Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Star Audio Book Review - Delirium by Lauren Oliver; Read by Sarah Drew

            What would you do if you just met the love of your life but everyone told you that you had to give up on love...forever? In Delirium, Lauren Oliver’s second YA novel, readers and listeners are brought into a futuristic, dystopian world in which scientists have discovered a cure for the delirium, the disease that has been brought upon humans due to love. They say love causes a delirium that has been devastating to society through divorces, infidelity, heartache and even the exciting or “good” qualities associated with the feelings of love. Society promises that once “cured”, humans will no longer find themselves victim of the attachments, emotionality and instability of love; thereby freeing humans from the anguish and, by default, also, the blessings of love. The end result is a planned, predictable and more stable way of life. Anyone who goes against these rules and regulations is either labeled a sympathizer or a resistor and is hunted down and banished to exile forever. 

Lena Holoway, a high school student in Portland, Washington, has always done the “right” thing or more accurately, she’s always done whatever was expected of her. She eagerly awaits her procedure, counting down the days to when she will be cured of the “disease”. Prior to the procedure, she undergoes a detailed evaluation to find out what profession, spouse and other aspects of her future will entail. Scientific questioning reveals her future husband, college and career but one day, the unthinkable happens – and Lena falls in love with a boy in town named Alex. All of a sudden her whole world, her beliefs, her perceptions, her ideas, dreams and hopes for the future are all up in the air. She is more confused than ever and for the first time, Lena isn’t doing what’s expected of her. The girl who eagerly counted down the days until her procedure is now debating whether or not she even wants to have the procedure; only it might not be up to her to decide.

In a futuristic tale of Romeo and Juliet, Lauren Oliver explores what happens when a young girl comes of age and discovers love in a world where love has been forbidden. Find out what happens when she starts thinking for herself and how she learns to handle the conflicts and inner turmoil that take a toll on her psyche. Will she have the procedure that supposedly will free her from the restraints of love? What will become of her and Alex?
Sarah Drew does an excellent job narrating from the young adult perspective and has come become one of my favorite young adult narrators.

This was my first experience reading or listening to a dystopian-type novel and while I applaud Lauren Oliver for her creativity in manifesting a world in which science has broken the spell of love, I’m not so sure this is the type of book I am most interested in.  Like I said, I think Lauren Oliver did a fantastic job writing the story and has a great imagination for what it would be like to be a teenager, falling in love for the first time in a world where love had been banned but for me, I was not as interested in the concept as I would have hoped. Maybe it was because I had read so many great reviews of this book, that my expectations for it were unrealistically high, but there were many parts where I just felt the novel moved too slowly for me. Listening to Delirium definitely allowed for a more interactive and engaging experience for me, but overall, I was disappointed in the book as a whole. I would still be interested, however, in checking out Lauren Oliver’s first novel, Before I Fall, to see if maybe that is more a story to my liking. Check it out for yourself and tell me what you think! I still love the cover of Delirium – I think it is just beautiful.

  3/5 Stars

For more information on Lauren Oliver, visit her web site at

   Other audio books read by Sarah Drew:
    The Carrie Diaries by Candace Bushnell


Read my review of The Carrie Diaries at the Chick Lit Club!

1 comment:

  1. I was so so with this book.
    Thought the writing was lovely but I never really connected with the story or the characters :(