Review: The Delirium series, Lauren Oliver

There are no spoilers in this review.

I discovered Lauren Oliver’s Delirium series a long time ago, around the time it was first released. It was in 2011, so a gazillion years ago in a bookworm’s life. Yet it was always a series that stayed with me and, as I found myself re-reading it this summer while eagerly waiting for my new books to arrive in the mail, I found out that I am still in love with it. There aren’t many books that hit you straight in the heart, the books you remember reading sitting on the couch, while tears fall down your face. Delirium, and the whole series, is this kind of book so I thought that today was time I introduced, or re-introduced you to this series I found a bit too underrated.


β€œHearts are fragile things. That’s why you have to be so careful.”


The Delirium series has that very same recipe all dystopian series seem to use. A quite messed-up world, yet one that seems in perfect order, until something happens. Something changes, the world shatters and everything isn’t just as perfect as it seems to be. There is a change of heart, there is a rebellion, slowly growing in the main characters’ heart, turning into a bigger scale rebellion to change the whole world and the whole system. It doesn’t come in handy, which is why these kind of books often come in packs. But it comes. In the very end, I won’t spoil anything but we all know these kind of books always try and end up with happy endings, or at least are tainted with the hope we never expected to see at the beginning of the story.

While picking up Delirium, there might be a little sense of deja-vu here, but I’m hoping that no one will let that stop them from picking up the book. The world-building is one of the strongest suits of it all. Set in a world where love, and feelings overall, are considered as the root of all the issues, this deliria is eradicated by a simple procedure around the age of 18, really, a brain operation that represses all kind of feelings of love, and all of the kind of feelings related to this. The society is well-ordered, everyone is happy. Except…

β€œYou can’t be happy unless you’re unhappy sometimes”.”

Yet, Lena falls in love. Terrified to follow in the footsteps of her mother, who killed herself because of the deliria, terrified of the future, she will found out that this perfect world isn’t so perfect after all and that love is so much more than a β€œdisease”.

I’m not going to be spoiling the whole series for you, I just wanted to give you a gist and to obviously make you want to pick this up. From the first page, I was hooked by the story, the world-building, impressively detailed without info-dumping. With every page and event, you see its complexity, its details, you see it grow and shape around you and the characters. At the beginning of each chapter, you get a little bit more of the world thanks to excerpts from the big book of rules in this world, poems, stories, legends, everything that makes up the world what is is.




β€œLove: a single word, a wispy thing, a word no bigger or longer than an edge. That’s what it is: an edge; a razor. It draws up through the center of your life, cutting everything in two. Before and after. The rest of the world falls away on either side.”

In this kind of book – and series, there is a risk that the world-building takes too much of the place, leaving the characters aside. Following Lena through the three books, I can safely say that’s not the case. From the afraid, obedient girl, Lena grows and change, not because and for the one she falls in love with, but within herself, who she is and what she wants to be. This is not a story where the love interest changes the main protagonist, or at least I didn’t see it this way. In the series, Lena grows, changes, opens her eyes thanks to Alex, the guys she meets in the first book, but also thanks to her best friend, Hana ; thanks to her own self and her own desires and mind, shaping constantly and changing as events are unfolding.

From the first to the third book in the trilogy, I can safely say that Lena isn’t the same girl. She has gone through a stunning kind of growth, which I loved. From the rule-follower to the rebel, from the girl scared to speak up to the one heading straight towards danger without a single second’s hesitation. Obviously, Lena wasn’t a perfect character. She was flawed, she was annoying, there were times where her thoughts blurred and her decisions weren’t perfect. Yet, she felt real, three dimensional and I could deeply root for her and try and understand her.

β€œAnd there it is: Even though we’re standing in the same patch of sun-drenched pavement, we might as well be a hundred thousand miles apart.”

The other characters in this series are all three-dimensional and developing, changing as things go on: the throwbacks between past and present in the second book and the multiple POV in the third helping us figuring out all of the pieces together.


Fast-paced and action-filled, Delirium is a series I flew by in the matter of days in this re-read, hooked like the very first time. Lauren Oliver’s writing is poetic, getting to the point and yet painting you a vivid picture of an interesting, unique world. It’s and will remain one of my favorite series, one I would recommend to dystopian lovers for sure.

β€œI love you. Remember. They cannot take it”

Final rating:Β  It’s a hurricane!

Β Do you want to read Delirium? Did you read and enjoy it? Why, or why not? Share your thoughts in comments!

Lauren Oliver, Delirium, Β Published by HarperCollins, February 3rd, 2011.

Β goodreads-badge-add-plus-fad3b68d35050280ea55d50f17c654b5

In an alternate United States, love has been declared a dangerous disease, and the government forces everyone who reaches eighteen to have a procedure called the Cure. Living with her aunt, uncle, and cousins in Portland, Maine, Lena Haloway is very much looking forward to being cured and living a safe, predictable life. She watched love destroy her mother and isn’t about to make the same mistake.

