I would post the blurb on goodreads, but this quote just sums it up even better. They should probably just slap this on the back of the dust jacket and call it good.
Most things, even the greatest movement on earth, have their beginnings in something small. An earthquake that shatters a city might begin with a tremor, a tremble, a breath. Music begins with a vibration. The flood that rushed into Portland twenty years ago after nearly two months of straight rain, that hurled up beyond the labs and damaged more than a thousand houses, swept up tires and old, smelly shoes and floated them through the streets like prizes, that left a thin film of green mold behind, a stench of rotting and decay that didn’t go away for months, begin with a trickle of water, no wider than a finger, lapping up onto the docks.
And God created the whole universe from an atom no bigger than a thought.
Grace’s life fell apart because of a single word: sympathizer. My world exploded because of a different word: suicide.
Correction: that was the first time my world exploded.
The second time my world exploded, it was also because of a word. A word that worked its way out of my throat and danced into and out of my lips before I could think about it, or stop it.
The question was: Will you meet me tomorrow?
And the word was : Yes.
I mean, seriously. Do you even need a summary after that? Lauren Oliver’s writing in this book is perfect. And I say that after spending a considerable amount of time in the past 24 hours trying to figure out if her writing really was that good, or if we are just on the same wave-length and see the world the same way. The conclusion that I reached after spewing out enough quotes from the book to my husband and anyone else who would listen, was that indeed: her writing in the novel was perfect.
The premise of Delirium is that love, or more specifically amor deliria nervosa, is a horrible disease. The worst disease. The only disease. It is the seed from which every horrible thing sprouts. So, the government decided that it was going to wipe out this love epidemic, and make every person undergo a procedure at the age of 18 that will “cure” them. If it is performed before the person turns 18, it can have horrible consequences, like they go blind, or crazy, or even die. Those who fight against this are labeled sympathizers, and can be killed or locked up.
Those who are Cured live out their lives in a monotonous peace. Parents don’t love their children, teachers don’t love their students, husbands don’t love their wives. They only feel things like responsibility, duty, indifference.
Some escaped the mass curing and ran off into the borderlands of the now formed sections of the east coast, referred to as the Wilds. These people are known as Invalids, and are considered myths by the government and the Cureds. They speak of them on the same level as vampires and werewolves.
Lena, is a girl whose 18th birthday is fast approaching. At the beginning of the novel she is counting down the days until she can be cured, anticipating the procedure that would free her from worry, and pain, and the paranoia of contracting the disease. In a not so unexpected turn of events, she meets a boy and her whole life changes. She is forced to face some pretty intense sociopolitical questions, and figure out what she really believes is true, and right.
It is an incredible story and I would whole-hardheartedly recommend it to anyone who is looking for a book to be sucked into. Really, a whole series to be sucked into, as this book is the first in a trilogy. It is followed by Pandemonim and Requim (which are both already available) along with various midquels, so you don’t even have to wait. Congratulations for being as far as I am in reading this series and not having to wait years between releases 🙂
Now, I am not going to post a spoiler section for this novel, because I am just going to wait until I finish the series and then make one giant spoiler-filled post about so we can all discuss it and be on the same page. Don’t worry, it will be clearly labeled.
If you have already read Delirium, you can check out my favorite quotes from the book here.