Delirium by Lauren Oliver – Book Review


Rating: ★★1/2

Title: Delirium
Author: Lauren Oliver

Book Review

I loved the premise of Delirium so much – and there was some fantastic world building in here – but the main character killed the story for me (More on that in the spoilers section of this review below. Keep scrolling down if you want to read a rant.) By the time I was invested in Lena and Alex’s love story, the book was 90% over. Then when I got to that last page, I felt very unsatisfied with the ending.

Also, I found myself skimming huge chunks of text just to get past those massively long descriptions. I felt I was beaten with a metaphor stick. (haha, see what I did there?) And some of the descriptions seemed wrong to me. Like describing the smell of manure and bat guano as “sweet”. That was a real head-scratcher.

One good thing about this book though was that the author really nails the teenage relationship between Lena and Hanna. The teenage voices, feelings, rationalizations felt very authentic to me. Oh, and Alex’s storyline was awesome. Loved the reveal about his family and where he came from.

Review continues below with spoilers, so if you haven’t read the book, read it first and come back!

Book Description

In an alternate United States, love has been declared a dangerous disease, and the government forces everyone who reaches eighteen to have a procedure called the Cure. Living with her aunt, uncle, and cousins in Portland, Maine, Lena Haloway is very much looking forward to being cured and living a safe, predictable life. She watched love destroy her mother and isn’t about to make the same mistake.

But with ninety-five days left until her treatment, Lena meets enigmatic Alex, a boy from the “Wilds” who lives under the government’s radar. What will happen if they do the unthinkable and fall in love? 

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Caution: Spoilers Below

Brace yourself for a rant.

First, I can’t believe that Lena just left her little cousin behind saying “Oh yeah, she’ll be fine in this murderous dystopia that beat our neighbor’s dog to death. But cool, I’ll just leave her here.”

This just made me dislike Lena’s character more. Grace risks herself by going in to untie Lena. Grace gives up her secret – that she can speak – in order to help Lena escape.

But in Lena’s mind, there was no “I have no choice, I’ll come back for you!” it’s more like “Nah, you’re good. I’ll just leave you here and run off with my boyfriend.”

Ironic because Lena spent several pages being crazy upset that her mother didn’t immediately try to rescue her after being locked up in The Crypt for 12 years.

Then also, she’s all like “I’d rather die than be without Alex!” but at the end… well, we’ll just say I’m not a fan of the ending.

Alex, you deserved better.

Quotes from Delirium

“I said, I prefer the ocean when it’s gray. Or not really gray. A pale, in-between color. It reminds me of waiting for something good to happen.”


“I know that life isn’t life if you just float through it. I know that the whole point- the only point- is to find the things that matter and hold onto them and fight for them and refuse to let them go.”


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