Series: Delirium #1
Publisher: HarperTeen (2011)
Hardcover (441 pages)
Reading Challenges: 2016 Backlist Books, Read 2016
Before scientists found the cure, people thought love was a good thing.
They didn’t understand that once love -- the deliria -- blooms in your blood, there is no escaping its hold. Things are different now. Scientists are able to eradicate love, and the government demands that all citizens receive the cure upon turning eighteen. Lena Holoway 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 with ninety-five days left until her treatment, Lena does the unthinkable: She falls in love.
Lena lives in a futuristic, dystopian Portland, Maine. In her society, love is a disease. At 18 years of age, all citizens undergo the Cure, an operation to remove part of the brain. After receiving the Cure, citizens are safe from love.
This is an interesting take on a dystopian society. The idea that love has been identified as a disease is terrifying to me. Lena even has books and brochures listing the “symptoms” of love in the four stages of the “disease.” That is just creepy! Even Romeo and Juliet is a “cautionary tale” instead of a love story. I can tell you that I would not want to live in this world.
There are also people Lena’s society refuses to admit exist: in Invalids who live in the Wilds. These people do not believe love is a disease. They do not agree with the Cure. Lena is even unsure of the existence of the Invalids until she meets Alex.
This is where it gets more stereotypical. Obviously, Alex isn’t supposed to exist. Lena isn’t supposed to meet him. Will they fall in love? Will they be able to avoid the Cure? What is going to happen to them?
While Delirium has an interesting premise and I was intrigued, I didn’t find myself drawn into the story. I didn’t like Lena. She seemed content to let things happen to her for most of the story and I didn’t like that.
I found myself not really caring about the characters. Even at the end (which is supposed to be emotional), I was apathetic. I just didn’t care what happened one way or another. Sadly, this wasn’t the book for me.