Yesterday I told you that my favorite book during the month July was Delirium. Today I think I will talk more about what made this book so interesting and great for me.
Delirium, by Lauren Oliver, is set in Portland, Maine in a time that seems similar to our own despite some minor socio-economic differences. The main character, Lena, begins the book in excited to be cured of a disease that has run rampant throughout the country. That disease is love. However as the date for her cure approaches, Lena does the one thing that she was so against. Lena falls in love.
As I have said before this book had me from the blurb on the back. I have seen in posted on the sidebars of numerous blogs and was intrigued the moment I picked it up at the bookstore. It took me two days to read the book and left me wanting more.
What I liked most about Delirium was the similarity between its world and our own. These frightening similarities make it seem that much more real. The fact that I live in Maine may also have a role to play. I drive through Portland any time I want to leave Maine and it is a great shopping spot. I could easily picture the scenes from the book in my mind while reading.
The part that I also loved was the entire premise of the book. The fact that love is considered a taboo disease causes the world of Delirium to become somewhat lifeless. The cured humans in the book are surviving but they are not living. I think that an existence like this would be sad and robotic. I would never want that life but everyone accepts it because of the fear of the disease. This mass hysteria surrounding the disease is also reminiscent of our own hysteria over pandemics and makes the book all the more plausible.
Now there was not much that I did not like about the book but the one part that I was not sure about was Lena. I just do not know how I feel about her as a character. I really enjoyed reading about Alex and similarly liked Lena's best friend Hana but did not love Lena. This follows the trend that I have found in many dystopian novels I have read. In Divergent I was not impressed with Tris and in The Hunger Games I liked Katniss but got annoyed with her toward the end. Maybe the stress gets to the main characters of these books or maybe I am just hard to please. I don't know.
Overall, this book was a great read and made me think about life in general. It gave me a perspective on a world that does not have love and how that world may seem stable on the surface but below it is just as messed up as our own.