Thursday, 17 March 2011

An Open Letter about Delirium

Dear Reader,

Today, 17th March, I have decided to do something I rarely do with books.

I am putting the book DELIRIUM by Lauren Oliver down and read something new. I am on page 264 within a book containing around 400 pages.

For those of you who haven't read or heard of this book, Delirium is a dystopia novel where love is classed as a disease. Where, at the age of 18, you can be “cured” of love. The book follows Lena who, in 98 days, will be cured but, within these days, she meets (and slowly falls in love) with a guy called Alex.

Now, I hate leaving books unfinished. I hate doing it. But I feel I have to with this book for several and yet one reason alone.

I am not enjoying reading this book.

I'm sorry if you loved the book (and I know there are LOADS of you out there with love Delirium), but I am not enjoying it. I am finding it hard to read. After reading people's reviews and blogs and the hype around this book, I felt quite excited reading it, and after the first few chapters, I was excited myself. But since the end of chapter 3 or 5, the book just became... well, a drag. It felt more and more hard work.

And I know there will be people going “The last 100 pages! Read the last 100 pages!” but I can't see myself getting there. And, if I do read it, I'm not sure if I could like the book or find the book redeeming because of the last 100 pages. It just feels like I have read world-building and nothing is happening. Yes, it is a gradual realisation to Lena that the world isn't right, but it feels that NOTHING has happened.

Don't get me wrong. The book proposes an interesting idea and makes you wonder about love and wonder that if there was a cure for love, would you take it? (My answer: nope. Not a chance in hell!) And, there are moments in the book where the writing is beautiful. One of the most recent lines that made me go “whoa” is:

Snapshots, moments, mere seconds: as fragile and beautiful and hopeless as a single butterfly, flapping on against a gathering wind. (page 235 in UK hardback)

But I can't read this book in the hope that things begin to speed up or in the hope of finding gems of sentences. To me, reading should be fun and you should read a book because you enjoy it. If you don't like it, then don't read it. And I am going to do what I preach. I've done to myself in the past – read books that I find hard work and end up hating – and I won't do that.

So, I am putting the book down and leaving it. I hope to return to this book in a few months time and either start again or start from where I left off. Maybe a break from it will refresh my brain.


Because I failed (but hope to return and complete) on reading on Delirium didn't mean I had music linked to this book. So, I hope this music is a good replacement.


  1. I hope you can get back to it at some point. I also had a hard time getting into this one, but I will say that it's worth it in the end. The ending is pretty amazing! ;)

  2. i've had books like that and i came back to it years later and loved them. maybe give it another go from the start in in the summer time perhaps and see if maybe you just click with it then.

    happens sometimes :-)

  3. Aww, it's such a shame you didn't like it. I absolutely adored it, but I get not all books are for everyone. I hope you do end up loving it if/when you pick it up again. But if not, nevermind! There are more books in the TBR pile! :)

  4. I will try and go back to it, but I need some distance from it. But, hopefully, will actually like it.

    But loads of books are in my ToBeRead pile so I have no idea when I'll return the book...