Posts tagged ‘delirium’

December 20th, 2010

Delirium by Lauren Oliver; HOLIDAY GIVEAWAY!

by Madeleine Rex

I know how anxious you guys are to read this, so although my ARC is very dear to me, I’m here to share the delirium.

Pun intended.

And, it’s the holidays! What could be more appropriate than a giveaway?

I want the giveaway to end by Christmas, so that leaves everyone with five days to enter including today and Christmas Eve. Here’s the deal:

  • You must enter before 12 am. (your time, no matter what it is) on December 25th
  • You must live in the United States (Sorry, but I’m paying for shipping!)
  • There are no extra entries, but I appreciate all tweeting, messaging, or blogging!
  • The book is a little beaten up, as my friends have read it, too. There are some pen marks on the bottom that appeared after a trip in my cousin’s backpack. I wasn’t previously aware of this, and I’m sorry! It’s still fantastic!
  • Fill out this form.
  • This one.

Good luck to all, and to all a good night! (Or whatever time it is.)

Read my review of Delirium here.

Read my interview with the Lauren Oliver and her character, Alex, here.

November 29th, 2010

Delirium by Lauren Oliver; Review

by Madeleine Rex

Title: Delirium

Author: Lauren Oliver

Published: February 1st, 2011

Number of Pages: 448

Rating: 5/5

Review Sent to HarperTeen:

People fell in love with Lauren Oliver the moment Before I Fall hit shelves. Delirium will take their adoration to a whole new level. The idea of our most valued treasure being a disease, an illness –  something to be despised – is intriguing enough, but Oliver comes at this idea with thoughtful and mesmerizing prose, making the book somewhat of a masterpiece. A novel about a world that seems loveless and destitute but so full of passion, admiration, and love, Delirium will push readers to the edge of their seats. And then leave them teetering. This book made me wonder, it made me cry, but most of all, it taught me to cherish my delirium.

Synopsis:

Before scientists found the cure, people thought love was a good thing. They didn’t understand that once love -the deliria- blooms in your blood, there is no escaping its hold. Things are different now. Scientists are able to eradicate love, and the governments demands that all citizens receive the cure upon turning eighteen. Lena Holoway has always looked forward to the day when she’ll be cured. A life without love is a life without pain: safe, measured, predictable, and happy.

But with ninety-five days left until her treatment, Lena does the unthinkable: She falls in love. [From Goodreads]

Review:

First of all, let me bring to your attention the fact that I really wasn’t that much of a fan of Before I Fall. Sure, I thought it was okay. I don’t regret reading it. However, I wouldn’t feel as if I had missed something really special if I hadn’t.

The same simply cannot be said for Delirium. Oh. My. Gosh. The idea, the concept is so fantastic and thought-provoking, but when you add to that Oliver’s entirely evident talent for making you feel precisely what the characters are feeling, you get a hit. This book isn’t character driven. It isn’t plot driven. It’s love driven from the very start.

There’s something utterly great about a world that fascinates you. Immediately, you’re entranced by the little details of the dystopian society. The nearly loveless world in which Lena lives is frighteningly like ours, but then the little details show themselves and make all the difference. People’s eyes are glazed over. Coed is unheard of. People fear love. Oh, yes, they do. There’s the whopper of a difference. Love is so appreciated and sought after and glorified in our society (as it should be!). It’s one of my favorite things in the world. And to have it removed?

Worst yet was knowing in the pit of your stomach that the main character, Lena, and her fabulous friend, Hanna, are headed toward a loveless fate. The characters in Delirium are very well fleshed out and dynamic. They’re perfectly imbalanced. They contradict themselves and fight amongst the various versions of themselves floating within them. It’s wonderful to read because their contradictoriness and abnormalities make them real.

Lena is intriguing for these very reasons. She’s so conflicted. You itch for her to make what you believe is the right decision and, sometimes, she just doesn’t. Sometimes she just does. And with every one of those “failures” and “victories,” you see her growth. It’s a wonderful feeling to watch her branch out and really blossom. To “come into herself.”

Hanna is one of the best girlfriends ever. The girlfriends in books tend to be spunky and daring. I suppose she is, but she also struck me as so much more than that. She was certainly one of the most contradictory of all the main characters. One second I would think I knew her, and the next she would surprise me. For once, she’s the sort of daring and funny friend who I can imagine being my friend. Hanna’s deep and thoughtful. Hilarity is just the icing on top.

Naturally, I couldn’t finish this review without talking about Alex. He’s amazing. Really. I love that he’s valiant and spontaneous and funny and thoughtful and passionate and intelligent. Oh, wait. I just described your Prince Charming? Mine, too. He’s somewhat of an enigma at the beginning, and I don’t want to spoil that fluttering mixture of apprehension and excitement you’ll feel in your stomach as you read, so I’ll be shutting up.

The development of the characters, their relationships, and the plot all fit so perfectly together. Not simply like a jigsaw puzzle, but like a jigsaw puzzle without the classic tattered corners and peeling paper. Though things moved along a bit slowly at first, everything was made up for by the fantastic second half. Tension built at the exact same pace as my interest grew as a reader. You sink into this book slowly, but sink you do.

Truthfully, there was a shining moment, a bit of the book so remarkably perfect and unique and beautiful that made it deserving of 5 stars. That made it amazing.

The. End.

