Tag Archives: delirium

Book reviews – Delirium, Pandemonium and Requiem by Lauren Oliver

Delirium 

Delirium coverI just re-read this book to refresh my memory now that the third in the series has come out, and I think I enjoyed this one even more the second time round. Lena is an exceptional main character. Her transformation throughout the book is executed brilliantly. Oliver has real skill in this area – Before I Fall‘s main character changes so much throughout the story, and Oliver shows that brilliance wasn’t a fluke by repeating it here in Delirium, with an entirely different character and plot. In less adept hands, many of Lena’s decisions would seem unrealistic, especially given her rule-follower personality, but Oliver provides rationalisations that make Lena’s choices totally believable.

The main male character, Alex, would melt any girl’s heart. Poor Lena didn’t stand a chance. He may even be slightly too perfect to be realistic, but I can’t say that bothered me when reading.

The world building of this dystopian society is also enthralling. We learn about the world through Lena’s eyes, who completely believes that love is a disease and can’t wait to be cured – at least in the beginning. As the story unfolds and her entire belief system is challenged, some thought-provoking concepts are raised, such as: what is more dangerous, anger or apathy? What is more important, love or duty? An added touch that I really liked was excerpts from the rewritten bible, for example:

The devil stole into the Garden of Eden. He carried with him the disease – amor delirium nervosa – in the form of a seed. It grew and flowered into a magnificent apple tree, which bore apples as bright as blood.

I only had two qualms with this story, one close to the beginning and one close to the end. [Spoiler removed. To read, see my review on Goodreads.]

Despite these two issues, I still loved the story overall, which is why I give it 4.5 stars. The ending left me stunned and breathless (both times I read it!), and I had to get my hands on Pandemonium to find out what happened for Lena next.

Favourite quotes:

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 and says ‘Grey.’ Most of the time they move along in sync and I hardly notice the split, but sometimes it feels as though I’m two whole different people and I could rip apart at any second.

In that second it really hits me how deep and complex the lies are, how they run through Portland like sewers, backing up into everything, filling the city with stench: the whole city built and constructed within a perimeter of lies.

They say the cure is about happiness, but I understand now that it isn’t, and it never was. It’s about fear: fear of pain, fear of hurt, fear, fear, fear – a blind animal existence, bumping between walls, shuffling between ever-narrowing hallways, terrified and dull and stupid. … life isn’t life if you just float through it. I know that the whole point – the only point – is to find the things that matter, and hold on to them, and refuse to let them go.

Pandemonium

Pandemonium cover*NOTE: This review contains spoilers of the first book in the series. Any spoilers for THIS book have been removed. If you’d like to read the spoilers, go to my review on Goodreads.*

I enjoyed Pandemonium but not as much as Delirium, possibly because there was no Alex. I missed Alex greatly.

I thought Lauren Oliver did a brilliant job of extending Lena’s character arc, showing us how life in the Wilds – not to mention Alex’s death – hardened and changed her. If you compare Lena at the start of Delirium to Lena at the end of Pandemonium, you’ll see plenty of changes, which all develop organically throughout the two books. I hope this growth continues in Requiem.

Now onto Julian, the youth leader of Deliria-Free America. I really liked Julian and how he changed throughout the story but I never quite bought his and Lena’s love story. Actually, it’s not that I didn’t buy it, it’s that I didn’t want to buy it.. [spoiler removed]

The best parts of this book, for me, were when Julian shared his experiences about the forbidden study (All You Need is Love) and his brother’s rebellion. I also thought Oliver made some interesting statements about the place of the disfigured in a ‘perfect’ society. I’m hoping to see Coin and co. play a part in bringing down the establishment in Requiem – which I’m off to start reading straight away now that it’s been released!

Requiem

Requiem cover*NOTE:  This review contains spoilers of the first two books in the series. Any spoilers for THIS book have been removed. If you’d like to read the spoilers, go to my review on Goodreads.*

I just finished this novel, and I feel… disappointed. I wanted more. The whole way through, the story  didn’t grab me as much as the first two in the series. The emotion rarely jumped off the page and into my heart. Perhaps my expectations were too high.

Don’t get me wrong, I did like it. But I expected to love it and I didn’t. To me, the story just didn’t feel finished. I would have liked to see Lena have some stillness, some time to reflect and move on from the survival mode she was in for most of this book and Pandemonium.

There was so much grief and fight and grind, and not enough pay off. Interestingly, I felt the same way about The Hunger Games conclusion. Perhaps I do expect too much.

I’ll be interested to read other reviews and see if others have felt the same way or whether I’m just being a grouch!

How about you?

Have you read the Delirium series? If so, did you feel the same way I did about the ending?

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Four books I can’t wait to read (by Charity Bradford, Su Williams, Rachel Morgan & Lauren Oliver)

I thought I’d get a lot more reading done on maternity leave than what I am. I guess I assumed I’d have a baby that would sleep longer than 20-40 minutes at a time during the day! Little Mackenzie definitely keeps me busy, that’s for sure. Here’s a recent photo of my little dictator. 😉

12 weeks old

Mackenzie, 12 weeks old

There are a heap of books that I’m looking forward to reading, but these four are at the top of the list.

