‘Delirium’ differs from other dystopian books


Elen Hakoupiani

The cover page of Delirium by Lauren Oliver.

Iren Harutyunyan, Website Editor



(n.) an acutely disturbed state of mind that occurs in fever, intoxication, and other disorders and is characterized by restlessness, illusions, and incoherence of thought and speech.


Many books nowadays revolve around a dystopian society. The government is usually a dictatorship and it treats the citizens like things rather than humans. Delirium by Lauren Oliver is not your typical frightening society story. It’s a captivating love story that lures its readers in from the first few pages.

Delirium takes place in the future where every 18 year old needs to be cured from a deadly disease: love. According to the government, love ruins the order and the safety of the society and should be contained as soon as it’s safe to do so. The procedure is mandatory and anyone who resists it gets locked up or executed.

The protagonist, Lena, is a charming character. She likes following rules and being safe at all times. All of this changes after she meets Alex, the honey-color-eyed hearthrob. He steals her heart and makes her feel the illegal feeling, which scares her. The only problem about her character development is that the author, Lauren Oliver, changes her personality completely in a short period of time. One day she is this scared little girl and the other she sneaks out in at midnight to meet a boy in the middle of nowhere.

Other than that, the book is funny, romantic and very entertaining. It is very unique and the characters are relatable, although the world around them is very different from this one. The story maintains originality which in turn makes it very addictive. The reader might find herself reading the book instead of doing math homework.

Many other books such as The Hunger Games trilogy and The Giver have a similar theme: feelings of humanity will always overcome any boundaries the dystopia creates. Although very similar to other books of the same genre, Delirium focuses more on the love story rather than  the obstacles and the problems created by the government. Overall, it’s an easy and fast read and leaves its reader speechless.

Delirium has two sequels: Pandemonium and Requiem. The entire trilogy has gotten high ratings throughout the years and has become a favorite on many teens’ lists. After reading the first book, the reader definitely will want to continue the fascinating adventure through Lena’s eyes. Other books by Oliver include Before I Fall, Panic and Rooms.