Delirium [Book Review]

Love: a single word, a weepy 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 two. 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

Title: Delirium
Author: Lauren Oliver
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopian, Romance
ISBN: 0061726826
Pages: 448
Year: 2011
Publisher: HarperCollins
Source: Borrowed from friend**
Rating: 5/5

Summary:

Lena lives in a world where love is a disease and adults are cured before they are assigned their place in the world. Lena is counting down the days until she, too, receives the cure. Then she meets Alex and her whole belief system starts falling apart. Is love really a disease? Is it really something she wants to be cured of? Is Lena ready to give up her predetermined life for one with Alex?

My Thoughts:

When Lauren Oliver’s debut, Before I Fall, came out last year, everyone heralded it as the best thing to come out of YA in a long time. Now I really liked Before I Fall but I don’t think my feelings were quite as strong as most. But after reading Delirium, I am 100% on board the Lauren Oliver fangirl train. I absolutely adored it.

Unfortunately, I read it so long ago (and neglected to write a review until now) that I’m not going to be able to articulate the reasons for my adoration with any level of specificity. You’re going to have to take my word: the premise was unique, the characters were interesting, and the entire book was engaging. I am so thrilled to discover that this is the first book in a trilogy. While Delirium can stand on its own, I want more.

If you are not yet a Lauren Oliver fan, listen to the gushing around you and give Delirium a chance.

Other Reviews: Fiction Folio; Erin Reads; Iris on Books; The Lost Entwife; Presenting Lenore;

Buy It Now: IndieBound; Powell’s; Amazon; The Book Depository

* Pages numbers refer to the advanced reader’s copy. They may differ from the finished copy.

** A BIG thanks to Kelly from KellyVision for loaning me her ARC.

Before I Fall [Book Review]

Title: Before I Fall
Author: Lauren Oliver
Genre: Young Adult
ISBN: 9780061726804
Pages: 472
Year: 2010 (Release date: 3/2/2010)
Publisher: HarperTeen
Source: Review copy from HarperCollins’ First Look program
Rating: 4/5

Plot summary (from publisher):

What if you had only 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. She’s expecting to attend a typical Friday night party with her friends, but instead a terrible accident takes her life.

The catch: Samantha still wakes up the next morning. In fact, she relives the last day of her life seven times, until she realizes that by making even the slightest changes, she may hold more power than she had ever imagined.

Other Books I’ve Read By Author: None, Before I Fall is Oliver’s debut novel

Why I Picked Up This Book: I chose to participate in the First Look reader review program and this was the next book up. I hadn’t heard much about it but I thought it looked interesting.

My thoughts:

In Before I Fall, we are meant to dislike the main character at the beginning of the novel. And I despised the Samantha Kingston of Day One. She and her friends are simply selfish, horrible high school students. They are the mean girls. And they fully believe that their elevated status in the caste system of their high school entitles them to be that way.

But Sam quickly changes after the accident. She wakes up the next morning remembering everything from previous day but forced to relive it. This Groundhog Day/Butterfly Effect-type story is captivating and unlike any of its predecessors.

Sam quickly learns that her actions have consequences (and isn’t that an important lesson for us all). But more than that, she learns that the tiniest change in her behavior can have a major impact on someone else. But can she change things enough?

I really enjoyed this book and I found Oliver to be a very good writer (I may be a little jealous as she is the same age as me and I don’t have a debut novel…). I think she managed to accurately capture today’steenage culture and its problems.

This book is about many things: relationships, taking chances, and making choices, but if this story is about any one thing, it’s about hope. It will have you racing through to the end and leave you feeling – though  a little emotionally drained  – optimistic.

Memorable Passages:

But at the beginning of the night anything’s possible. p. 58

It amazes me how easy it is for things to change, how easy it is to start off down the same road you always take and wind up somewhere new. Just one false step, one pause, one detour, and you end up with new friends or a bad reputation or a boyfriend or a breakup. It’s never occurred to me before; I’ve never been able to see it. And it makes me feel, weirdly, like maybe all of these different possibilities exist at the same time, like each moment we live has a thousand other moments layered underneath it that look different. p. 285

…both nights we were so close that if one of us had breathed we would have ended up kissing…. p. 352

Will I Read This Author Again?: Yes

Buy It: Amazon; Powell’s; Book Depository

Other Reviews:

Book Trailer: