Winner of the American Christian Fiction Writer's Carol Award for Dauntless!!!

Monday, February 16, 2015

The Delirium Series

Thanks to my daughter, I read a lot of YA dystopian novels. High on her list of favorites is the Delirium series, and she absolutely insisted that I read all of them.

 This series is about a future society that seeks to eliminate love and passion, seeing them as a sickness called the deliria, with horrible symptoms like loss of focus, sleeplessness, loss of appetite, increased heart rate, sweating, etc… I imagine most of us have joyfully suffered all those symptoms and more. LOL. So I thought close to Valentine's Day would be a great time to post about it.

While fairly sensual, full of profanity, and too mature for all but the oldest teens in my opinion, this series was a great compliment to the study of the heart I was conducting at the time when I read it. The author made some wonderful observations about the nature of love and all of its many facets, not to mention the enormous risk and cost involved in loving. Although her choice of language left much to be desired, I felt that her theme was very much in line with Christian beliefs. The dystopian society in Delirium had twisted scripture to their purposes and created their own religion, but the series seemed to subtly honor true Biblical beliefs and pointed out that the “old” religions had been based upon love and sacrifice. In fact, the heroine’s epiphany involved learning a true Biblical story which helped her understand the sacrificial nature of love.

Of the three books, I enjoyed book 2 the least. It came to nearly a grinding halt as it unveiled several months of the main character's life through backstory summary. However, I'm glad I stuck with the series, because it really picked up again after that. Most of all, I loved the ending. Here are some powerful quotes from the end of book three, Requiem by Lauren Oliver.

But it’s not about knowing. It is simply about going forward. The cureds [those cured of love] want to know; we have chosen faith instead…We will have to trust too—that the world won’t end, that tomorrow will come, and that the truth will come too.”

Take down the walls. That is, after all, the whole point. You do not know what will happen if you take down the walls; you cannot see through to the other side, don't know whether it will bring freedom or ruin, resolution or chaos. It might be paradise or destruction. Take down the walls. Otherwise you must live closely, in fear, building barricades against the unknown, saying prayers against the darkness, speaking verse of terror and tightness. Otherwise you may never know hell; but you will not find heaven, either. You will not know fresh air and flying.”

What do you think about this idea of the "deliria" and a society without love?


  1. I just finished Lois Lowry's "The Giver" which is set in an utopian where the society takes pills to suppress strong emotions.
    There's a heart-wrenching part where the main character asks his parents if they love him and they don't comprehend it...
    Thanks for the review --my library has this series and I was wondering if it was worth reading. I might give it a shot this summer! =)

  2. Although it wasn't quite a favorite for me, I think it was definitely worth the read. It lives on in my head. I have "The Giver" on my shelf to read right now.