Lauren Oliver’s second novel, Delirium tells the tale of a world where love is illegal. Yes, that’s right – the emotion of love is illegal.
Its actually not a bad idea, and the novel starts brightly enough, introducing Lena the 17 year-old main protagonist, and her corner of the world in Portland, USA.
This novel borrows very heavily I feel from Children of Men (P.D James’ book, not the film), and Logan’s Run (the film, not the book). It copies the notion of a time-limit on a person’s freedom from Logan’s Run, whereby upon turning 18 years of age, you get de-loved, so to speak. To cut a too long story short, Lena rails against this dystopian society, and to be quite honest you could probably guess the rest of the story from here!
It is utterly predictable, boring, juvenile, unimaginative and laborious. Its the kind of book you can skip whole pages of without losing any meaning or details. Children of Men (the book) creates a totally believable dystopia, with gloomy backdrops and wicked motives, whereas Delirium smells of bubble gum. There are plenty of scenarios where the author obviously doesn’t have a clear mental picture of what is going on, as some descriptions just smack of very limited imagination, or half-formed thoughts.
This would be a good book for children I think, for 10 year-olds maybe, as how anyone older could find the endless juvenile predictability interesting is beyond me.
Oh, and one other small flaw – the society and world she describes are completely unbelievable. So bad in fact, I honest to God laughed-out-loud at some “serious” plot parts. It tries to be Children of Men, Logan’s Run, and of course 1984, but cannot hold a flickering match, let alone a candle, to any of those.
Maybe this was like the awfully disappointing Hannibal Rising, in that it was written solely with the object of having it made into a film?