The Magic Wakes by Charity Bradford 

16052411Since childhood, scientist Talia Zaryn has been haunted by recurring dreams, visions of an alien attack on her planet Sendek. Each time it ends abruptly with Talia’s death in the capital city Joharadin, a city that she has spent her life desperately avoiding. Talia keeps these dreams a secret, hoping they are nothing more than childish nightmares. But when she is unexpectedly transferred to Joharadin she is convinced that the conflict, and her own death, is at hand.

As Talia’s nightmares occur with increasing frequency, they reveal the imminent invasion of a half-dragon, half-human race called Dragumon, bent on the annihilation of her world.

In Sendek, magic is dead and science rules, forcing Talia to keep another secret, one that could cost her everything if it were known. Now, in order to save her planet, Talia must awaken the powers within her and rely at last on the magic that is her true inheritance.

Those of you who know my reading tastes well would know this book isn’t my usual cup of tea. I usually steer clear of fantasies set on other planets, especially those than involve dragons. But I’ve read so much about ‘the making of’ this book (on the author’s blog) and I think it’s going to be the exception. Who knows, maybe it will even open the door to a newfound love of fantasy? Time will tell!

Dream Weaver by Su Williams

17205213Dream Weaver is a novel of mind benders and breakers. Are your memories your own?

I wasn’t asking for a past. Not even a future. Just a few less painful memories to make surviving the present a bit more bearable.

Seventeen year old Emari Sweet has a world of choices before her. Her parents are real estate investors that dote on their beloved daughter. Her only true worries are bullying cheerleaders and cookie cutter kids that harass her for her dark and different, emo ways and the cryptic messages in her music. So when her parents are killed in a car crash, Emari’s whole world implodes around her. Night terrors stalk her sleep and haunt her through each day. And only the dream of a dark-eyed stranger can draw out the poison of the chimera.

Just as she’s recovering from the toxic dreams, treading water to stay afloat, the violent nudge of a predator reawakens the terrors. He promises her two things; pain and fear. And on a snowy December night he makes good on his promises. Emari plunges head first into her personal hell and begins to feel there is no choice left to her but death–if only to escape the torture of grief.
As the nightmares once again shred her life, Emari’s dark-eyed angel returns. With the touch of his hand, he chases away her dreams and weaves magic that quiets the roiling terror within her.

But is this a real angel or something more sinister? Is he simply a figment of her distorted imagination? How does he capture her nightmares and soothe her aching heart? Why does he whisper a single word, ‘forget’, and evanesce into the cool grey mist of morning? And how is he entering her home that’s protected by a state-of-the-art alarm system?

This book sounds full on. Dark, mysterious, and – hopefully – gripping. The possibility of your memories not being your own – that’s what grabs me most about this book. Plus, the author has been a loyal follower of my blog for a while now and I’m really happy to see her taking the self publishing plunge!

The Faerie Prince (Creepy Hollow 2) by Rachel Morgan

[Warning: the blurb below contains minor spoilers of the first book in the series.]

THE FAERIE PRINCE (Creepy Hollow 2)Guardian trainee Violet Fairdale is just weeks away from one of the most important occasions of her life: graduation. After messing up big time by bringing a human into the fae realm, Vi needs to step up her game and forget about Nate if she hopes to graduate as the top guardian of her year. Everything would be fine if she wasn’t forced to partner with Ryn, her ex-friend, ex-enemy, current ‘sort of friend’. They might be trying to patch up their relationship, but does she really want to spend a week undercover with him for their final assignment? On top of that, the possibly-insane Unseelie Prince is still on the loose, free to ‘collect’ as many specially talented faeries as he can find—and Vi is still at the top of his list. Add in faerie queens, enchanted storms, complicated not-just-friends feelings, and a murder within the Guild itself, and graduation is about to become the least of Vi’s problems.

I really enjoyed The Faerie Guardian, the first in the Creepy Hollow series, and will probably re-read it before I dive into The Faerie Prince so that the story is fresh in my mind. The blurb above makes me really excited to see where Part 2 takes the story, although I’ll be gutted if Vi falls for Ryn! The Faerie Prince is released 30 May so I have a bit of time to get through my other to-reads first!

Requiem (Delirium 3) by Lauren Oliver

Requiem cover

[Warning: the blurb below contains spoilers of the first two books in the series.]

Battling against a society in which love has been declared a disease, Lena now finds herself at the centre of a fierce revolution. But the Wilds are no longer the haven they once were as the government seeks to stamp out the rebels. And Lena’s emotions are in turmoil following the dramatic return of someone she thought was lost forever…

Told from the alternating viewpoints of Lena and her best friend Hana, Requiem brings the Delirium trilogy to an exhilarating end and showcases Lauren Oliver at the height of her writing powers – emotionally powerful and utterly enthralling.

I recently re-read Delirium and I’m halfway through re-reading Pandemonium so that I’m back up to speed with this series before I jump into the third and final instalment, Requiem. And now I know that the book alternates between Lena and Hana as narrators, I’m even more excited to read it as Hana is one of my favourite characters in the series. I have some predictions about what will happen in this book so I’ll be interested to see if they come true (like they did in Pandemonium), or whether the author completely surprises me (like she did with Delirium).

How about you?

Have you read any of these books? If so, what did you think? If not, do they take your fancy? What’s at the top of your to-read list?

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