Amor deliria nervosa: A disease that affects your mind so that you cannot think clearly, or make rational decisions about your own well-being. In the book Delirium by Lauren Oliver, the world now how a cure for the fatal disease amor deliria nervosa which is more commonly known as love. Sixty years ago scientists came up with the cure, closed the borders into the United States, and began administering the cure to every in the country. Those that resisted were cast out into “The Wilds”, a place where there is no running water, no electricity, and love runs wild.
Before their 18th birthday every person in the US gets evaluated, is given a ranking number, and is paired with someone to marry. At the age of 18 every person is administered the cure for amor deliria nervosa. Lena can’t wait until her 18th birthday when she can finally receive the cure. The world has been a difficult place for her ever since her mother committed suicide after having the cure three separate times and it failing each time. After her mother’s death Lena came to live with her aunt and uncle and has been counting down the days until she receives the cure and the pain of both her parents death is finally gone. She is excited for the evaluation, her pairing, and finally her assignment to a college. After the procedure in which the cure is administered there is no longer a danger of falling in love, there is no longer the pain of death, and peace will finally come.
However, everything changes when she goes to an illegal party with her best friend Hana and meets Alex. Alex is 19 and has the marks of the cure so Lena knows it is safe to be around him. She begins hanging out with him and just talking but soon finds out he isn’t who he says he is. Alex is an Invalid from the Wilds and his scars are fake. He has never received the cure. Soon Lena begins falling in love with him and experiencing the symptoms of amore deliria nervosa but she doesn’t care. Her count down to the best day of her life is now the countdown to when she loses Alex.
The last straw is when Alex takes her to the Crypts and Lena learns her mother never committed suicide. Learning that her whole life has been a lie Lena must choose whether to continue on the path of the cure or to run for the border and join the Invalids as they batter to keep love alive.
This is the first book in a trilogy by Lauren Oliver that chronicles Lena’s journey into adulthood. Delirium ends with both a tragedy and hope for the future. I found this to be an interesting look at love and what it does to a person. I am anxious to read the next book in the series, Pandemonium, which comes out in March.
I give this book 4 1/2 out of 5 stars.