Lauren Oliver

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Lauren Oliver
Born Laura Suzanne Schechter[1]
(1982-11-08) November 8, 1982 (age 33)[2]
Westchester County, New York[3]
Occupation Author
Language English
Nationality American
Ethnicity American
Citizenship American
Alma mater University of Chicago[3]
Period 2010–present
Genre Young-adult
Science fiction
Middle Grade
Notable works Delirium trilogy
Before I Fall

Lauren Oliver (born Laura Suzanne Schechter, November 8, 1982) is an American author of the Young Adult (YA) novels Before I Fall, Panic and the Delirium trilogy; Delirium, Pandemonium and Requiem, which have been translated into more than thirty languages. She is a 2012 E.B. White Read-Aloud Award nominee for her middle-grade novel Liesl & Po, as well as author of the fantasy middle-grade novel The Spindlers.

Lauren graduated from the University of Chicago, where she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. She also has a Master of Fine Arts degree from New York University. With Lexa Hillyer, she is co-founder of the boutique literary development company Paper Lantern Lit.

Early life[edit]

Growing up, Lauren was both an avid reader and writer, saying, “I come from a family of writers, and so have always (mistakenly) believed that spending hours in front of the computer every day, mulling over the difference between ‘chortling’ and ‘chuckling’ is normal. As a child, after finishing a book, I would continue to write a sequel for its characters, because I did not want to have to give them up.”[4]

As she continued in her writing, Lauren eventually made the switch to writing her own stories and characters, to some success. Yet, in addition to writing, Lauren also enjoyed taking ballet, drawing, painting, making collages, singing, acting, experimenting with cooking, and as she puts it, “(trying) to spend my time being as creative and useless as possible.” After finishing high school and moving on to the University of Chicago, Lauren reveals, “I continued to be as impractical as possible by majoring in philosophy and literature...inadvertently aided and abetted in my mission by my older sister, Lizzie, who pursued a Ph.D. in philosophy and cognitive science. This eventually led our parents to resign themselves to the fact that their children would never be lawyers, doctors, or even gainfully employed.[4] Nevertheless, things appear to have worked out for the well-known author.

Career and novels[edit]

Oliver's first book, Before I Fall, was published on March 2, 2010, by HarperCollins in the United States, and by Hodder & Stoughton in the United Kingdom. The book is about a teenage girl, Sam, who has to go through the last day of her life seven times, each time learning new values and the mysteries surrounding her death. Oliver claims to have written all of it on her BlackBerry while going to meetings on the subway. She would E-mail herself the chapters to later work on them some more. This book has been picked up by Fox 2000 Pictures. The film is currently in post-production, and is expected to be released in late 2016. Actress Zoey Deutch will be portraying main character Samantha Kingston.

Oliver's second book, Delirium, is the first in her dystopian trilogy. Oliver's first novella, "Hana", was released after Delirium, but the book takes place in Delirium but in Hana's perspective. The trilogy's second book, Pandemonium, was released on February 28, 2012. Another novella, Annabel, was released on December 26, 2012 as an e-book. It is placed before the events unfolding in Delirium. This details the story of Lena's mother prior to the events. The third and final book of the trilogy, Requiem, was published on March 5, 2013. A third novella, Raven, was published along with the third book, Requiem, on March 5, 2013 as an e-book. This novella follows Raven on her life and adventures between the events of Pandemonium and Requiem. On March 5, 2013, all three of the novellas (Hana, Annabel & Raven) were released together in a softcover book.

Oliver's first middle-grade book, about a girl who is visited by a ghost who says her dead father is stuck in Limbo and that only she can help him over, was published on September 1, 2011.[5] Her second middle-grade book, entitled The Spindlers, tells the story of a young girl, Liza, as she travels into a fantastical underworld to rescue her younger brother from the sinister creatures. It was released on August 2, 2012.

