{Book Review} Delirium

{Book Review} DeliriumDelirium by Lauren Oliver
Published by Harper Collins on August 2nd 2011
Genres: Dystopian, Love & Romance, Social Issues, Young Adult
Pages: 480
Source: Purchased
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five-stars

Lauren Oliver's powerful New York Times bestselling novel Delirium—the first in a dystopian trilogy—presents a world as terrifying as George Orwell's 1984 and a romance as true as Romeo & Juliet.In an alternate United States, love has been declared a dangerous disease, and the government forces everyone who reaches eighteen to have a procedure called the Cure. Living with her aunt, uncle, and cousins in Portland, Maine, Lena Haloway is very much looking forward to being cured and living a safe, predictable life. She watched love destroy her mother and isn't about to make the same mistakes.But with ninety-five days left until her treatment, Lena meets enigmatic Alex, a boy from the Wilds who lives under the government's radar. What will happen if they do the unthinkable and fall in love?Delirium received starred reviews from Kirkus and School Library Journal, and was named a Best Book of the Year by USA Today, Kirkus, Amazon.com, YALSA, and the Chicago Public Library and was selected as one of NPR's Top 100 Best Ever Teen Novels. Supports the Common Core State Standards

My Thoughts: Wow, wow, wow! I absolutely loved Lauren Oliver’s writing in Before I Fall and Delirium just seals the deal that she has a true gift for writing. I have so many sticky notes sticking out of Delirium of passages that truly touched my heart and spoke to me.

“Maybe the house hears me, because, miraculously, I do make it to the front door. I pause for a second longer, listening for the sounds of footsteps upstairs, whispered voices, anything – but other than my heart, which is still going strong and loud, it’s silent. Even the house seems to hesitate and take a breath, because the front door swings open with barely a whisper, and in the last second before I slip out into the night the rooms behind me are as dark and still as a grave.” p.118

Lena is getting closer to the date when she is cured and she can hardly wait. She plans to spend the last summer before she is cured with her best friend Hana but when Hana starts doing irresponsible things like listening to unapproved music and going to parties with boys, Lena questions her friendship and what she really know about her.

“…and meanwhile, behind my back, she’s been turning into someone I don’t know – someone with secrets and weird habits and opinions about things we’re not supposed to even think about.” p. 106

And then Lena meets Alex…and her whole world and what she thought she knew is upended. And as she falls under the deliria of love, she learns the truth about her past and the truth about the society.

“Love: a single word, a wispy thing, a word no bigger or longer than an edge. That’s what it is: an edge; a razor. It draws up through the center of your life, cutting everything in tow. Before and after. The rest of the world falls away on either side.

Before and after – and during, a moment no bigger or longer than an edge.” p. 301

I loved everything about this book! I loved how Lena grew and became the “legend” and how her relationships with Hana and Alex ebbed and flowed and of course I loved the setting, Portland and envisioning all the landmarks in the future.  With tears in my eyes as I read the last page, I closed the book anticipating Pandemonium even more!
five-stars

{Book Review} Before I Fall

{Book Review} Before I FallBefore I Fall by Lauren Oliver
Published by HarperCollins on October 25th 2011
Genres: Adolescence, Death & Dying, Friendship, Social Issues, Young Adult
Pages: 496
Source: Purchased
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five-stars

What if you only had one day to live? What would you do? Who would you kiss? And how far would you go to save your own life? Samantha Kingston has it all: looks, popularity, the perfect boyfriend. Friday, February 12, should be just another day in her charmed life. Instead, it turns out to be her last. The catch: Samantha still wakes up the next morning. Living the last day of her life seven times during one miraculous week, she will untangle the mystery surrounding her death—and discover the true value of everything she is in danger of losing.

My Thoughts: Some authors have a true gift and Lauren Oliver is one of those writers. Her writing draws the reader in and her words have a magical and lyrical quality when she strings them together. Bullying is such an important issue in our schools and Oliver does a great job of realistically portraying the social strata of high school and how bullies act. As I was reading, I felt transported back to my high school years and life as a teenager.

“It was Lindsay who found out that Juliet wasn’t sent a single rose freshman year, and Lindsay’s idea to send her a Valogram. It was Lindsay who nicknamed her Psycho, and who, all those years ago, spread the story of Juliet peeing on the Girl Scout camping trip.” p. 149

As much as the book is about bullying, it’s also about the power of redemption, realizing mistakes and trying to right wrongs. As Sam relives her last day over and over again it helps her see outside her circle of friends and the impact you can have on other people without even knowing.

“I can’t stop thinking about how strange life is, about Kent and Juliet and even Alex and Anna and Bridget and Mr. Shaw and Ms. Winters – about how complex and connected everything is, all threaded together like some vast, invisible netting – and how sometimes you can think you’re doing the right thing, but it’s actually terrible and vice versa.” p. 424

How will Sam’s act of redemption impact the people around her and more importantly Sam? I had tears in my eyes as I read the final pages. An extremely powerful novel that I highly recommend.

five-stars