by Lauren Oliver
In the United States of the future, our government has found that love—not hate, not intolerance or violence, not money—no, love, a.k.a amor deliria nervosa, is the cause of all evil. Without love there is no war, no suffering, no grieving, no longing or pain. How many of us have loved another and felt the glorious torture of rejection, or of that intense need for another fulfilled, or the sting of love lost to another person, some circumstance, or even lost to death? If only there existed a cure to prevent such tragedy from being a part of life. Fortunately, for Lena and the citizens of the future, the cure for love has been found; however, Lena must wait to safely receive the cure until she turns eighteen, just like everyone else.
Lena’s character, tender, naive, flawed, and real, brings home the desire of most teens to be happy and to "fit in." Lena looks forward to the day when she will receive the cure and not have to worry about being an "invalid" like her mother who was driven to suicide by the deliria. Then, mere months before her procedure, she meets a cured who seems different from the other cureds she has known. Alex—funny, sincere, interesting, and harmless because he is cured—captures her interest. As Lena learns more about him, and her cure date looms closer, she realizes that her understanding of the system and the world that she lives in is far from accurate. Her future, once settled and safe, now looms uncertainly before her.
One of the most unique works of science fiction today, Delirium feels frighteningly real. Readers will marvel at the simple, yet heretofore unrevealed, idea that love—a concept human beings have previously embraced as one of the great joys of life—love is the cause of all that is wrong on the planet.