Series Sunday: ‘Delirium’

Many books in my book queue are waiting to be read, and a common theme among them is they’re all part of a series, trilogy or saga. Each Sunday, I’ll share a book from a series. You can read along with me, or add the books to your own reading list. This week, I listened to “Delirium” by Lauren Oliver on an audiobook via audible.com 
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I like to find new and interesting ways to consume literature. For those with long commutes to work or long drives to a vacation destination, audiobooks might be a good way to enjoy books without having to sit down and leaf through a book.  
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A couple of weeks ago, I went on a really long drive to North Carolina. I needed something to entertain me, so I used my husband’s subscription to Audible to select something adventurous and harrowing. 
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I first heard about Lauren Oliver’s book, “Delirium,” on NPR. It was among a list of five books, which included “A Dance with Dragons.” I eventually want to read all of the books on that list because they sound completely awesome.
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“Delirium” is a dystopian young-adult novel with a female protagonist. In the book, the government has declared love to be a disease, which can be cured by undergoing a procedure to make citizens docile and ambivalent. Lena, the main character, is counting down the days to her procedure. She can’t wait to be “cured” until she meets Alex, a boy from the area outside of the fenced-in city. 
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After meeting Alex, Lena witnesses a raid in which government officials beat her neighbors’ dog to death and carry off people who they believe to be “sympathizers” with the uncured people living outside the city. Lena also sneaks out at night to meet her friend Hana and go to a forbidden rock concert in an abandoned field. Lena slowly changes her view about the government, and Alex is there to shepherd her into a clearer understanding of the world, eventually taking her into the crypts where she sees the cell where her mother was imprisoned. (Side note: Lena’s back story is pretty interesting, but I’m not going to ruin it for you.)
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The pair eventually fall in love, and Lena describes the symptoms of “amor deliria nervosa” — love — she experiences. The end is intense. I can only encourage you to read or listen to the book yourself. It’s amazing. 
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Oliver’s descriptions of Alex got a little repetitive. His hair was always compared to autumn leaves or fire and his eyes and skin were always glowing. Overall, though, the narrative was engaging. I found myself gasping at some parts and not wanting to turn the book off, even when I had to go to work or do other things. 
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I loved listening to “Delirium” on my drive back from my vacation. The narrator, Sarah Drew, did an excellent job at bringing the characters to life and giving them their own unique voices. For Alex, she used a cooler, deeper, more crackly tone in her voice, and for the voice of Hana, she was more bubbly. Lena’s Aunt Carol spoke in a stern, nasaly monotone, and Lena’s sister Rachel had a light, wispy voice. 
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I felt I was able to absorb more of the details of the story by listening to it. I’ve always been an aural learner, retaining things that I hear more than anything else. I loved to hear setting and character descriptions in the tone in which the author meant the book to be read. 
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Eleven hours was a long time for me to spend with a book. I still had about three hours to listen to after my drive home from vacation. Had I read the book on paper, it might have taken me eight hours at the very most. But the hours enjoying the audiobook were well-spent. I managed to get a lot of other menial housework-type things done (folding laundry, knitting, etc.) while listening to the three remaining hours.
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I would definitely recommend Audible for those who spend long hours commuting to work. I think my husband spends about $7.50 per month, and each month he gets a credit toward an audiobook, the prices for which run up to $40 and $50, depending how long they are. He has enjoyed numerous biographies and nonfiction books that he wouldn’t have otherwise had the time to sit down and read. 
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Next week I’ll be enjoying “Pandemonium,” the sequel to “Delirium,” but I’ll be reading it as a normal hardback book. I got my copy at Target. It’s pretty popular, so I’m sure you can find it anywhere.

This entry was posted in Audio book, Best-sellers, Book review, Fiction, Lauren Oliver, Series Sunday, Teen books and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Series Sunday: ‘Delirium’

  1. Pingback: Book Buzz | Series Sunday: ‘Pandemonium’

  2. Pingback: Book Buzz | Series Sunday: “Life, The Universe and Everything”

  3. Pingback: Book Buzz | Series Sunday: ‘Requiem’ by Lauren Oliver

  4. Pingback: Book Buzz | Series Sunday: ‘Matched’ by Ally Condie

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