Oliver's next book, a YA contemporary novel entitled Panic, was released March 4, 2014, and has been already optioned by Universal Pictures in a major deal. Panic is a contemporary fiction novel that tells the stories of Heather and Dodge who are recently graduated high school students in the impoverished small town of Carp. The action of the story revolves around the mysterious and dangerous game called "Panic" that takes place every summer after graduation. Panic involves a series of adrenaline pumping challenges that become progressively more life-threatening in order to weed out the weak and find out who is the most fearless of all. The winner of Panic receives a large sum of money (the year Heather and Dodge play the prize is $67,000), which is a chance to escape the poverty in which they all live.

This novel was followed by her first adult novel, Rooms on September 23, 2014, and another teen novel, Vanishing Girls on March 10, 2015. Vanishing Girls tells the story of two sisters, Dara and Nick, who are dealing with the aftermath of a disastrous car accident that has put a strain on their once inseparable relationship. The book alternates between the perspectives of Dara and Nick until Dara disappears unexpectedly around the same time a local nine-year old vanishes. Convinced that the two disappearances are connected, Nick decides she must find out what happened to her sister before it is too late. This book is a psychological thriller that uses regular prose as well as multimedia elements to unfold the mystery.

Oliver's third book for younger readers, and first of a new series, is to be released on September 29, 2015. Titled Curiosity House: The Shrunken Head, the novel is a collaboration with H.C. Chester.

Personal life[edit]

Lauren was born in Queens and raised in Westchester, New York, in a small town very similar to the one depicted in Before I Fall. Her parents are both literature professors, and from a very early age, she was encouraged to make up stories, draw, paint, dance around in costumes, and essentially spend much of her time living imaginatively. She pursued literature and philosophy at the University of Chicago, and then moved back to New York to attend NYU’s MFA program in creative writing. She simultaneously began working at Penguin Books, in a young adult division called Razorbill, and while there, she started work on Before I Fall. She left in 2009 to pursue writing full-time, and now happily works at home. Oliver lives in Brooklyn, New York. She is the daughter of true crime writer Harold Schechter.


Novels for young adults[edit]

Delirium Trilogy[edit]

  • Annabel (December 26, 2012) – Prequel Novella
  • Delirium (February 3, 2011)
  • Hana (February 28, 2011) – Novella 1.5
  • Pandemonium (February 28, 2012)
  • Raven (March 5, 2013) – Novella 2.5
  • Requiem (March 5, 2013)
  • Alex (November 25, 2014) – Novella 3.5
  • Delirium Stories: Hana, Annabel, and Raven (March 5, 2013)

Standalone novels[edit]

  • Before I Fall (March 2, 2010)
  • Panic (March 4, 2014)
  • Vanishing Girls (March 10, 2015) [6]
  • Replica (October 4, 2016)

Novels for adults[edit]

  • Rooms (September 23, 2014)

Novels for young readers[edit]

  • Liesl and Po (October 4, 2011)
  • The Spindlers (October 2, 2012)
  • Curiosity House: The Shrunken Head (September 29, 2015) [7]


  1. ^ "Class of 2004 – Alumni & Friends – University of Chicago". Retrieved 5 November 2014. 
  2. ^ "Courtney Sheinmel on Twitter: "Today is @OliverBooks's birthday! Happy birthday, Lauren! Love you lots!"". Retrieved 5 November 2014. 
  3. ^ a b Oliver, Lauren. "About Lauren Oliver". Retrieved April 7, 2013. 
  4. ^ a b "Lauren Oliver: About the Author: HarperCollins Publishers". Retrieved 5 November 2014. 
  5. ^ "Liesl and Po". Good Reads. Retrieved 7 May 2011. 
  6. ^ "Lauren Oliver in Fantasticfiction". Retrieved 5 November 2014. 
  7. ^ "Curiosity House: The Shrunken Head – Lauren Oliver, H.C. Chester = Hardcover". Retrieved 9 May 2015. 

External links[edit]