First off, Delirium is about 70% not thrilling and I was only staying up late (or should I say early) in a spirit of "please let's just get this over with" before I remembered that I can darn well read what I want/stop reading what I want. I won't tell you what time it was when I had the realization "OMGosh there are so many things I'd rather be doing right now (namely: sleeping)" and I put the book down by my bed and have picked it up once since to read a single page and confirm my fears: it's really not that great. My main complaint is "ugh, so lovey-dovey" which I probably should have seen coming based on the book's premise: it's the future and love has been labelled as a disease and when people turn 18 they get a surgery to burn the ability to love out of their brain. Think Equilibrium but with teens. Interesting premise, right? It is, but be prepared for some serious teen angst.
This book did a few ideas well, like acceptable vs illicit music. The main illegal thing "uncureds" do is go to concerts. At one point the protagonist, whose name I can't actually remember at the moment, finds out that there are a series of raids going on so she goes to the house where her former best friend (with whom she has had the stupidest falling out) is at a concert to warn of imminent capture. Alas, she is too late and the party gets busted. WHICH LEADS TO one of the most annoying aspects of the story. Protagonist gets bitten by a police dog and the injury is described as a chunk of flesh missing but she only suffers ill effects, such as pain, for about a day. WTH, Lauren Oliver.
Side note: while it annoys me that seemingly everyone and their dog is getting on the YA dystopia train, I'd rather they be pumping out novels about a dismal future world instead of trite vampire books. If you want to read about vampires go ahead but at least start with Dracula / Bram Stoker so you have a good base to work off of. Also, Delirium is the first in a trilogy and oh man, can we please just have some stand alone books now?
Okay, back to the subject at hand: YAF. You know when you are reading something and you just want to grab the protagonist's shoulders and say "give it a rest"? Well, turns out that is often what happens while wading through the world of YA novels. However! There are some true gems out there and Yours Truly is willing to search them out. Benefits of YAF include, but are not limited to, quick reads, scope for the imagination, and some genuinely good books. While I don't exactly recommend finding a YA author and sticking with them (YA, like many other aspects of the book biz, suffers from a value of quantity over quality) I do heartily advocate finding a genre and working from there. My favorites almost always end up in one of two categories:
- Dystopian stories
- Houses that are creepy
Anyways, this has become super long so here is a very short list of YA books that feature either fiendish houses or society gone wrong that I want you to read and we'll leave it at that**:
- Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children / Ransom Riggs
- We Have Always Lived in the Castle / Shirley Jackson
- Coraline / Neil Gaiman
- The Giver / Lois Lowry
- The Hunger Games / Suzanne Collins***
*Delirium is dystopian and as I've said many times I love dystopia but lets be honest: it's not all created equal and this one is a dud.
**I had to severely limit myself in listing books here or this post would go on and on and on and I'd be saying "oh and that book reminds me of this one! And that author is quite good! And I was reading a review of that book and it led me to this one!" and so on.
***please don't despise me for listing HG alongside The Giver. To be honest these were the first two in the genre that came to mind. And while we're here, why couldn't the second and third HG books just be about Finnick ODair and Johanna Mason? Why why why why indeed. Give me Hunger Games sans Katniss' romantic waffling and I'd be happy.