Thursday, October 20, 2011

Bookshelf: Lauren Oliver (Part Deux)



****

I became an instant Lauren Oliver fan when I read "Before I Fall". And once again I am girl-crushing. She almost made me miss my stop on the T this morning, I was so engrossed. "Delirium" is Oliver's second novel, set in the future where at the age of eighteen you basically are lobotomized and the ability to have emotions is removed from your brain. The thinking is, without love (and therefore hate) there will be no war, no crime, and everyone will be "happy". Our narrator, Lena, is a few months from her scheduled surgery when we meet her in Portland. It's a very different Portland from the one I know, where electric fences surround the city keeping everyone "safe". But really they are keeping the "invalids" out (the people who managed to escape the city without having the procedure).
Lena is rightly nervous but also looking forward to the procedure. She was orphaned at a young age when her father died of cancer and her mother "became infected" (how they all refer to being in love). Lena doesn't want to be like her mother, she wants to be happy and safe like the government says she will be after. But then Lena meets a boy and everything she thought she knew about the world and herself changes. And suddenly the procedure looms darkly in her future.
Oliver's writing is flawless, as usual. As with "Before I Fall", "Delirium" is a page turner (obviously, since I almost was late for work this morning). She flows seamlessly from dialogue to inner thoughts and back without a hitch. It's what I loved most about "Before I Fall", actually, the way the entire story seemed like one gigantic thought.
While I wasn't real happy with the ending (I had already imagined something else happening), it worked perfectly with the underlying threads. I won't give anything away though. I hope Oliver has another book scheduled to come out in 2012 because I just love her writing style. Both "Delirium" and "Before I Fall" have been optioned as movies so I can't wait to see how they turn out. If you want to check out Oliver's website click here.
Happy Reading!
~Stephanie
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