Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Remember, They Cannot Take It

"But it does not tell you this: 
that love will turn the whole world 
into something greater than itself."
--Lauren Oliver, Delirium

Genre: YA Dystopian
Publisher: HarperTeen, 441 pages
Publication Date: February 1st, 2011
Source: Bought

Goodreads Description

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 government 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.

My Thoughts

...This is gonna be really hard...I'm gonna try to make this make sense and start at the beginning. So, this isn't the first time I've read Delirium. I won an ARC of Requiem (eeeeep!!!!!) from Epic Reads because I was the luckiest human alive that day and because of this I wanted to read the entire series, start to finish, all 3 books, and experience the entire story. I like to remember my original thoughts and feelings while re-reading. I looooove re-reading. AND I like to have all details of the story fresh in my mind before a new installment of the series comes out. ALSO, triple word score on this book, with re-reading that means I get to write a review. I read this before I started blogging so now I get to unleash all my inner thoughts of this amazing piece of work. So, here we go...

Like I said above this is going to be hard...I love this book. Love. Pun intended. I have a full blown case of amor deliria nervosa. Lock me away in the Crypts. I can't help it. It's there. Because of this, I feel like I won't be able to verbalize all my feelings that happened while reading but I'll try. So first off, the entire concept that love is a disease because it doesn't let you think clearly or rationally is so bloody brilliant and clever that I've read this book now twice, and I'm still slack-jawed in awe. It makes so much sense. I'm not saying I want the cure, but how Oliver describes it attributes as being a disease is nothing short of high-class creativity. Amazing.

Know what else is amazing? The characters. Lena is our main girl and she is on the straight and narrow. Her family has had previous run-ins with the regulators and all she wants is to fly under the radar, get cured, and not ever worry about getting sick. But that doesn't happen, does it? Not in the least. Lena falls in love. Her character is one of my hands down favorites in YA literature. She is so real and believable and genuine. She takes a lot of convincing to see the cracks in the way of life around her. Of all the YA dystopian female characters, Lena is the one I can see myself the most in. While in my head I would love to think of myself as badass and rebellious rebel without a cause that knows inherently how to kick major reality, I'm a lot like Lena. I respect authority. I follow the rules. I like to keep things in order. Do I have a thick head and stubborn streak and always speak my mind? Yes. But when it comes to a dystopian rebellion, I would need some encouragement to change the way I've been thinking for the past 2 and a half decades. I would be very similar to Lena in the respect. Her transformation in this novel is one of the best, if not the best, in all the books I've read. At the beginning she is awkward and unsure and completely against all resistance but by the end she is so strong. And confident. And wants to stand up for what she believes. Oh, it is just beautiful to see her grow so much in one book.

Alex. Where do I even begin with this one? The entire book the first time I read it ripped my soul a little because of how good it was. Second time around...wasn't any easier. Alex is just perfection. His character is so damn adorable. He's kind, caring, sweet, thoughtful and oh so honorable. He loves Lena and sees into who she is inside before she even knew. I found this piece of the story one of my favorites because that is what I think true love should do to you. Help you see the other person's strengths even before they themselves do. Alex and Lena do this for one another. The believe in each other. It is inspiring.

The writing of this novel is too good for words to capture. The emotional draw of her words makes you feel like you're jumping into the pages themselves. I felt surrounded by them. I fell down the rabbit hole without a doubt. My chest ached at certain points because the writing is so poignant and just plain beautiful. The fact that love is central theme of this book is amazing. I love a good dystopia and I found this one refreshing in respect that is dealt a lot on one emotion. Love is so prevalent and powerful; I could not get enough of this theme. The discussion of sacrifice, too, is a beautiful theme in this novel. So many people give up so much in order to fight and stand up for love. It truly is inspiring.

I don't say this about a lot of books, only a select few, but this book is characterized to me as a soul-ripper. So good. So powerful. So emotional that you can feel it inside you. Because of this, I feel like my soul tore a little because of how emotionally invested I was in this book. I had to keep updating my Goodreads and Twitter status because every time I found a good quote, I HAD to share it! So, if you want, I'm adding a few of my favorites down here. If you have not read this yet, please do so, you will not regret it. It is beyond amazing. :) On to Pandemonium!

