least that's what it feels like since I have read so many of them recently. I normally love that type of novel but not this time. It felt too familiar. It actually reminded me of Uglies by Scott Westerfeld. Both involve teen girls living in a society where they believe that an operation is going to make them happy. Both have best friends who have their doubts although Hana seemed to ignore hers in the end. Both have a summer until their procedure and are counting down. Both meet someone who makes them see that these procedures are a form of control. Both have a resistance group although the resistance group in Uglies is more pronounced and part of the story than it is in Delirium. The focus in Delirium is definitely the love story and trying to keep it. The focus in Uglies is the love story but also the secrets behind the society and those trying to bring it down.

It was a good read but I was too aware of the similarities with the other book. Maybe if I hadn't read Uglies not so long ago I would have enjoyed it more. If you look at the list you can see you can't help but make comparisons and I have to say Uglies was the better book. There was more meat to it. I enjoyed the resistance part of the story more than the love story as it brought more excitement to it. Unfortunately Delirium only used the resistance when it helped the love story.

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