But with ninety-five days left until her treatment, Lena meets enigmatic Alex, a boy from the “Wilds” who lives under the government’s radar. What will happen if they do the unthinkable and fall in love?

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Book blogger, travel blogger, writer. πŸ“š |🌍 | πŸ’ž Writing & Communications Graduate. French. Living on love, wanderlust and ya books.

39 thoughts on “Review: The Delirium series, Lauren Oliver

  1. Great review for this series Marie. πŸ™‚ ❀️ I know we’ve talked about The Delirium series because so I know how much you loved it but it was really interesting seeing your more in depth thoughts on it in this review.
    I really want to get around to these books, your review has made me want to run out and boy copies myself so I can get started, but I feel I should make a dent on the books I own but haven’t yet read. I have a feeling this will be a series I ask my sister for for Christmas! πŸ™‚ I’m already hooked on the incredible world building and character development, especially in terms of Lena’s character, you’ve described. πŸ˜€
    Again great review! πŸ™‚ ❀️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh thank you so, so much, Beth! I hope you’ll be able to buy / get these books soon, they are fantastic, and so underrated. I wish more people shared the love about this one for sure πŸ™‚ Can’t wait to hear what you think of it! Thank you so much, Beth ❀

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Wonderful review! It’s always an incredible feeling finding a series that you truly fall in love with, isn’t it?
    I’ve been meaning to read this trilogy forever and now I want to read it even more! Hopefully I’ll get to it sometime soon. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aww thank you so much, Kyra! It is the best feeling ❀ I hope you'll read it someday and love it just as much as I did, I would LOVE to hear your thoughts about it all πŸ™‚


  3. YAS!!! A million times over to this review! To be honest, I really hadn’t expected to like this book series. In fact, I hadn’t even expected to read it- I was just hanging out at my friend’s and they had to study so they lent me the first one… and I just got hooked! I couldn’t believe how emotional I ended up getting over it (and yes I cried too). I really think it is underrated too. I loved the world building- and you’re right there’s no info dumping. And one of the best things about this book is that Lena is flawed and grows so much as a character- and not just cos of a boy, but because of herself and the things that happen to her- it’s what makes her amazingly believable!! Brilliant review!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. OHH Thank you!! I’m so happy you enjoyed this series just as much as I did…I’m also glad I’m not the only one that cried haha, I couldn’t help it. ❀ ❀ and YES, the character-growth was brilliant, it wasn't because of a boy, it was because of everything around her just as well, and her own self, which I LOVED.
      Thank you SO much!! ❀ ❀

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I’ve never read this series, but I’ve always been intrigued by it. It’s good to hear the worldbuilding is really strong; that’s one thing that drives me craaazy about some YA dystopians, so hearing that makes me want to read this one more. I’ll have to read this eventually!
    Awesome review!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahahah oh wow, that must have been very confusing. I’m glad you loved the series just as much as I did though, I feel like, well…no one ever talks about it, which makes me sooo sad.
      Thank you so much! ❀ ❀

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh I’m glad you loved this series as well! πŸ™‚ The ending was a bit open-ended, it could have been great to get more of a closure, with both the boys, the world, what would happen next…but I also like that we can imagine it all πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I loved your review, Marie 🌸
    I started this a while back when Dystopians were the hottest craze, but unfortunately I never finished the first book. I do agree that the world build was unique and I was totally intrigued by the synopsis, but from what I could remember I wasn’t such a big fan of the romance or the main character πŸ™ˆ Maybe I’ll give it another go in the near future.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh thank you so much, Michelle! ❀ I'm sorry that you never finished the first book, but I get it, not everyone can love the same characters after all. If you do decide to give it another try someday, I hope you'll enjoy it better! πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so glad you loved this series as well, Chelsea! I feel like almost no one has read it…or no one really talks about it, which makes me sad. It was such a good series πŸ™‚ thank you so much! ❀


  6. Ah, Marie, you’re making me feel bad about not having finished the series. I only read the first book and liked it very much, but for a reason or another, I haven’t continued the series. Now you’re making me feel like I really should have. Have you read any of her new books? ❀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, do you remember why you didn’t like it? I am a huge fan of this series, it is one of my favorites of all times, but I know some people didn’t really care for the characters, ahah.
      I HAVE READ EVERYTHING by Lauren Oliver ahah, ask me anything πŸ˜› she is one of my favorite authors.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I liked Delirium pretty much, I think I gave it 4/5 stars, but then didn’t pick up the next book immediately afterwards and time passed and idk, I’m kind of bad at reading dystopia. But maybe I’ll try to pick up the second book to see if I can get into it! Your fangirling made me curious!! πŸ’•

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Oh no! Well if you liked the first book, maybe you’ll enjoy the series as a whole?! I relaly hope you’ll want to pick it up again someday, IT IS SO WORTH IT. ❀


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