The Delirium Trilogy (Delirium, Pandemonium, and Requiem) by Lauren Oliver
Rating: 5/5 stars
Shortly after starting the first book of Lauren Oliver’s Delirium trilogy, one major thought kept running through my head: move over, Hunger Games. There’s a new dystopian trilogy in town.
Like the popular Hunger Games series, the Delirium books (Delirium, Pandemonium and Requiem) are set in America of the future.
Major cities have been separated from each other and walled off, with the areas between completely destroyed in order to prevent the spread of what scientists have determined is the most dangerous disease to humankind: amor deliria nervosa, or, as we know it, love.
Of course, not everyone believes love is a bad thing. In fact, many people want the freedom to choose the path of their own lives. A separate society of these made up of these rebels, known as Invalids, exists in the Wilds – the no man’s land that exists in the bombed out areas between major towns.
At the age of 18, everyone is required to have a surgical procedure done that dulls their emotions and makes them incapable of falling victim to the disease. After they are “cured,” the government dictates who an individual marries, what job they have, even how many kids they will raise.
The series follows Lena Haloway, a 17-year-old girl with a fiery spirit who can’t wait until the day she gets her procedure done. The disease runs in her family, and she is terrified of what will happen if she contracts it.
As the series progresses, she is forced to choose what is more important: the ability to love freely and be with whoever you want to be with, or the calm, quiet security of a society ruled by the procedure.
Everything about this series appealed to me. The concept was unique and so gripping that I wasn’t able to set the books down for more than a few minutes without picking them back up again. The premise feels so real that it makes you question whether freedom or safety is more important.
The books are full of greatly written, intense action scenes that had me holding my breath as I read them. The characters are so well constructed that they seem real. I was constantly finding things about Lena and her friends that reminded me of people I actually know.
The magnificently crafted tension throughout the series makes each of these books a page turner. Oliver keeps things interesting by throwing curve balls at the reader and drawing you even deeper into the plot.
This series also is a great example of a well-written love triangle. I usually hate, and I mean HATE, love triangles. They almost always add nothing to a book, or they feel forced, because they are only included to ensure a specific plot point happens.
In the Delirium trilogy, the love triangle that springs up primarily in the final installment tugs at your heart and honestly makes you feel for the characters involved.
It is easy to see the pain and other emotions they each feel, and you can’t help but want them each to find a happy ending. It added several great elements to a story that easily could have been overwhelmed by fight scenes and governmental oppression.
Unlike many series, each book in the Delirium trilogy is just as good, if not better than, the last. It resists the trend of sequels not being able to live up to the first in the series. In fact, the second book, Pandemonium, was my favorite of them all.
The Delirium trilogy was a great series that I would strongly recommend to fans of other dystopian literature, like the Hunger Games series or Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, or anyone who is looking for some easy reads that they won’t want to put down.