Series Review: The Delirium Trilogy by Lauren Oliver

delirium_seriesIt was bittersweet to read the last book in the Delirium trilogy by Lauren Oliver! I love the series and did not want it to come to an end. Regardless, I swept through the last book in a day because I couldn’t put it down. Oliver has a way of writing that catches the mind and causes you to lose track of time. And in my opinion, all the best authors have the ability to do so.

Let me give you a quick synopsis of the first two books. In Delirium we meet Lena, a teenage girl living in a society where love is considered a disease and eighteen year olds are “cured” from the disease, matched with someone, and left to live their lives void of emotions. Just before her eighteenth birthday, Lena meets and falls in love with a mysterious boy named Alex. Despite her family’s disgust and her society’s warnings, Lena chooses to secretly meet Alex and develop a relationship with him. Tracing the revolution, revolts and raids by the “Invalids” (those who escaped society for freedom) begin in the first book while Lena and Alex are at a forbidden party. The first book ends with Lena escaping with Alex into the Wilds. But just as Alex throws Lena across the fence, guards swarm in and cover Lena’s sight of him.

In Pandemonium, Lena learns to survive in the Wilds. She is taken in almost dead by Raven and Tack and their entire family and struggles to cope with loss throughout the whole book. She becomes almost a daughter to the couple and joins in with family work. Lena also learns that the family supports the rebellion against the society and decides to join in the fight. Going undercover as a supporter of the DFA (Deliria Free America), Lena learns the group’s tactics and reports back to the Wilds. During one of the meetings, a group of Invalids known as Scavengers attack and take Lena and the leader Julian as captives. Forced into one prison cell, Lena learns about Julian’s past and falls in love with him. Julian, on the other hand, does not know love because he has not escaped like Lena has, and learns how to love Lena in return. The two make a break for freedom and succeed ending the book in a joyous reunion, or so it may seem. You’ll have to read to find out for yourself!

Requiem features Lena and Julian (with some surprise guests) in the Wilds working to break the wall into the society. This book switches between the perspectives of Lena and Hannah (Lena’s newly cured friend from Portland.) I liked how the reader was able to see what was happening in both the Wilds and society. It was especially exciting right before the final rebellion because the suspense on the Wilds side far surpassed the unknowing calm of the cureds. I don’t want to give away too much but Lena struggles between making choices based on the memories of her past and her feelings in the present. I love the ending of the book and how Lena proves that she is a trustworthy friend even in the most desperate situations. The main themes of this book are friendship, love, sacrifice, and survival.

Overall I loved this trilogy! I wish Oliver had written more books in the series but I also understand how the ending makes sense. After reading Delirium, I truly did not believe the other books could be any better, but each time they exceeded my expectations. I recommend these books for any Hunger Games, Divergent, or Matched fans out there!

-Kelsey H., 11th grade

Authors We Love: Lauren Oliver!

lauren_oliver_headshotLauren Oliver has become one of my favorite authors already, and I’ve only read two of her books! Her writing style is so intriguing; I literally cannot put her books down. I read both Before I Fall and Delirium over the summer, and both made me smile and made me cry. In her writing, Lauren Oliver makes the reader contemplate many interesting questions such as: What happens after death, or rather, what could happen after death? What if love was a disease? Would you take the cure? I found that after reading chapters upon chapters of her work, my mind happily became consumed in her book worlds. Lauren Oliver will help you identify yourself through reading her novels and you too will be left wondering.

before_i_fallBefore I Fall is the story of a popular girl named Samantha Kingston who hasn’t a care in the world. However, the story behind this one is that Samantha died on one particular day. This story is told through the perspective of Samantha given more chances to relive that one day, and it truly shows the value in second chances. Each time she gets to relive her last day, Samantha makes kinder and more impactful decisions to benefit those she hardly would have glanced at before. I loved how every chapter started the same, as if Samantha really was waking up to her alarm for the first time, even if it was the sixth or seventh time. It was fascinating to read the perspective of someone who can finally see their life clearly, because they have no blinders to protect them. They see their life as a whole, and therefore can make wiser choices. A famous saying that works perfectly with the theme of this story is: “Hindsight is always twenty-twenty” –Billy Wilder. Oliver poses the question: What would you do if you had second chances to live?

