Delirium (Delirium (Quality))

Delirium - Lauren Oliver I hesitated between 3 stars and 4 stars, but in the end, since I found it an enjoyable read I wanted to know more about, I decided on 4.

When I first heard about this book, the pitch seemed intriguing to me; I know there are other dystopian stories around with a similar theme, but I haven't read them, and so it seemed new enough in my own experience to catch my interest.

Although a few sentences made me cringe, I found the author's writing style flowing and pleasant to read, with really beautiful imagery. At first, some descriptions seemed a little redundant, but as I was reading, it occurred to me that considering Lena's world and background, it would be normal for her to go back over those very things she's discovering. I also appreciated the excerpts from books, poems, documents, etc. at the beginning of each chapter. They're part of those little things that make me interested in a book, and I felt that the author must have taken pleasure in writing and integrating those.

When I started reading, I couldn't decide if the pace of the book was too slow or not; at any rate, it kept me in no matter what, and I read it in a breeze, which in itself was a good sign. This story won't be satisfying if you're looking for more action and less description; however, once again, given the backdrop against which it is set, this descriptive mood was appropriate, allowing me to get into the world presented here, and to get to know the characters. After all, it's about a young woman, still a child, almost, who's been told all her life that love was a dangerous disease, and who finally gets to experience it, to feel it—this thing, this 'curse' she's supposed to fear more than anything else. With this in mind, what I'd probably have found grating in another novel felt right in its place here (of course it's going to be somewhat sappy, a teenager's first love... but isn't it what Lena's meant to discover, in her world that would never allow her to?).

I wasn't totally satisfied with the society developed in the story. Well, mostly it was convincing and interesting, but there were still a few elements that seemed a little fragile—mainly how it all came to be, in fact. How the government managed to impose such views on people. This I found somewhat rushed. I also wondered at some point if the problem was really 'love', because the 'cured' to me seemed to lack everything else too, everything remotely connected to 'passion'. But then, it dawned on me that 1) the cure (which is nothing else than a lobotomy) couldn't be so perfect and precise as not to interfere with other brain areas, and 2) maybe that was exactly the point: getting people rid of 'passion' in general, because from passion, so many other things are born, that male those same people harder to control. No emotions meant more control; a theme that perfectly fits the whole dystopian side. All things considered, this is why this slight dissatisfaction remained exactly that, and didn't impede my reading.

Finally, the ending: it felt just a tad bit rushed, to be honest. Maybe compared to the rest of the book? On the other hand, it had a certain Romeo & Juliet feeling, in accordance with the overall theme, and it leaves room for more, because we can't know for sure what really happens after that. I can only hope that the second installment of the series will deal with those threads left open!