The end is heart-wrenching/-stopping/-breaking. It made me cry, but I was so happy to cry because the ending was so right. It’s written in such a way that you feel everything. Every moment pings your skin and stings like hail. You just have to succumb to the heartache because it’s undeniable that the end of Delirium is exactly what it needs to be.

*Thank you, thank you, thank you for the ARC!

PS. If you’re interested, read my interview with Lauren and

her dashing character, Alex! Click here.

November 9th, 2010

Lauren Oliver Saves the Day – And Alex Tags Along! (Author and Character Interview)

by Madeleine Rex

First, let me just say that Lauren Oliver is my hero. She earned this title by swooping in (red cape and all, you really should have seen it. Kodak moment.) and saving my English grade. Things had gotten… jumbled, and Lauren had to receive and answer my interview questions within five days. And she turned her homework in early, the little overachiever!

Lauren is the author of Before I Fall (Review) and Delirium (Review coming soon!), and the latter is to be released in February of 2011. Lauren also has a snazzy little blog that I really must start reading. Want to join me?

Without further ado, Lauren and her fabulous character, Alex:

Questions for Lauren:

ME: Were you surprised by the hype surrounding Before I Fall? Did you ever in your wildest dreams (even beyond the dreams of dancing the Macarena in cowboy boots) imagine your first published novel would land you on the NYT Bestsellers List?

Lauren: How did you know I often dream about doing the Macarena in random footwear?? Honestly, no. It has been an unbelievable debut.

ME: What’s, in your opinion, is the value of an MFA program? It’s part of my plan for the future, and I’m sure that many other writers would be interested in your take on it.

Lauren: I think there are several really valuable things about attending an MFA program. The first is simply the time it gives you to immerse yourself in your work, to speak with like-minded people, and to read wonderful books (I really think the reading list was one of my favorite parts of the NYU MFA program). Also, it teaches you how to accept critiques; but just as importantly, it teaches you that sometimes it is necessary to ignore critiques. Both are equally important.

ME: It’s not common that a writer will jump genres between their first book and their second. In fact, we’re told time and time again not to do that. What made you decide to make that leap to dystopian, and how did your critique partners/agent/editor react?

Lauren: I didn’t actually think of either of my books in terms of genre, so maybe that made it easier. I’ve always wanted to write a range of books, and I’m typically attracted to story and character as opposed to a “type” of book. It’s true that some authors are encouraged to stay within a genre, of course, but I’ve been blessed to find editors and an agent who have really encouraged me to expand my voice and my range. I’m so grateful for that.

ME: Were there vast differences between being published for the second time and being published for the first? Was it less or more stressful? We so often hear about a writer’s “road to publication,” but it’s hard to believe that road ends when the debut novel hits shelves.

Lauren: That’s a great point, and of course, the road doesn’t end. I think the stresses are different for a second-time publication: you worry about disappointing your fans, or you worry about falling under the “curse of the second book.” At the same time, you do have some kind of readership to depend on, which is so nice. I think every book brings its own stresses, and its own rewards, honestly. But maybe I’m just a stress ball!

More Delirium-Related Questions

ME: The idea of love being a disease definitely isn’t one I’ve heard before. What thought lead to the premise of Delirium?

Lauren: It was funny. I had just read a great quote about the fact that great books are usually about death or love, and then I was watching a news channel about a rampant flu panic, and I think the ideas—love, and the panic surrounding diseases—just kind of combined in my head.

ME: Characters, characters, characters! Goodness knows that the characters in Delirium are fabulous. Goodness is also aware of the fact that character development/creation is a common topic in the writing community. What’s your particular process when it comes to creating and developing characters? Or isn’t there one? Do they simply “germinate” on their own?

Lauren: I’m not sure I have a process, other than to spend a lot of time thinking about people, and why they are how they are—why they say the things they do, and become who they become, etc. I think that attentiveness to other people ends up floating through into your work.

ME: World-building must have taken a huge chunk of the time spent writing Delirium! Had you ever tackled creating another world before? Did much of the systems and lifestyles of the folks in the book came along with the original idea, or did they tag along later?

Lauren: World-building was definitely much of the fun of Delirium. To a certain extent, of course, every book requires world-building; every fictional landscape, however closely it may approximate real life, requires detail and fleshing out. But in this case that work was more comprehensive and expansive, and I did much of it before I started writing. I had to, in order for it to logically hold together.

Questions for Alex:

ME: Who’s your favorite author? What is it about his/her books that strikes you?

Alex: Probably Gabriel Garcia Marquez. His work is forbidden, obviously, and I think it’s because he writes so truthfully about everything human—loss, love, hope, mourning, death—it’s all there in his work.

ME: If you could pick a single person in the world that you “love to hate,” who would it be? I can imagine you’d have quite a list of possibilities.

Alex: I love to hate anyone who would rather have his eyes closed than confront pain or difficulty.

ME: What is your favorite word?

Alex: Yes.

ME:  When you met Lena, or when you saw her for the first time, what was the first sentence that ran through your mind? Did it run in circles, refusing to give up and disappear, or did you forget it after a moment?

Alex: I don’t think it was really a sentence so much as a feeling. When I first saw Lena, it was like coming up for air after a long period of being underwater.

———————–

And that, my friends, is a fabulous interview. Thanks again to Lauren!

If you have not yet read a book of Lauren’s, please, please do! She truly is a fantastic author, and her books have a way of entrancing you.