Sunday, June 19, 2011


There was a time when love was the most important thing in the world. People would go to the end of the earth to find it. They would tell lies for it. Even kill for it. Then, at last they, found the cure.
Now, everything is different. Scientists are able to eradicate love, and the government demands that all citizens receive the cure upon turning eighteen. Lena Haloway has always looked forward to the day when she'll be cured. A life without love is a life without pain: safe, measured, predictable, and happy. But then, with only ninety-five days left until her treatment, Lena does the unthinkable...
Just like Lauren Oliver's other novel Before I Fall this book left me breathless and caused me to look at life in a different perspective. It's the kind of book that can do that, make you doubt the world, humanity. It is a book which expands the stretches of love; forbidden love. Because in Lena's world love is a disease, to even think the word is wrong. 
Her mother caught the disease and it drove her to suicide, she threw herself of a cliff. Lena had to suffer years of the word following her around wherever she went, suicide, suicide, suicide. She has to live with her aunt and uncle and children which aren't even theirs. 
The relationship between the aunt and uncle and between them and the children are cold and harsh, a world without love gave me the shivers. Showing how horrible life would be if we did not have love. It makes you grateful for the little things, like your mother kissing a bruise to make it feel better or catching someones eyes across a room and feeling butterflies in your stomach. 
Lena used to count down the days with enthusiasm, not being able to wait for the day of her procedure to come like it was Christmas or something. But near the end it's like shes terminally ill and the days run through her fingers to fast and shes slipping away unable to grasp onto life, the days tick by. All because she did the one thing that was forbidden, the whole reason the cure was invented. She fell in love with an invalid, a boy from the Wilds.
Their love is like Romeo and Juliet's tragic story, star crossed lovers, but worse. It isn't just their families against them, its the rest of the population. They can not be seen in public, they can not even look at each other the wrong way. All uncured have curfews, leaving the only way to see him via breaking the rules; rules she would have never broken before. 
Alex is supposedly safe, has a scar identical to those the procedure leaves you with. He is a guard at the labs, the labs which take away love from the world. He is an invalid pretended to be cured, there are many of them out there. This reveals just how easy it is for people to act, to pretend they are other people than who they are. Showing how you can't trust anyone. People you think you know, you don't.
This heart breaking story shows how cruel people can be, how inhumane they can act. But those are the cured, the cold, the unemotional. But Alex is not cured, he is a simple boy form the wilds who knows poetry and love and is a hidden hero. He saves Lena from herself, from believing that love is a disease. Lena's experience between the pages teaches us that although love hurts, although we complain and curse and cry and forbid to date again- a world without love is wrong, love is the only good thing in the world. If we no longer had love all we would do is work, eat, sleep day after day without the ability to dream. But yet we wouldn't get frustrated or sad, because we could not feel emotion we would be robots with beating hearts. How horrible the thought. This book made me appreciate love, even though it can hurt, because you have to put up with the worst if you want the best. 
Alex helps Lena discover her mother did not kill herself she was being kept in the crypts- a jail for the mentally ill and ones infected by disease. But when she gets there, she had escaped. The forbidden word love scrawled all over the walls. She was alive. Lena had never been more angry at the world that surrounded her, the unloving horrid cured. She had to escape, run away to the wilds like Alex had suggested.
They were so close, but they were caught.
Lena's procedure is pushed forward, but she can't even tell Alex, no way for goodbye. A love she would not remember after the procedure. She is tied down to her bed, drugged. Her head throbbing from the beating the raids gave her when they caught her. Lena is so close to becoming a robot, so close to losing love, memories.
But somehow Alex still saves her, he came for her like she knew he would. They get so close to escaping to making it to the wilds to live a free life where they can love and laugh and smile and watch the stars and read poetry, but they are being hunted, shot at from all directions. 
He makes the ultimate sacrifice. For her, for love.
He is left shot, the heartless men ripping at him at both sides from the other side of the electric fence. Eyes focusing souly on her while madness erupts around him, blood leaks from his wound staining his shirt.
Lena made it to the wilds, she was the other side of the fence. 
He mouthed the word run, and she did, she ran.
This last image, has stayed strong in my mind. This is the last scene of Delirium, it is heartbreaking and left me breathless. He was a hero, risked everything, knew he would be killed straight away, all for her. This shows how boundless love can be, how people would do anything for the one they love. 
As I said with her other book, Lauren Oliver is an amazing writer, who can move readers, touch their hearts and make them be grateful for their own life. This is one of the most moving books I have ever read, I would recommend this to anyone, it will leave you with tears in your eyes and a new view upon the world and people. However, really young readers should wait to read it, there is a little violence and wouldn't want to influence children to read it, it is not that bad just a little cringey.
This book will teach you love is worth anything, even the grief of losing them once there gone, just to appreciate every moment while they are there. 
Because love is worth the pain.

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