Review: Delirium by Lauren Oliver

Review: Delirium by Lauren OliverDelirium by Lauren Oliver
Series: Delirium #1
Published by HarperTeen, Hodder & Stoughton
Pages: 411
Genres: Dystopian YA, Young Adult
Source: Received for review from publishers
Add to Goodreads
Rating:

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 governments 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.

Thoughts: I read a number of reviews for Delirium before writing mine, and was surprised by the diverse reaction. There are a ton of glowing reviews out there, a few “I don’t get the fuss” reviews, and a some “this is just a bad book” reviews. And each and every review I’ve read – across the spectrum – I have agreed with. There are some themes are raised by the book that some people hated and others loved – it’s just a matter of taste. You know when you really enjoyed a book when the negative reviews don’t change your mind.

While I really enjoyed the plot and the characters and all of the over-arching themes explored in Delirium – it is Lauren’s writing that makes this book a keeper.  Lauren just has such a soft, elegant style to her writing. She molds and shapes her words and sentences with stellar technique. The way she writes reminds me of Maggie Stiefvater: she writes lyrical books that make you want to draw hearts around paragraphs while you’re reading.  Lauren understands love – not just romantic love, but family love – and her descriptions of the emotion are simply stunning.  This book made me re-examine the relationship I was in at the time, reminding me to appreciate love – and the delirium that accompanies it.

Even though I wasn’t over-the-moon-in-love with all of the characters, I enjoyed their part in the story.  I went in expecting to read a straightforward forbidden romance, but what I ended up with was, well, something else altogether.  Delirium was romantic, but it was also so much more than that.  It was a book about the bonds we share with family, friends and even our pets.  Stunning stuff. Not to mention, it has a few pretty fantastic twists that I never saw coming.

Bottom line?  Go out and get yourselves a copy right now – especially if you are a fan of Linger or Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater.  Delirium is a lovely, elegant novel that I’d recommend to even the most hesitant of readers.  And don’t be put off by the doom-and-gloom you’re rightly expecting – it’s totally worth it.

Review: Immortal Beloved by Cate Tiernan

Review: Immortal Beloved by Cate TiernanImmortal Beloved by Cate Tiernan
Series: Immortal Beloved #1
Published by Hodder & Stoughton, Poppy
Pages: 400
Genres: Paranormal YA, Young Adult
Source: Received for review from publishers
Add to Goodreads
Rating:
Also in this series: Darkness Falls

Nastasya has spent the last century living as a spoiled, drugged-out party girl. She feels nothing and cares for no one. But when she witnesses her best friend, a Dark Immortal, torture a human, she realizes something's got to change. She seeks refuge at a rehab for wayward immortals, where she meets the gorgeous, undeniably sexy Reyn, who seems inexplicably linked to her past.

Nastasya finally begins to deal with life, and even feels safe--until the night she learns that someone wants her dead.

Thoughts: Immortal Beloved is a difficult book to describe. In a way, it felt like adult fiction. The main character is 400+ years old, so needless to say, she’s a grown-up. And the trauma she’s been through over those past 400 years? Not teenage stuff.

At its heart, Tiernan has written a book about a woman in rehab.  I absolutely loved the main character, Nastasya.  She has had an extraordinary, painful life and watching her deal with that was just stunning.  Nas is tough and self-confident, but is also uncertain about what her ultimate purpose in life is.  She has spent 400 years suppressing all emotion and she finally needs to just deal with it – and with the clever help of flashbacks, we get to go through it with her. I loved watching her transformation, and I actually really related to it.  But plot-wise, Immortal Beloved was a let down.

This is one of those extremely rare books where I loved the main character, but was let down by everything else.  Sure there was a over-arching mystical theme, a few supposedly-sinister characters – but both seemed to be thrown in last minute.  The real drama was Nas dealing with her memories – including an unbelievable-yet-immediate threat on her life was just an unwelcome distraction from the real substance.  I also really disliked Nas’s love interest.  They had every reason to want to kill each other, and yet some sort of magical attraction conquered all.  Right.  Sure.  *stabs*  If he dropped dead for the next book, I would not mind at all.

As for the next book in the series… I do look forward to seeing more of Incy, who I found rather adorable in an evil, dark and twisty sort of way.  Is that wrong?  Perhaps.

Bottom line?  I’m not sure how much a teen reader would get out of this book, as some of the themes are rather adult.  But if you are looking for a main character to love, look no further.  Just don’t go in expecting a paranormal romance or an action flick – this book is neither.

Page 2 of 212