It's short of amazing only because it had such a slow start; I won't hesitate to say I hated how the story started. The main protagonist, Lena seemed a little too scared of everything, stuck-up, insecure over her looks and actions and very jealous of her friend Hana....But mostly, I was disturbed and annoyed by the concept: Love...even mother's love....a disease? Come on. It all seemed too unrealistic and unbelievable.
Then Alex came. No, he didn't change my view of the plot, at least not before I saw him for the fifth time...:D
SPOILER-ish element here: (Please don't read unless you're in Chapter 15.)...
The story slowly turned around, when Lena suddenly decided to be a bit brave and go to warn Hana...(Can't tell about 'what' without spoiling things!) Then....with the words "Let me show you", Lena's whole world turned upside-down, and I began to fall with Lena
END of Spoiler-ish element.
The story seemed to race after that, and I came to forgive the author for the slow pace at the beginning of the book...as I understood I HAD to give it time to let the story slowly sink me in...by chapter eleven, I had come to believe that love of couples really should be a disease..from Lena's perspective. By chapter seventeen, I began to see the change in Lena...no, not change, see her become as she really was inside...and I couldn't dislike her anymore.
The real story began at the end of chapter 20, or actually, depending on different expectations of readers, chapter 22, which shouldn't have come as a shock , but it did.... and the society's deformed face began to make itself fully clear to Lena, and to me, the reader.
[I know my review isn't making any sense to those unfamiliar with the book, but trust me, you wouldn't want a single spoiler if you are about to like this story after frowning at it earlier, like me.]
During chapter twenty five, one climax point came which left me breathless...I'd have died, I think, if I didn't get to know what happened after that, but luckily, I did. (This is really killing me, not being able to pour my heart out without revealing any important aspect of the story....but I have to do it this way.)
The last few pages in the last chapter(27) in the book, (but certainly not the end of the second climax point), I saw Lena transform from a scared, insecure moth into a full-fledged butterfly with a purpose and a somewhat strong layer of self-confidence, and I realized, I'd been waiting for THIS the whole time and there was no other way this book could end without making me content....not happy, not agitated, not mad, not ecstatic, but content.
After chapter 14, Lena began to go in one direction, ahead, on and on, only looking back once in chapter 19, but never wavering (after the turning point in chapter 22) from the path she set herself....
[Here ends the review. I'll talk about my feelings now, so you can leave without reading the rest, or can hear me pour my heart out. It's your choice. ]
There are so many things I adore about this book....:D
1.>>>> This story has made me fall in love with books again, hand-held books especially, has made me feel again how it feels to be so immersed in a book for successive days; lately, for the past 2 years, I've hesitated a lot before taking up a book with so many pages because I knew I wouldn't have time to finish it and I would feel guilty about it...I tried with some good books, got through "Life of Pi" by Yann Martel barely, with long intervals, couldn't get through so many other good books 'borrowed from the library' or 'downloaded from the internet'.... but SOMETHING about THIS book nagged me on(not in the "annoy" sense, but it "urged" me, "probed" me) to delve in the world of "delirium"...
I just HAD to read this book on the bus to campus or on the trip home everyday(after I got really interested), for a chapter or just a few pages JUST to know how Hana was doing, what new experiences she was having, what more was getting revealed about the society she lived in...
And yesterday, on my way home on the bus in the evening, as the sun had set, and I was trying to read just a few more words in the dim, pale, small rays of the moonlight, at that moment, I knew "delirium" had once again burst open my passion for reading, making me want to read books in one go...like the old times.
So, in between my chores this morning, noon, afternoon and evening, whenever I could make time, I devoured "delirium", literally; at one point even hiding it from a friend who had come over for studies.(Just as I used to hide "important" books in odd places in my childhood whenever someone were about to come to my room, to check whether I was studying at exam prep time and I was afraid they'd seize the book; or to visit me and I was afraid they'd try to take the book away and read it themselves).
I was glued to the table most of the time after my friend left, and for the first time in many years(not really, but it feels like that), it was not because I was watching a very good movie, tv series or anime or even viewing a manga, but it was because I was reading a book, not a short ebook, not a short fanfiction,not a short web-story, just a long book with promises of mysteries to unfold....and I'm glad of the day Samia, this book-loving friend of mine, decided to lend me the first book in a series, which I had never heard of, the theme of which I was sure to laugh at....on her own accord; and despite knowing fully well that I shouldn't read the book because I was never gonna be able finish the series, haven't been in a long time, I accepted her request to take the book for a few days....NOW I'm here.
2.>>>> I really loved the character of Grace...she's perfect for this story. I'd really like to read her point of view, and read her story....which might not be possible (sigh)
3.>>>> I've decided to see what the second book is about...can't make promises, but I think I want to see how far Lena goes. And I still am not convinced about the main theme the whole story is based on...as to "why the Government would feel the need to cure love, what exactly is the conspiracy, and don't they have better things to do with their time?..." All these questions keep nagging at me(This time, in the "annoy" sense) and I need answers. I need to know whether I'll have wasted my time with the series, if I do read all the other books and find out all of it was for nothing or for some lame reason I can't put my head around, which I hope is not the case.
4.>>>> I've never been a fan of poetry, at least not since my sunshine-filled days(that's childhood).....seeing the poems/poetry/verses at the start of every chapter or so in this book, especially the one in chapter 8 ("H is for hydrogen,a weight of one...", the ones in chapter 10 & 13 and the ones recited by Alex in chapter 18, just flipped some parts in me, awoke some things long thought to be dead, and I think...I think...I might...get to like or even feel poetry someday.
There are so many feelings and notions I'd like to share about this book, but... I'm ending my talk here, or I won't have time left to do other things.
One final word, "This book does have a unique world, which will seem implausible and disturbing at first, but it will draw you in if you just hold on a little longer."