Delirium (Lauren Oliver novel)
|January 1, 2011|
|Media type||Print (Hardback)|
The story is set in Portland, Maine, in an alternate present. Civilization is concentrated in those cities which escaped the severe bombings of decades past. Travel between cities is highly restricted. Electric fences separate the city from the Wilds—unregulated territory which was presumably mostly destroyed by bombs.
The totalitarian government teaches that love is a disease, named amor deliria nervosa, commonly referred to as "the deliria". A surgical cure for the deliria has been developed and is mandatory for citizens 18 years old and over. Lena has looked forward to the procedure for years, convinced as she is by the government that love is a horrible disease that must be destroyed from mankind's system.
However, mere months before her scheduled procedure, Lena falls in love with an Invalid (a person over 18 who has not taken the Cure and lives in the Wilds) named Alex. He was born in the Wilds outside the city, and has pretended to be cured in order to live undetected in the city and be in the resistance. He offers Lena the means of escape from the procedure that will destroy her ability to love. The two of them would leave the city and live in the Wilds, joining the rebels who oppose the procedure and the government. Although Lena struggles with the thought of leaving her life behind, she ultimately decides to go just seven days before her procedure.
Alex and Lena are discovered meeting together a few nights before their planned escape. Lena is captured and held in her home, tied down and under guard, until she can have the procedure to cure her of her love sickness—and render her docile and unresistant. Alex rescues her and they attempt to escape the city, but Alex allows himself to be captured and shot on the spot to save Lena. She runs off into the Wilds, not wanting Alex's sacrifice to be in vain.
Lauren Oliver says that the inspiration for Delirium came to her one day at the gym. She had recently read a Gabriel Garcia Márquez essay where he said that all books were about either love or death. Since her first book, Before I Fall was about death, she wanted to write a book about love. At the gym she was watching a news report about a pandemic, and the two ideas combined in her head to form the central concept of the Delirium books.
Delirium is the first installment of a trilogy. Two midquels between the first and second books, Hana and Annabel, were released on February 28 and December 26, 2012 respectively. The second book, Pandemonium, was released on February 28, 2012. The third and final book in the trilogy, Requiem, was released on March 5, 2013. Another midquel, between the second and third books, Raven, was also released March 5, 2013. The midquels were made into one book, Delirium Stories subtitled Hana, Annabel, and Raven, released the same date. Another midquel, also between the first and second books, called Alex, was released with the first edition of the final book in the trilogy, Requiem.
Fox has ordered a television pilot based on Delirium. According to The Hollywood Reporter actress Emma Roberts was cast as Lena Haloway, the main role. In February 2013, Gregg Sulkin was cast as the role of Julian Fineman, one of Lena's love interests, but was changed to be the love interest of her best friend Hana Tate for the show. On February 25, 2013 Daren Kagasoff was cast as Alex Sheathes, the male lead and Lena's love interest. Karyn Usher penned the pilot, with Peter Chernin and Katherine Pope as executive producers. On March 1, 2013, Jeanine Mason was cast as Hana Tate. Fox later declined to pick up the pilot.
Delirium was a New York Times bestseller. It was released to largely positive reviews, including starred reviews from Kirkus and the School Library Journal. NPR wrote, "Oliver writes beautifully, with well-measured mastery. The references to The Book of Shhh and The Safety, Health and Happiness Handbook, 12th edition, are exquisitely artful touches." 
- Oliver, Lauren (January 23, 2013). "ANNOUNCING THE DELIRIUM TV SERIES!". Tumblr. Retrieved March 2, 2013.
- Goldberg, Lesley (February 7, 2013). "Emma Roberts to Star in Fox Drama 'Delirium'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved February 7, 2013.
- Webb Mitovitch, Matt (January 22, 2013). "Pilot News: Fox's Drama Orders Include Greg Kinnear's Rake, Modern Sleepy Hollow, Delirium". TVLine. Retrieved March 2, 2013.
- Ng, Philiana (March 1, 2013). "'So You Think You Can Dance' Winner to Co-Star in Fox's 'Delirium'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved March 3, 2013.