Tuesday, 31 July 2012
Book Review #15 - Delirium
Author: Laura Oliver
Publisher: Hodder and Stoughton 3Feb 2011
Length: 400 pages
There was a time when love was the most important thing in the world. People would go to the end of the earth to find it. They would tell lies for it. Even kill for it.
Then, at last, they found the cure.
Now, everything is different. Scientists are able to eradicate love, and the government demands that all citizens receive the cure upon turning eighteen. Lena Haloway 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 then, with only ninety-five days left until her treatment, Lena does the unthinkable.
Now this is as unthinkable as The Hunger Games! And a very nice page turner.
Living in such a world would be so bland, you'd kill yourself! But hang on, no, you wouldn't coz that means feeling hopelessness, something you don't experience anymore... It's difficult to imagine but the author transports you into that world and make you feel like it is the new world, it is the norm. You follow Lena whose feelings are still there (being uncured) and when you read, you feel exactly the same as her. Lena is a charming normal girl, very easy to understand and to recognise. I think the author was very good at describing her, her life, her emotions, her doubts, etc..
Love is a disease, any word of feeling is tabou and/or banned. Religion doesn't exist. Promiscuity between uncured (under 18yo) boys and girls is totally banned! Curfews are in place for uncured. Regulators are the new police and control uncured (easy to recognise because don't have the 3-pin scar on their neck).
Sympathisers (rebels) are emprisonned or killed. The cities, here Portland, are bordered by electric fences and no one leaves! The "outside" has been bombed (=purified) and is now called "the Wilds". People are rumoured to live there although officials deny it. They are called Invalids, because they are diseased.
The reader follows the story of Lena, whose father died when she was younger and whose mother killed herself after being infected by deliria and not recovering from father's death - and not being responsive to the cure! She lives with her aunt, took up on their names in order to live a life as normal as possible without being judged for her mother's disease! She's almost 18 and is looking forward to being cured!
Lena has one sister Rachel, but she got cured at 18.
When you are cured, you don't express feelings, you don't feel anything, so lena has no relationship with Rachel anymore.
After high school, you undergo an interview. Your examiners decide who to match you with once you have been cured and you've been graduated from Uni, and being attributed a job.
Yes because you are cured, you don't really care for anything so you are told what to study and what job you should be doing.
Lena has one best friend, Hana. Their procedure is very soon, they have their interviews to prepare, underworld parties to experience. Lena who has always been a model, is being dragged into this and that's where she meets Alex. And the unthinkable happens. Suddenly she realises that love is not a disease, that the officials and her family might have lied to them all their life!
Alex is a fake cured, an actual invalid/sympathiser, who opens her eyes on the reality of her world and most of all the beauty of love....
NOTE: There is a short story called Hana, it's Hana version on how she got involved with underground parties and what happened that night when the raid happened, and most of all, the end suggests something very shocking, although I had my suspicions....
Posted by Esmeralda Vermeulen