Monday, May 30, 2011
YA Fiction Review: Delirium by Lauren Oliver
Here I go again reading another YA Dystopian novel (why doesn't blogger accept 'dystopia' as a word?) because I'm finding myself hooked onto this genre, and I don't think it's going to go away anytime soon. The market might be inundated with them, but if they're well written then so much for the better.
In Lauren Oliver's novel, Delirium, love is outlawed. It's viewed as a disease and when you turn 18 you have surgery to rid yourself of it. Some kind of futuristic lobotomy of sorts. Not sure how the procedure would actually work from a logical/medical standpoint, but this is fiction so we can take it with a grain of salt. The heroine of the story, Lena, is months away from her procedure and she's looking forward to it. Ever since her mother committed suicide, 10 years prior, Lena has wanted to be normal and not to be viewed as defective like her mother. Her mother's brain/heart didn't take to the procedure so she raised her daughter with oodles of love and fun times. A secret they tried to keep from the rest of the world. But something happens to Lena along the way towards her coming of age, she falls in love, and she falls hard and unexpectedly with Alex. She fights it for a while, but slowly comes to the realization that love is a good thing. Needless to say the grownups around her have other ideas.
I really liked the writing style. It's stimulating, and written with a loving touch. The characters are rich in detail and distinct from one another. I absolutely loved Grace, Lena's little cousin who doesn't speak and doesn't have much to do, but for the small amount of time she's in the story, I fell in love with this little girl. It's an easy read, but does require attention, so that the words seep through and I hope the time is taken to appreciate the prose. The one complaint I would have about it is that the city, Portland, isn't in it as much as I would have liked. I would have liked to have known more about the regulators and those in power. Perhaps the sequel will reveal more. Again, like so many YA dystopian stories of late, this is book one of a trilogy. I enjoy trilogies, I just don't like having to wait around for the continuation. I'm hoping to read a YA book soon that stands on its own without further books. That won't happen too soon as the next book on my list is Divergent by Veronica Roth.