T.G.I.F., Figs! It’s only the first week of 2012 and we’ve already read some great books here at the Figment HQ. Rebecca finished Fracture before jumping right into Every Other Day; Emily is rereading her John Green books in anticipation of The Fault in Our Stars; Ellen is reading Under the Never Sky; and I just read Why We Broke Up and Pandemonium which made my face fall off . . . twice.
Since Pandemonium was my favorite of the week and has set the bar really high for 2012 YA reads, I want to make sure you all read Delirium before Pandemonium‘s February 28 publication date. It’s about teenage Lena Haloway, who’s 95 days away from receiving the government-designated procedure which will cure her of the deadliest of all deadly diseases: amor deliria nervosa, or, as it’s more commonly known, love. So Lena is bouncing up and down for the cure–until she falls in love with a Cured dude named Alex who completely changes everything she believes in.
Let’s see where Delirium weighs on Figment’s Scale of Awesome:
+220 for making love something to be feared! As with any good disease, Lauren Oliver fires off many symptoms that will leave you wondering why we’re all in love with love and not completely scared out of our minds of that peculiar emotion. After all, falling in love comes with periods of despair, obsessive thoughts and actions, a complete breakdown of rational faculties such as violent thoughts and delusions, and emotional or physical paralysis. Sounds awful, right?! These symptoms, outlined in The Book of Shhh (Safety, Healthy and Happiness Handbook) by the organization DFA (Deliria-Free America), really pay tribute to how a society afraid of love would be constructed .
-50 for Little Orphan Lena. As many of you Figs know, we here in the office like it when our characters have parents that they can talk back to, demand allowance from for chores they’re not really doing, and have a good cry with when they realize their parents were right along. After Lena’s father died, she watched her mother suffer through the pain of losing a loved one before heartbreak claimed her life–confirming just how deadly amor deliria nervosa is. Although Lena’s orphan status compliments the story, it always costs a book points with us when the protagonist is parent-less.
+79 for no love triangle! When Lena gets “sick” from amor deliria nervosa, she keeps it classy and only has the heart and hots for one guy. And considering that Alex is a guy who introduces her to poetry, teaches her the true meaning of classics like Romeo and Juliet and Sleeping Beauty, and becomes her first love, it’s safe to say that there’s no other guy who can match his affections.
+200 for superfantasticawesome epigraphs! These epigraphs are a gift and a curse, Figaronis. GIFT: Oliver treats us readers to little insights into the world of Delirium, such as bedtime stories, rewritten Bible verses (one word: ballsy! one more word: blasphemous!), excerpts from The Book of Shhh, and more. CURSE: You’re about to close the book and finally go to sleep, when you read the next chapter’s epigraph and become sucked in. Then you wake up the next morning looking like a zombie–albeit a really smart, well-read zombie.
This brings Delirium to a lovely score of 449 points! This was one of my favorite 2011 reads and Pandemonium (to be released on February 28th, 2012) definitely doesn’t suffer from Second Book Syndrome. For those who’ve already read Lena’s story, there’s also the e-book companion Hana, a novella told through the eyes of Lena’s BFF, to look forward to on January 17th. Love is in the air, Figs, and while it can totally get you arrested, exiled, hated, and killed, it’s still totally worth the risk . . . right?