Favorite Quotes

"You can build walls all the way to the sky and I will find a way to fly above them. You can try to pin me down with a hundred thousand arms, but I will find a way to resist. And there are many of us out there, more than you think. People who refuse to stop believing. People who refuse to come to earth. People who love in a world without walls, people who love into hate, into refusal, against hope, and without fear"

"It's amazing how words can do that, just shred your insides apart. Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me - such bullshit.” 

“No guy in his right mind would ever choose me when there are people like Hana in the world...So I'll be happy to receive my neat, printed sheet of 'Approved Matches.' It means I'll end up with somebody. It won't matter if nobody ever thinks I'm pretty (although sometimes I wish, just for a second, that somebody would).” 

“Sometimes I feel as though there are two me's, one coasting directly on top of the other: the superficial me, who nods when she's supposed to nod and says what she's supposed to say, and some other, deeper part, the part that worries and dreams... Most of the time they move along in sync and I hardly notice the split, but sometimes it feels as though I'm two whole different people and I could rip apart at any second.” 

"But it does not tell you this: that love will turn the whole world into something greater than itself.""

"Love, the deadliest of all deadly things: It kill you both when you have it and when you don't...Love: It will kill you and save you, both.""

"Most things, even the greatest movements on earth, have their beginnings in something small.""


  1. *sigh* I enjoyed this. :) Delirium is a book that I read too long ago.... and like you will need to re-read before I get my hands on Requiem!! Your review definitely took me back to a lot of the feelings I had while reading it. I miss those characters!! Oh Lena. Oh Alex. Oh that ending. OH MY HEART!!!

    1. I know right!! TOO many feelings! Alex...I die...would die...for him...swoon :)

  2. It's been a long time since I've read Delirium and your review makes me want to re-read it! I remember when I read it, I felt a lil frustrated with Lena at first. Like I wanted her to rebel right away. But I agree, the slow evolution of her character made much more sense. More real. I'd be the same way.. I tend to respect authority and I doubt I'd go against all the values I'd been brought up with. Like you said, her growth is beautiful. And it made her stolen moments with Alex even sweeter :) Great review!!

    1. Me too! Usually I want characters to see the flaws in their society and rebel immediately but Lena was so different. She is just so awesome and her evolution as a character is so beautiful and brilliant. Ugh, times a billion!

  3. I need to get on this band wagon! I've had Delirium on my shelf for months now and haven't picked it up. It's a crime punishable by death, right? Gah! I so need to read this, Kels! Your reviews always make me want to pick up the same book like....NOW.

    1. You are too amazingly nice! Thank you so much you literally always make me smile like a fool when I read your comments! :)

  4. Okay, I've finished the book and I'm back for a second. I loved it. You know that I listened on audiobook while I followed along in print, right? So I think that listening to the reader VOICE the emotions just made it more and better than just reading it alone. Plus she did a great job of portraying ALEX, who I am pretty hopelessly in bookish love with. WHAT A GREAT CHARACTER. I loved his cool, calm, collected self with his swagger. He was always one step ahead of Lena and always such a smooth talker. He basically changed Lena's entire life and legacy because he opened her up to the concept of love, which she feared before him, and that is pretty awesome.

    I thought there were a couple of things that were a little bit cliche, which happens in ALL dystopian books, but ultimately this was a real treat for me. After years of waiting, I felt like Delirium was well-worth the wait. The end was pretty GAHHHH but I feel so thrilled that I can pick up Pandemonium and restart the story whenever I'm ready instead of waiting an entire year for it.

    I'm also a little unnerved by the negative tweets I'm seeing about Requiem (don't say anything!) but I feel really disappointed that I've waited so long and am expecting something magical and everyone seems disappointed. I'M SCARED.

    But for now, I loved Delirium - you were right. I'll start Pandemonium soon. YAY!!! I have notes that I wrote down of the things I specifically loved, little quotes or details, but I don't have that beside me at the moment. When I finish Pandemonium, I'll find your review of it and come back. And I'll be back for comment blasting asap. But I wanted to stop on this Delirium review RIGHT NOW and say that I LOVED IT.


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