Ah… Delirium, Delirium, Delirium…
Delirium… by Lauren Oliver. There was some amount of promise. This book had decent writing, surprisingly only half-assed world building and… a premise that will never cease to make me roll my eyes.
Here it is,
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?
If it’s not immediately obvious why this is a goddamn mess of a premise doesn’t work, then let me make it crystal clear. In this world that we currently live in, love is illegal. How about this shit going on in Chechnya? Yes it’s a wikipedia page, but just google: Chechnya Gay. Do it. I’ll wait.
This book was published in 2011. Two years before same-sex marriage became legal in the United States of America, where this book is set.
How can you tell me that love wasn’t illegal when this book was published? This heterosexual nonsense drives me crazy.
Some sick part of me felt compelled to read this book, just to find out how bad it is. Now that I have to skim it again I feel sick. I absolutely hate myself right now.
So, as a way to procrastinate, I went to the Wiki, thinking that I might somehow avoid the sheer stupidity. And that’s when I learned that… despite my annoyance and outright hatred for Fox for canceling Brooklyn Nine-Nine… they have done the world a great service. In 2013 some absolute idiot decided to make a pilot for this trainwreck of a book series, and Fox turned it down. It’s never been picked up since.
In reading these bios on the wiki… man… it makes me want to revisit it less.
Okay… well… here I go. The main character of this book is Magdalena “Lena” Hella Holoway. Right off the bat… a main character who has a weird long first name and as a result goes by a nickname…
Whatever, she’s named after the person who was the first woman cured of amor deliria nervosa Mary Magdalene.
That’s the level of creativity we’re dealing with here folks. It only goes downhill from here.
You can’t be “cured” until you’re 18, and Lena—why they fuck didn’t they just call her Mary?—just can’t wait to be “cured.”
“Things weren’t as good as they are now. In school we learned that in the old days, the dark days, people didn’t realize how deadly a disease love was. For a long time they even viewed it as a good thing, something to be celebrated and pursued. Of course that’s one of the reasons it’s so dangerous: It affects your mind so that you cannot think clearly, or make rational decisions about your well being. (That’s symptom number twelve, listed in the amor deliria nervosa section of the twelfth edition of The Safety, Health, and Happiness Handbook, or The Book of Shhh, as we call it.) Instead people back then named other diseases—stress, heart disease, anxiety, depression, hypertension, insomnia, bipolar disorder—never realizing that these were, in fact, only symptoms that in the majority of cases could be traced back to the effects of amor deliria nervosa.
Motherfucker… I… this is the first chapter. The first damn chapter and I already want to throw this book out the goddamn window. I have no idea how I got through it the first time.
Stress, Anxiety, Depression, and fucking Bipolar?? God, could you be a little more fucking neurotypical? I’m sorry, this just ticks me off. Like for real? I don’t care if it’s the Big Bad Authoritarian Government that says that these are things, but Oliver thought them up. How about this? Fuck you and your half assed world building.
If you wanted to write a book about love, you could have done a fuckton better. Virtually anything else would have been better.
Oh, and by the way, Oliver just fucking mentions suicide like it’s no big deal. This girl was just so infected by delria that she killed herself instead of being “cured.”
Okay, I lied. I can’t do this. One chapter and I would have dropped this like a steaming… I don’t know. I can’t carry hot things. I have a very low heat tolerance. I’d probably have dropped it like the piece of shit it is.
So, in doing a bit of research I learned that Oliver fancies herself very liberal and supportive of LGBT communities, which I would claim is just like when white people say they’re not racist because they like rap.
In her series there’s a group called the Unnaturals. Yeah. One guess who those people are.
Do you want a fucking award for having token gay characters that show up later in the series? He’s not in the first book, and neither is his boyfriend. You know what would have made this even slightly worthwhile? What could have redeemed this even just a fraction?
NOT MAKING YOUR MAIN CHARACTERS HETEROSEXUAL.
The one thing that would have made this book readable is right in front of her face, but we have to have more heteronormative bullshit.
She was going to have a coming out scene for that one gay character, but cut it because it was ‘too political.’ I’m sorry. I didn’t know that being gay was a political statement. I thought it was a sexual orientation.
Not only that, you’ve got a goddamn death fake out for the “love interest” who shows her that love and empathy are good. I guess he shows up later? I don’t know, if you want to know more about this nonsense you can check out the wiki. No I’m not going to link it.
I’m sorry, I could go on for years about this, but I think I’ve made my point. I literally can’t stomach another second of this.