delirium_seriesOn the opposite genre spectrum, Delirium is a dystopian themed trilogy starter about a girl named Lena who lives in a society where love is considered a disease. Young adults are cured of the disease at the age of eighteen and then they are matched with someone for life, void of attractions to each other. All her life Lena has not questioned the decision of her elders that love is dangerous, until a few months before her eighteenth birthday when she meets a boy and ultimately falls in love with him. Suddenly all that Lena thought was good for the citizens becomes evil, and she must learn to identify with herself.

Oliver writes brilliantly, accurately portraying the confused and headstrong teen while showing their sensitive sides as well. I fell in love with Lena and Alex because they aren’t perfect. So many couples in literature have these magical fairy tales that just aren’t reality, so it’s so fresh to have a pair who have flaws. The real testament of their love is how they stay together despite the society security and Lena’s family against them. I find it so inspiring to read about “What ifs.” It’s one of my favorite types of books to read because they make you think beyond the characters into imagining what you at first thought to be impossible become possible.

Lauren Oliver is an incredible author for young adults because she writes to pose questions, not answers. She opens your mind to possibilities, and just like every good author, she transports you to another era, time, place, and world. I would absolutely love to see both of these books be made into movies so long as the directors and actors stay true to the books’ messages. If they try to turn it into a perfect Hollywood romance or emotional bologna, then it will do injustice to the thought-provoking genius that is Lauren Oliver. Lastly, I believe that characters with imperfections are so important to give to readers because they prove that it’s okay to not be perfect.

Please leave me a comment if you have any recommendations of books I would like that are similar to Lauren Oliver’s writing and your thoughts on my post!

-Kelsey H., 11th grade

Series Review: Delirium, by Lauren Oliver

delirium_seriesI wrote a blog a couple of months ago about author Lauren Oliver’s visit to the Mission Viejo Library, which was absolutely phenomenal. It was a great opportunity to meet the author of a really prestigious series. While I was there, I received a free copy of the final novel in her Delirium series, Requiem. This series was absolutely marvelous. I have read a lot of novels, but this is definitely going to remain my favorite for a long time.

This series is about a girl, Lena Haloway, who lives in a world where love, or deliria, is a disease. In this world, when you turn 18, you get cured from deliria, and you get assigned a husband and a job for the rest of your life. There is a community of “Invalids” beyond the border of Portland, Maine, that are individuals who have never been cured of deliria. However, Lena Haloway’s life takes a turn for the unwanted.

Soon, before her cure day, Lena meets a perplexing boy named Alex, who she soon develops feelings for. A budding romance flourishes, however Lena is coming closer and closer to her cure day.

In this uniquely written novel series, Lauren Oliver puts her readers through a rollercoaster of an unwanted life in a different world.

-Nirmeet B., 10th grade

Author Interview with Lauren Oliver

teen_bloggersLauren Oliver, author of the New York Times bestelling Delirium series, visited the Mission Viejo Library earlier this year to discuss the finale to her spellbinding dystopian trilogy, Requiem.

Two members of the Teen Blog Team, Mariah and Sonya, sat down with Lauren to chat about her writing, what it was like to wrap up the Delirium series, and what she’s working on next.

Listen to the interview!


File hosting courtesy of archive.org. Intro music by Ukulele Jim

Event Recap: Lauren Oliver Author Visit

Lauren_Oliver_booksA few months ago, I had the opportunity to attend my first author event! New York Times bestselling author Lauren Oliver’s visit to the Mission Viejo Library helped me look at writing with a newer and fresher perspective.

I loved hearing how Lauren Oliver got her inspiration. She had many factors and ideas that popped in her brain and inspired her to write something. She also related to me and many other individuals in the story time room by talking about how she figured out she wanted to be an author. She gave us many helpful techniques that she performed in her childhood. They helped her with her writing skills and the multiple genres that she can now write.

