Aly in Wonderland


Delirium - Lauren Oliver Actual rating: 3.5

“You can't be happy unless you're unhappy sometimes"

[a:Lauren Oliver|2936493|Lauren Oliver|] has a way with words. Everything that flows from those creative fingertips enchants you and whisks you away to another world. This is one of the reasons she's one of my favourite authors.

So when I picked up [b:Delirium|11614718|Delirium (Delirium, #1)|Lauren Oliver||10342808] I was exciting to drown myself within those pages and take part in a different world.

That's where the shit hit the fan, to put it nicely.

Lena lives in a world where love is a disease:

"The deadliest of all deadly things: It kills you both when you have it and when you don't."

It destroys lives and when someone is infected they are alienated from their lives:

"...diseased girls dragging their nails on the pavement, tearing out their hair, their mouths dripping spit."

So the Consortium created a way to remove the 'disease' altogether. On the 18th birthday of every child, they will go through a procedure, where the part of their brain that feels love is cut away in surgery.

Lena is all for the procedure. Counting down the days, excited, she cannot wait to get it over and done with, and to finally meet her pair and get married and live the life that was set out for her.

But if things went according to plan, would it be a novel?



Lena is a pain in the ass. For the first 30% of this book, she continuously commented on her best friend, Hana's, appearance and how plain, boring and ugly she felt in comparison:

"She'll retreat to the West End and make friends with her neighbors, with people richer and more sophisticated than I am. I'll stay in some crappy apartment on Cumberland, and I won't miss her, or remember what it felt like to run side by side."

"But a second later I feel their eyes sweeping past me, a wind, latching on to Hana. Her blonde hair flashes next to me, a coin in the sun."

"Or at least, I must look ridiculous. Hana looks like a model for athletic wear."

"Not pretty. Not ugly, either. Just plain, like a thousand other faces you would see on the street."

And my personal favourite:

"No guy in his right mind would ever choose me when there are people like Hana in the world: it would be like settling for a stale cookie when what you really want is a big bowl of ice cream, whipped cream and cherries and chocolate sprinkles included."


For this reason alone, I found it nearly impossible to like her. Not only did she constantly complain about the unfairness of her life, but her fear of being caught and thrown into the Crypts (the asylum/prison) keeps her from doing anything even remotely rebellious. It's her best friend, Hana, who introduces her to the world of 'freedom' -- or the limited freedom of downloading illegal music and going to raves after curfew.

But would it be a typical cheesy novel if Oliver didn't introduce a love interest?



Alex is an 'Invalid': a member of a large group of people who managed to escape the suffocation of the new laws and made a home for themselves in the Wilds:

"They're not even supposed to exist; supposedly, all the people who live in the Wilds were destroyed fifty years ago, during the blitz."

They're a myth, a scary story to terrify children:

"Mama, Mama, put me to bed
I won't make it home, I'm already half-dead.
I met an Invalid, and fell for his art
He showed me his smile, and went straight for my heart.

But although Alex is an Invalid and therefore someone Lena must avoid and resist at all costs, she falls head over heels in love with his syrup colour eyes and golden crown of hair.


Together, they create a plan to try and escape to the Wilds, so that they can live happily ever after.

Personally, I didn't like Alex very much. He wasn't very believable or concrete as a character: I couldn't imagine him, let alone imagine being in his shoes. He constantly pushes the boundaries. So when at the end he is shot to smithereens, I couldn't bring myself to feel too sorry for him. By that point, I was bored out of my face.

The story:

The story had great premise, and Lauren Oliver was very clever with the concept: What would a world without love be like? Although it was cleverly done, I just could not for the life of my imagine living there (which is a big must when I'm reading dystopia) and I couldn't for the life of me sympathise with Lena. The first half was incredibly slow and rather bland, constantly yet slowly building up towards a large climax which, when it came, left me disappointed.

However, I DID enjoy reading it. It was a quick read (once you hit 50%) and it had quite a few outcomes I wasn't expecting.

Over all, 3.5 stars.

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