"Love, it will kill you and save you, both."
Hence, the reason why everyone eighteen and older has to submit to the cure. Once you've taken the cure, you can no longer be infected with the deliria, also known as falling in love.
Lena has been counting down the days until she gets to take the cure. Her own mother was immune, and ultimately took her own life because she was so plagued by the deliria. Lena will not let that same fate come to her.
But with only 95 days left to wait, Lena meets Alex. And realizes that succumbing to the deliria isn't the worst thing that could happen.
I must regretfully report that I have not been infected with Amor Deliria Nervosa. I wanted to love this book. But I think someone slipped the Cure into my Diet Coke before I started reading, because I just feel pretty neutral.
Before I go on, I should say that rather than reading the actual book, I listened to it via audio. And I think that really tainted my whole reading experience. 1) I could only "read" for as long as it took me to get to the grocery or the library and back. 20 minute snatches is not a huge amount of time to get immersed in a story. 2) The narrator was the same one who narrated Along for the Ride, the last YA book I listened to, and I spent at least the first 4 CDs trying not to think of her as Auden. And finally 3) Scads of readers have soliloquized on Lauren Oliver's "enchanting" writing style. And yes, she is a lovely writer. But... listening to all of those flowery phrases read aloud just felt a little melodramatic sometimes.
But what of the actual story? Well, I am a HUGE fan of dystopians. As a reader, I love few things more than immersing myself in a life set in a very different future thinking, "What if... ?" But I could never actually imagine Lena's world becoming our future. A cure for love? I just don't buy it. I've had my heart broken, completely crushed even, but I would still never want to be "cured" of my ability to fall in love. And I don't think most people would either. So, I kept taking myself out of the story because of my own skepticism.
I also felt like Delirium was extremely similar to another book that I just happened to be reading at the same time. As I mentioned in that post, it didn't make me enjoy the story any less, but it did make Lena's world feel a little less special.
Finally, I did something really dumb, and read a summary for Hana before I was finished with Delirium. That essentially ruined the ending for me. Boooo.
In retrospect, I think that my neutrality regarding Delirium is completely of my own making. I mean, I can't remember my mom, a HS librarian, ever really getting into a dystopian novel other than THG, and Delirium was one of her favs of 2011! I have a copy of Pandemonium (thank you Shannon O'Donnell!!) and I am going to be very purposeful about giving Lena and Alex another chance:
- no audiobook
- no reading any other dystopians at the same time
- no reading spoilers!
What do you think, book lovers? Did any of you not fall in love with Delirium? Do you think I'll change my mind about Lena and Alex with Pandemonium?
If you like romance or "dystopian light," you will probably really enjoy Lauren Oliver's Delirium.