Pages: 480 (Hardback)
Series: Delirium, #1
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.
In one corner we have Cuddlebuggery’s own Grand Madam Queen Mistress of the Universe, Kat Kennedy! And in the other corner we have first time guest to Cuddlebuggery, hailing from Wake Up at Seven, Princess of Darkness, Isabelle Doan!
I expect a nice and dirty fight, ladies. Hold no punches and take no prisoners!
Kat Kennedy: This Kat Kennedy here with Isabelle Doan from Wake Up at Seven Blog and we’ll be discussing Delirium by Lauren Oliver today – or more importantly, why I thought Delirium was seriously flawed and why Izzy is WRONG. Or, you know, on the opposite side of that argument…
Isabelle Doan: I may be the underdog here, Kat, but Delirium was probably one of my favorite reads of 2012 so far.
Kat Kennedy: I honestly can’t see why but I am at least willing to pretend to listen to your argument. As far as Dystopians go – it would scarcely be rated among the best of them.
Isabelle Doan: If you’re willing to pretend then I’ll join your imaginary playhouse. And to be honest, I can see why this wouldn’t be a great dystopian but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t a great novel.
Kat Kennedy: I’m not wailing on Lauren Oliver – I have a lot of respect for her as an author but the world building was really weak and inconsistent for me. And since it is very firmly a dystopian – I felt that was a let down. Also – my imaginary playhouse is awesome.
Isabelle Doan: I’ll agree to that, Kat. As I said in my review, these people still have ibuprofen when they have a freaking cure for love. However, the characters really helped to bring us into this inconsistent world, AS YOU SO CALL IT.
And your playhouse is a cardboard box.
Kat Kennedy: MY PLAYHOUSE HAS ALCOHOL!
Isabelle Doan: Well if it has manly alcohol, I’ll retract my statement.
Kat Kennedy: And that’s all that matters. Look, the characters were okay. I felt the main protagonist was nicely fleshed out but they’re not really enough for me to patch up the shaky world building. Alex is very flimsy in his characterization.
Isabelle Doan: Alex is maybe flimsy, but I feel that he has something good that will happen to him in Pandemonium. As you can see, he’s not revealing all of his secrets- yet. Perhaps Lauren Oliver is setting us up for an amazing second novel. He’s a tortured character, and that’s good.
Kat Kennedy: Oliver has writing chops – there is no doubt. But I don’t think setting up for a second novel really excuses an awkward first one. I will grant that he is a bit deeper than many male protagonists. And I DID enjoy Lena though I felt her backstory was a bit of a copout on Oliver’s part.
Isabelle Doan: What part of it did you think was awkward, Miss Kat?
Kat Kennedy: Well, like I said, the world building was inconsistent, I didn’t think Alex was very well characterized and I think Oliver bit off more than she could chew in regards to the philosophical aspect of a society without love. For me, it made for a vaguely unfulfilling, frustrating reading experience.
Isabelle Doan: Vaguely unfulfilling? This isn’t a Twinkie, Kat! (Although I could go for one right now.) And the philosophical part is interesting. No love doesn’t mean people are selfish, if that’s what you mean.
Kat Kennedy: No, I mean in the nurturing department and people not by psychopaths. But that’s kind of a lot to get into. What did you think about the writing? Did the language and the technique do it for you?
Isabelle Doan: Well, I think Lauren Oliver is awesome with a pen, although the similes were too frequent, so it felt like I was just reading words on a page sometimes. If you ever get that feeling. And sometimes they were awkward.
Kat Kennedy: I get the feeling that I’m reading words on a page a lot. Like, all the time. Like, every time I crack open a book, BAM! Words on a page. Disgraceful….
Yeah, I generally have to agree – but I’m not going to complain much – she’s pretty proficient and she has a smooth style.
Isabelle Doan: You have killed my pride. Prepare to die.
Kat Kennedy: In a knife fight?
Isabelle Doan: I was thinking more gouging your eyes out with rusty spoons, but that works too.
Kat Kennedy: You should have those violent tendencies checked out. Maybe your weren’t cuddled enough as a child.
WHICH BRINGS ME TO MY BIGGEST GRIPE!
I just don’t think Oliver realistically explored this concept of a loveless society.
Isabelle Doan: The teenagers and children care for each other, though. As you can see, Lena cared for her little niece Gracie. So it’s not as if the children are completely devoid of love.
Kat Kennedy: Yeah, but that’s the thing – we have no real basis to fall on because Lena was raised by a nurturing, loving mother. And her entire family is filled with sympathizers.
What about a child that experiences no love? Anywhere. From anyone?
Because children don’t necessarily make good primary caregivers and solid attachments for other children.
Isabelle Doan: If I’m not mistaken, Hana was one of those children. Which is why she’s such a maverick when it comes to see what’s on the other side. Literally, and figuratively.
Kat Kennedy: But that’s the thing – she’s completely normal. I wonder if Oliver truly understand attachment or not. I don’t know if she has kids.
But there wasn’t any exploration of the psychological effects of that kind of childhood.
And I don’t buy that “normal” is the status quo.
Isabelle Doan: Okay, so maybe normal isn’t the status quo. But maybe the effects of “not being cuddled enough” are?
Kat Kennedy: Well, I don’t know. On a scale of 1-10 how psychopathic are you?
Isabelle Doan: Well if one is, trips people on the street and ten is being like one of those zombie cannibals on bath salts – I would have to say 4.
Kat Kennedy: You threatened to cut my eyes out with a rusty spoon! A five at least.
Isabelle Doan: I won’t go higher than six. Six is creating 27 accounts on goodreads to harass other authors and promote my book.
Kat Kennedy: Oh my goodness. You just went there.
Okay, I think this wraps up that discussion! I will be reading Pandemonium though to see if you’re right about it!
If not, I’m coming back to get you!
Isabelle Doan: Yes ma’am. But not if the zombie cannibals get you first.
Kat Kennedy: Damn those zombie cannibals!
What did you think? Who’s right and who’s wrong?
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