Monday, July 4, 2011
Delirium by Lauren Oliver
Author: Lauren Oliver
What if we've been wrong about Love? What if love is not, as the Beatles sang, "all you need"? What if Love, in fact, is the one thing you don't need. Lauren Oliver's Delirium presents readers with a futuristic world very different from our own. At the start of the book, readers are told "It has been sixty-four years since the president and the Consortium identified love as a disease, and forty-three since the scientists perfected the cure."
Lena is almost eighteen, the age at which she will be cured forever from love. In ninety-five days, she will no longer have to live in fear of the disease which took her mother: amor deliria nervosa, more commonly known as love. Lena can't wait. She longs for the freedom from love and the dangers it poses. Scientists of the future have determined that most of the diseases that plague our world (heart disease, mental disorders, and so on) can be traced back to love. It's in preparation for the exams that coincide with her cure that Lena meets Alex, a young man who already bears the scars of being cured. Alex is the first young man Lena's known and she quickly finds herself falling in love. But is love really as terrible as they say? And is Alex really who he says?
In one of the most original stories on the market, Lauren Oliver has created a world vastly different from our own and yet entirely believable. Chapters are headed with quotations from The Safety, Health, and Happiness Handbook (commonly known as The Book of Shhh) as well as quotes from a variety of fictional sources found in Lena's world. Perhaps the most unsettling details are the smallest: revelations that tales like Romeo and Juliet are now taught in health classes as cautionary tales and American currency now reads "Ex rememdium salus--'From the cure, salvation.'" Oliver weaves a tale that raises questions about love and its role in our society while also entertaining readers. The best books are those that entertain, engage, and provoke discussion--Delirium will do all three.
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