Fans arrived as early as one hour ahead of the event’s start time; a very exciting environment in the room. Lauren Oliver talked to the audience about how she’s been writing ever since she was a child. She loved to read, and she learned that technique from her parents, who are literature professors. Her father, especially, was a big influence in her writing methods.

Lauren Oliver signingLauren has been writing every day since she was nine years old. She first started to compose long novels in her freshman year of high school. In her senior year of college, she completed her first accomplishment of a long novel. She currently has an MFA in creative writing from NYU. After her years at NYU, Lauren started to work at Penguin Books, a major publishing company.

She got the inspiration for her hit book series, Delirium, when she took a trip to the gym. She was thinking about the swine flu epidemic going around and knew that she wanted to write her next novel about love. So, she created the series Delirium, which is about people living in a world in which love itself is a disease. Continue reading

Event Recap: Lauren Oliver Author Visit

laurenoliver1Back in March, I went to the Lauren Oliver book signing event at the Mission Viejo Library. When she got there, the first thing she did was introduce herself and talk about her life as a writer.

She then explained what inspired her to write. Her
father influenced her a lot. She started writing at the early age of nine. She said she used to write fan fiction, which is a short story about a book you like.

In middle school, she started to write her own stories. In her freshmen year, she attempted to write her first novel. In her senior year of college, she finished her first novel– a different one than she started in high school.

She then earned a Master’s degree in Creative Writing. She also learned to write from working as an editor for Penguin Books. As she edited, she learned to write. After she talked about that, she described her books and read a few pages of her latest novel, Requiem, to us.

laurenoliver2Later, she took questions from the audience. Some of her favorite authors, when she was a kid, were Agatha Christie, Roald Dahl, and
J.K. Rowling.

Someone asked how she comes up with titles and names for characters. She said she keeps a list that appeals to her. She also does not believe in writer’s block. She feels it’s just an excuse not to write. Her
advice to writers is to read a lot and write a lot. Also, to practice all the time and don’t get stressed.

laurenoliver3

While I was there everyone in the audience seemed to be very excited. Some people even dressed up as characters in her book. When she signed my book she was asking me questions about reading. Lauren is very nice and funny. I’m so happy I got to meet such an amazing author.

-Sabrina C., 7th grade

Top 10 Books To Read After Harry Potter

Whenever a review refers to a book series as “the next Harry Potter,” I start reading with impossibly high expectations. While these books aren’t as enchanting or inspirational as Rowling’s phenomenon, they are unforgettable just the same.

divergent_cover1. The Divergent trilogy, by Veronica Roth… because readers can relate to the main character’s conflicts, such as deciding between what your family wants and what’s best for you, and discovering the difference between bravery and stupidity.

2. The Twilight saga, by Stephenie Meyer… because of the memorable characters and unexpected plot twists.

3. The Delirium trilogy, by Lauren Oliver… because of its universal themes and unique characters, making for an unforgettable dystopian read.

4. The Gallagher Girls series, by Ally Carter… because the author was able to amalgamate teenage girls into a world of spies, romance, danger, and sacrifice.

stormbreaker_cover5. The Alex Rider saga, by Anthony Horowitz… because of its complex setting and captivating characters.

6. The Maze Runner trilogy, by James Dashner… because the author exhibits adventure and suspense in this narrative about values, curiosity, and life’s true meaning.

7. The Hush, Hush saga, by Becca Fitzpatrick… because of how readers are able to relate to the characters and their personal incentives.

matched_cover8. The Matched trilogy, by Allie Condie… because of how it is similar to The Giver. It takes place in a futuristic dystopian society, while telling a story of love, courage, and individuality.

9. The Percy Jackson series & the Heroes of Olympus series, by Rick Riordan… because the author takes Greek mythology and adds modern, unforgettable characters.

10. The Hunger Games trilogy, by Suzanne Collins… because it teaches readers about life, loss, love, and bravery through the eyes of the strong, female heroine, Katniss Everdeen.

-Danielle K., 7th grade