Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Kearsten's Book Club: Delirium by Lauren Oliver

Lena looks forward to receiving the government-mandated cure that prevents the delirium of love and leads to a safe, predictable, and happy life, until ninety-five days before her eighteenth birthday and her treatment, when she falls in love.

Last night, we talked LOVE. And power. But mostly, love and whether or not we believed that it could be as destructive as the creepy government portrayed in Lauren Oliver's Delirium thinks it is.

This sci-fi teen novel brought up more questions than answers for us:

- Is it just love that's bad? What about hate? Or is that an extension of love...?
- What, exactly, IS this cure? Is this society full-on lobotomizing their "willing" populace?
- What happens to your interest in hobbies - like Lena's love of running - when you get cured?
- Do government officials/regulators/guards get cured? If so, why are they so very ragey?
- Why must Lena be so gosh-darned hard on herself?! You sound just lovely, my dear!

We enjoyed our discussion, as well as the fact that it led us to wonder about our own government - in what ways do they try to 'protect' us by removing freedoms - and think you should try Delirium yourself!

Already read it? Why not try some of these?

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley (for older teens). Through the most efficient scientific and psychological engineering, people are genetically designed to be passive and therefore consistently useful to the ruling class.

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen accidentally becomes a contender in the annual Hunger Games, a grave competition hosted by the Capitol where young boys and girls are pitted against one another in a televised fight to the death.

1984 by George Orwell. In 1984, London is a grim city where Big Brother is always watching you and the Thought Police can practically read your mind. Winston is a man in grave danger for the simple reason that his memory still functions. Drawn into a forbidden love affair, Winston finds the courage to join a secret revolutionary organization called The Brotherhood, dedicated to the destruction of the Party. Together with his beloved Julia, he hazards his life in a deadly match against the powers that be.

Shock Point by April Henry. Fifteen-year-old Cassie Streng is determined to expose her stepfather after learning that he is giving a dangerous experimental drug to his teenaged psychiatric patients, but he sends her to a boot camp for troubled teens in Mexico in order to keep her quiet.

When She Woke by Hillary Jordan (for older teens). When She Woke, tells the story of a stigmatized woman struggling to navigate an America of a not-too-distant future, where the line between church and state has been eradicated and convicted felons are no longer imprisoned and rehabilitated but chromed-their skin color is genetically altered to match the class of their crimes-and then released back into the population to survive as best they can. Hannah is a Red; her crime is murder.

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