The Book Look: Love is a disease in ‘Delirium’

Belen Silva, The Book Look Columnist

Love, the one thing that makes the world go round, makes the ride exciting. From Romeo and Juliet to Augustus and Hazel, love has always shown to be never ending and apparently till the end of your life. Dramatic love such as this reminds us that love can sometimes mean feeling a little crazy.

In Lauren Oliver’s book “Delirium,” she introduces us to a society where love is seen to be a monstrous disease known as “deliria nervosa” that can only be cured by a special surgery performed to every citizen once they turn 18.

The setting is Portland, Maine, in the present where the city is divided from the Wilds by an electric fence. The Wilds is the area outside of Portland. It is mainly off limits to residents of Portland because outside of those electric fences are the Invalids. Invalids are the people who decided not to take the Cure and live in the wild instead of living a life without love.

The main character in this book is 17-year-old Lena who will soon undergo the procedure to get the cure on her 18th birthday.

Consequently, she meets Alex, an Invalid. You may be troubled with the question on why an Invalid is living in the deliria safe-zone of Portland. Alex is part of the resistance to that goes against any actions to rid the world of love and the views that the government is feeding its citizens. As Lena’s world is striving for the idea with a perfect environment without love, she can’t help but fall in love with Alex. Doomed love from the beginning never stopped anyone, right?

Within just a few days before Lena’s procedure, Alex proposes to Lena that they run away together. Lena, of course, being completely dumbfounded by the idea, decides to leave her family and friends behind all for the only love she has ever encountered. No pressure.

The day of departure, Lena and Alex are preparing for a long journey that awaits them in the Wild. By midnight, Lena is leaving behind the only life she has never known. Alex and Lena reach the end of town and head towards the electric fence.

Of course, neither of them was going in without a plan. Yet, their plans fail when security officials find them trying to leave Portland. Guards circle around them and eventually capture Alex. He begs Lena to run. Lena, of course, can’t leave without the one person she is doing everything for. And yet, this is why she must do this.

The story doesn’t end there, which is why I’ll leave it up to you to read it. This dystopian trilogy shows that only will love thrive, but sometimes love must thrive by the actions of a single person.

Doomed love from the beginning never stopped anyone, right?”

— Belen Silva

Will Lena go back and rescue Alex? Or will she find someone new to love in a world where love is the only thing left?