Happy Thursday, Fancy Oatmeal readers! It’s my favorite day of the week, and not just because tomorrow is Friday. I love a Thursday like I love a warm robe right out of the dryer to slip into after getting out of the shower. Or! Or! Or! A freshly baked Oatmeal Raisin cooking and an ice cold glass of milk. OHHH! Wait! Or! Or! That feeling that after you get done working out and you just step INTO the shower, and then AFTER you’re done, you get into that warm robe and eat a cookie! Yup! That’s how I love a Thursday.
Anyways, another reason why Thursdays are so darn good is because I get to share another novel that I am either currently reading or have just finished. Wednesday morning I finished Delirium by Lauren Oliver. Shock of all shocks, it’s yet another Young Adult, Dystopian novel. I suppose I am type-casting my personal library, but it’s better to know what you like and you’ll (hopefully) never be disappointed. Such was the case with Delirium.
Imagine how my inner teenie-bopper hopped up and down, clapping her hands enthusiastically when I read the first lines,
It has been sixty-four years since the president and the Consortium identified love as a disease, and forty-three since the scientists perfected a cure. Everyone else in my family has had the procedure already. My older sister, Rachel, has been disease free for nine years now. She’s been safe from love for so long, she says she can’t even remember its symptoms. I’m scheduled to have my procedure in exactly ninety-five days, on September 3. My birthday.
Many people are afraid of the procedure. Some people even resist. But I’m not afraid. I can’t wait. I would have it done tomorrow, if I could, but you have to be at least eighteen, sometimes a little older, before the scientists will cure you. Otherwise the procedure won’t work correctly: People end up with brain damage, partial paralysis, blindness, or worse.
Oliver, Lauren (2011-08-02). Delirium: The Special Edition (pp. 1-2). Harper Collins, Inc.. Kindle Edition.
Um, yea. Those first two paragraphs totally setup the remaining 392 pages for an intriguing journey through the struggle for the right to love. I love how Lauren Oliver created the parallel society whose reality says that love is something that can be remedied. Before the medication was provided to the citizens of America, people:
named other diseases—stress, heart disease, anxiety, depression, hypertension, insomnia, bipolar disorder—never realizing that these were, in fact, only symptoms that in the majority of cases could be traced back to the effects of amor deliria nervosa. Of course we aren’t yet totally free from the deliria in the United States. Until the procedure has been perfected, until it has been made safe for the under-eighteens, we will never be totally protected. It still moves around us with invisible, sweeping tentacles, choking us. I’ve seen countless uncureds dragged to their procedures, so racked and ravaged by love that they would rather tear their eyes out, or try to impale themselves on the barbed-wire fences outside of the laboratories, than be without it.
Oliver, Lauren (2011-08-02). Delirium: The Special Edition (p. 3). Harper Collins, Inc.. Kindle Edition.
The novel details the transition that Lena goes through when she realizes that feeling love does not mean that you’re contaminated and doomed for all eternity. At the beginning of her story, Lena cannot wait for her procedure that will rob her of her ability to care, to genuinely feel, and have a zest for life. She knows that others have been tempted and fallen victim; her own mother was victim of love, drowning herself when she would be denied of it. Losing your mother in such a way would make any young person want to avoid the downfalls of love. And then Alex happened, and all women know what happens to best laid plans when the man of your dreams waltzes into your life.
Pros of this Novel:
*Strong-minded protagonist. This may sound like another love-struck YA book, but it’s not. Lena makes choices when faced with facts AND desires. She allows herself the opportunity to learn about things she’s unsure of, and faces the ultimate test of her will when she learns the fate of her mother.
*Strong Dystopian element. I’ve blogged in the past about what makes a novel dystopian, and Lauren Oliver spends great care in creating an authentic and comprehensive society. The premise of love being a contaminant is not a total reach of possibility, and yet there is no hesitation to believe that this place exists.
*Believable characters. There are static and dynamic characters throughout this story, and there was never a moment when I felt that someone was a “token _______.”
*Emotionally involves the reader. There is a part of the story where Lena leaves her home, after a raid by the authorities to investigate any suspicious behaviors or “sympathizers.” As she passes her neighbors’ home, she hears their dog whimpering by the garbage. It had been attacked, viscously attacked by the regulators.
I take a few shaky steps toward him. I need only one glance to know that he’s dying. He’s completely coated with a sticky, shiny, black substance—blood, I realize as I get closer. That’s the reason I mistook his fur, in the dark, for the slick black surface of a plastic bag. One of his eyes is pressed to the pavement; the other is open. His head has been clubbed in. Blood is flowing freely from his nose, black and viscous. I think of the voice I heard—Probably has fleas, anyway, the regulator said—and the swift thudding sound that followed. Riley is staring at me with a look so mournful and accusatory I swear for a second it’s like he’s a human and he’s trying to tell me something—trying to say, You did this to me.
Oliver, Lauren (2011-08-02). Delirium: The Special Edition (p. 186). Harper Collins, Inc.. Kindle Edition.
I would give this book 5 out of 5 book marks.