Each and every word of Delirium, by Lauren Oliver shows you a knew meaning of the word, love.
Summary from goodreads.com:
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 governments 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.
Every part of me is loving this new YA genre of Totalitarianism and Dystopian societies. Throw in some major romance that is the key to beginning to beating the system and you have a magnificent and intriguing story! Lauren Oliver captivates you as you go with Lena through what seems to be the best life that she will lead--a life without love or Amor Deliria Nervosa as they call it in this story until she falls for Alex. Alex, the boy who resists while hiding in plain sight.
Lately, a big part of my writing self is noticing that a lot of stories these days by published authors seemed rushed. They either have a really compelling plot and no character development or they have way too much characterization going on and no plot. It's a difficult task to get the two elements of a story weave so well together that they push each other along. Lauren has achieved this on a phenomenal scale and it is so well written you won't put it down until the end. Even then, you'd want to pick this book up immediately and read it again and again.
The storyline grabs you at the get go. A life without love? Seems like walking zombies to me. Not much emotion since love drives almost every emotion. Love for sports, a love for your family, your spouse, your boyfriend/girlfriend, a love for your pets, etc. If you're team loses, you're angry and upset, but not in Lauren's world. When once you're eighteen, you are "cured". I love at the beginning that Lena is so anxious to get her procedure done and become like her older sister and her aunt and leave that love behind so willingly that the further you go, the more the countdown is dreaded.
These characters in the story at first really didn't grab my attention. There's Lena, our heroine that can't wait to get her procedure done and in fact, isn't scared to get it done. Her fight to love later on through the story and every little thing she does in the name of love makes her grow more and resist harder than ever before. She is our Juliet in this story.
And Hana, Lena's best friend since the second grade. Hana is described as one of the prettiest girls in Portland, Maine, but despite the fact that she shows rebellion, doesn't mean she wants that life. But her undying friendship loyalty and love for Lena shows that even Hana is willing to risk everything for love.
Alex, another cute guy in another novel. Yup, that's him. At first, I hated his character. I hated that he wasn't a nerdy guy or a geek kind of guy. This guy has charisma, and yet, he is also very sensitive and sweet and tender. Here is our Romeo for this story. Only until halfway through the book did I start to like him more. To really appreciate him for who he is as a character. I don't know if it was meant to be written that way or not, but Lauren sure did make it much easier for me to fall for Alex later on.
Gracie. Lena's cousin. Her sweet little cousin who doesn't say much has got to be the strongest character I have every read that has been written. Only five to six years old and doesn't speak but you can see through Lena's eyes that Gracie is absorbing everything around her. And also how much she really looks up to Lena and what Lena means to her. I can't wait to see more of Gracie--or I should say, I hope that we see more of her later on.
Really, this book made me dream about it countless nights in a row. It made me look at love in a new light and to appreciate what I have and who I have to love and even all the emotions that go with love.
So, seriously, I recommend this book to everyone who loved Before I Fall or whoever just loves a really good romance. This is a definite must read. I don't think I can wait until next February for book two to be released!