Sometimes, we read a series, and it sticks with us. One of those series for me was Lauren Oliver's dystopic trilogy, Delirium. Below, you'll find my reviews for all three novels.
Author: Lauren Oliver
Publication Date: August 2, 2011
Originally Published: February 3, 2011
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.
When I first read Delirium, I was about a year out of my YA class in college. That class was really my only experience with YA except for what I had to read in high school, and that was very, very littel. I felt like an oddball because I was the only one who would have rather read books targeted for adults as a child. That class changed my life, and I started reading more YA. Lauren's stunning book, Before I Fall made me read want to read this series, and I am so glad that I made that decision.
So what would you do if love were considered a disease? If you really think about it, it's a stunning question, and Lauren Oliver has built a whole society based on this one statement. In Lena's world, love is considered a disease, and residents must be cured of it before they can fall in love. As with any take on a utopic society, people disagree, and thus we get to the stunning plot and Lena's journey.
When I first finished this book, I literally sat on my bed and said, "What the heck did I just read?" I knew that this was something more than just a dystopic novel. It was a story of forbidden love. Obviously, I loved the book, and I immediately hopped on Amazon to order Pandemonium. I needed more, and I wanted to learn more about this society that Lauren created.
The book itself is magnificent. It is heartbreaking, beautiful, and tragic. There is loss of family, loss of friendship, loss of familiarity, and loss of love. And with most dystopic trilogies, there is a cliffhanger, but it leaves you wanting so much more.
I fell in love with this book. Oliver's writing is exquisite, and she really establishes that this is a different kind of society, even though some of it seems familiar to the world we live in today. After reading this book, I consider myself a hardcore Lauren Oliver fangirl, and I am sure to read anything that she writes.
Author: Lauren Oliver
Publication Date: February 28, 2012
I’m pushing aside the memory of my nightmare, pushing aside thoughts of Alex, pushing aside thoughts of Hana and my old school, push, push, push, like Raven taught me to do. The old life is dead. But the old Lena is dead too. I buried her. I left her beyond a fence,behind a wall of smoke and flame.
Lauren Oliver delivers an electrifying follow-up to her acclaimed New York Times bestseller, Delirium. This riveting, brilliant novel crackles with the fire of fierce defiance, forbidden romance, and the sparks of a revolution about to ignite.
While not as exciting as the first book in the Delirium series, Pandemonium is certainly exciting and new.
Lena is now a new Lena, and joins the resistance. The plot seems a bit similar to The Hunger Games because of this, but it is dystopian, so I expected something very similar to other novels in this genre. We all know that a perfect society is never really perfect. Of course people are in opposition to the system.
There are new characters in this novel, but there are also flashbacks to Lena's old life. Raven, Lena's new leader doesn't think the Invalids should think about what happened in their lives before leaving and living in the Wilds. As Lena moves on from losing Alex, she discovers just how strong she is, and starts to figure out new things. But the ending leaves her with new questions. Where is her mother now that she's seen her? Does she still feel like she belongs with Raven? And what will Alex think?
I loved how Lena realizes that she needs to fight. It's not just a matter of survival in the Wilds; she needs to fight to move on. She has to fight to get up every day after losing someone so dear to her, so it really shows readers how strong she is and how strong she will be. I loved this about her because I was able to see the changes in her, especially from where she was at the beginning of the first novel. She's a new girl, and she's not afraid to let people know.
Oliver's writing is very strong in this novel. It kept me reading, and that is a quality that I admire in a book. I love how she takes the time to describe Lena's new surroundings and the events that come about because of her new life in the Wilds.
Author: Lauren Oliver
Publication Date: March 5, 2013
Now an active member of the resistance, Lena has transformed. The nascent rebellion that was underway in Pandemonium has ignited into an all-out revolution in Requiem, and Lena is at the center of the fight. After rescuing Julian from a death sentence, Lena and her friends fled to the Wilds. But the Wilds are no longer a safe haven. Pockets of rebellion have opened throughout the country, and the government cannot deny the existence of Invalids. Regulators infiltrate the borderlands to stamp out the rebels.
As Lena navigates the increasingly dangerous terrain of the Wilds, her best friend, Hana, lives a safe, loveless life in Portland as the fiancée of the young mayor. Requiem is told from both Lena and Hana's points of view. They live side by side in a world that divides them until, at last, their stories converge.
After reading the previous two books in the trilogy, I wanted more. I was slightly disappointed. I really did expect more from this book. I got one answer that I wanted, but Requiem leaves readers with many answered questions. We can always guess what happens. Readers can come up with their own ending to a story, but something about this book felt unfinished.
I appreciate how Oliver reveals more about characters throughout the book. I feel like I was able to get to know the characters on a more personal level, but something is still missing.
I love how she alternates chapters between Lena and Hana's points of view, but there is really no final reconciliation for their friendship or lack of it for me. I love how Hana lets Lena go, but with how much we learn about Hana in this book, I was really hoping that she would have followed Lena into the battle and into the wilds, especially after what we see her character do.
I guess I was left just wanting a little something more. As far as I know, Oliver has not changed her mind that she is leaving the world of Delirium behind, so it is very unlikely that frustrated readers will ever see these characters again.
But what it all comes down to it, Requiem does deliver. Lena, her mother, Alex, Julian, and the others plot to overthrow the system of government, and they really do start the rebellion. I can only hope that they did something good.
I still have not seen the pilot on Hulu (my cable provider does not allow access to it), but I have heard great things about it. It's a shame we may never get to see this story come to life.