I’ve heard a lot about Lauren Oliver’s Delirium and I wanted to see for myself if it indeed was as good as everyone said it was. I had quite a clear picture of what the story was about and actually how the world looked. Turned out I was wrong, at least at the last part.

Delirium is the first out of three books about Lena Haloway, a seventeen, soon to be eighteen, year old girl living in Portland, United States of America. She is a normal, ordinary girl who just can’t wait until September third. Her eighteenth birthday and also the day she gets cured. Because up until that moment Lena has always been uncured, like everyone else who hasn’t had the procedure, and thus in danger of being infected. Infected with amor deliria nervosa. Love. In her world, love is a disease and the only cure for it is the procedure, which you will go through as soon as you’re eighteen. Lena can’t wait. She counts the days and has for so long. But in those last weeks before she lies down on the operating table, Lena slowly starts to realize that life as a cured might not be as perfect and wonderful as she’d hoped.

It is quite a strong book about how love is a disease, a very dangerous disease, and everyone who has it will get cure immediately. And if it doesn’t work, you’ll probably be sent away to the prison/mental institution to live out the rest of your life there. It was horrible to read the story and to see how the people in the book were so afraid of something that today is wonderful and beautiful. They treated it like a contagious, infecting disease that would kill them all if it wasn’t contained. But it wasn’t just that. With the cure they didn’t just get rid of feelings that would make them love, but also to feel pain and be happy. They got rid of everything to walk around the rest of their lives like some kind of robots. And that was truly terrifying.

Like I said, I had a picture of how the world looked like in the book even before I started reading it, but it turned out to be wrong. I imagined some kind of city far into the future with lots of metal and glass and concrete, but Portland is quite soft and sweet with its ocean smell and hot summer days. That somehow made everything worse. It was so real, so truthful, that it might as well happen today or tomorrow or the day after that. It was like two worlds collided, the softness of summer and everything happy and the coldness from the cure, the disease and the constant feeling of being watched. Surrounded. Locked in.

It definitely was a good book and it left me with a lot of thoughts and wonders, but I still feel like I was missing something. Like there was something that wasn’t there but that I wanted, that I longed for. I’m still not sure what it was. Maybe I just expected something slightly different, scenery wise, and couldn’t entirely let that go throughout the book. Maybe I just wanted something more out of the writing in itself. But despite that, it was good. Not so good that I’ve already decided that I want to read the second one, but it definitely wasn’t a waste of my time.