Monday, November 29, 2010

Review - Delirium by Lauren Oliver

By: Lauren Oliver
Published by: Harper-Collins
Release Date: February 1st, 2011
Definition of Delirium: a common and severe neuropsychiatric syndrom with core features of acute onset and fluctuating course, attentional deficits and generalized severe disorganization of behavior. It typically involves other cognitive deficits, changes in arousal, perceptual deficits, altered sleep-wake cycle, and psychotic features such as hallucinations and delusions.

We must be constantly on guard against the Disease; the health of our nation, our people, our families, and our minds depends on constant vigilance 

--"Basic Health Measures," The Safety, Health, and Happiness Handbook, 12th edition.

The book of Shhh is one of the books that Lena Haloway and the rest of the citizens in the United States live by. The United States they live in is not like the United States we live in today. It's run by the president and the Consortium,and everyone is in fear of the disease called, amor deliria nervosa (better known to us as love). They perfected a cure for this disease and when you turn eighteen you get the procedure that cures you. You get evaluated, rated and then paired up with someone for the rest of your life. You have kids, grow old and you are happy, safe and protected the rest of your life. 

That doesn't sound too bad does it? Lena doesn't think so either. "After the procedure I will be happy and safe forever. That's what everybody says, the scientists and my sister and Aunt Carol. I will have the procedure and then I'll be paried with a boy the evaluators choose for me.....Safe, and free from pain." Lena is seventeen years old and has been counting down the days to her evaluation since her mother died. 

Everything is going beautifully with Lena until the day of her evaulation, and then things start to change.
"It's so strange how life works: You want something and you wait and wait and feel like it's taking forever to come. Then it happens and it's over and all you want to do is curl back up in that moment before things changed."

During her evaluation, she starts to drift from the script that her and her aunt have been practicing her entire life..but thankfully something happens that distracts the evaluators and she gets a second chance. She doesn't understand why she drifted from the script. "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..."
After this incident it scares her more, and she cannot wait for her procedure to happen. "After the procedure, she said, it would be all coasting, all glide, every day as easy as one, two, three."

I absolutely love the world that the author has created, and the society she has built. When I first read the description and it said that love was a disease, I laughed. I mean, love causes so many problems in society, that it makes sense that you would try and find a cure for it! I couldn't stop reading this book once I picked it up. Lauren Oliver has a way of describing things, and making them all flow together. Lena and Hana go running all the time and Lena describes running, "When you run you sometimes do weird things. Because of the endorphins and stuff. It's kind of like a drug, you know? Messed with your brain." and I love the way that she describes it. It makes me think about love, and how that messes with your brain as well. 
The more and more the reader dig into this book, the more Lena realizes how much the society she lives in is filled with lies. I couldn't stop living this book when I first started reading it. I would think about it all the time. Relate it to my everyday life, thinking about how it would be if society actually was like this. If all our problems would be solved if we didn't have love. 

But at the end of the book you're left with a sense of longing to fall in love and left with a major cliffhanger. I hope there's a second one coming out because I cannot wait to read more about Lena's life! I recommend this book highly to anyone who needs to read a great book!

About the Author:
I come from a family of writers and so have always (mistakenly) believed that spending hours in front of the computer every day, mulling over the difference between “chortling” and “chuckling,” is normal. I’ve always been an avid reader. As a child, after finishing a book, I would continue to write a sequel for its characters, because I did not want to have to give them up. Somehow, this did not get me ridiculed (too badly) at school, and I managed to make real friends as well as imaginary ones.

I continued writing, eventually making the switch to my own stories and characters (with varying degrees of success). I also took ballet, drew things, painted things, made collages, sang, acted, experimented with cooking (um, burning) gourmet meals, and in general tried to spend my time being as creative and useless as possible. It worked. I made it through high school and college at the University of Chicago, where I continued to be as impractical as possible by majoring in philosophy and literature. I was inadvertently aided and abetted in my mission by my older sister, Lizzie, who pursued a Ph.D. in philosophy and cognitive science. This eventually lead our parents to resign themselves to the fact that their children would never be lawyers, doctors, or even gainfully employed.

After college, I attended the MFA program at NYU and worked briefly as the world’s worst editorial assistant, and only marginally better assistant editor, at a major publishing house in New York. My major career contributions during this time were flouting the corporate dress code at every possible turn and repeatedly breaking the printer. Before I Fall is my first published novel. I am deeply grateful for the chance to continue writing, as I have never been particularly good at anything else.

I live in Brooklyn, the happiest place on earth, although I spend a lot of time traveling, especially to warmer climes. I (still) love to cook, am slightly obsessive about my kitchen, drink way too much coffee and eat far too much ketchup, even on things like toast and tomatoes.

I spend a lot of time on trains, airplanes, subways, and buses, and write constantly—in notebooks, on napkins, using her phone. I have ten tattoos (and counting—sorry, mom), a wonderful family, and the world’s best best friends, many of whom I have known for ten years or longer. 
(taken from the authors website)

More From the Author:
click on the cover to read the prologue!

Book Description from Amazon:
Ninety-five days, and then I'll be safe. I wonder whether the procedure will hurt. I want to get it over with. It's hard to be patient. It's hard not to be afraid while I'm still uncured, though so far the deliria hasn't touched me yet. Still, I worry. They say that in the old days, love drove people to madness. The deadliest of all deadly things: It kills you both when you have it and when you don't.
Lauren Oliver astonished readers with her stunning debut, Before I Fall. In a starred review, Publishers Weekly called it "raw, emotional, and, at times, beautiful. An end as brave as it is heartbreaking." Her much-awaited second novel fulfills her promise as an exceptionally talented and versatile writer.

Book Trailer:
There isn't a book trailer, but here is an interview where she talks about the book. Check that out! :D

Other Reviews:

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