Pandemonium Club: Delirium Audiobook Review

Do you know what week it is? PANDEMONIUM WEEK brought to you by the #PandemoniumClub!

See, a while ago there were a few of us blogger friends who used to jokingly refer to ourselves as the Delirium Club while we were anxiously awaiting Pandemonium... so we decided to do something fun to share our love for Lauren Oliver's dystopian series.

This week, a new post is going to be shared each day on a new blog  highlighting the series and why we love it! We even have a fun, fanmade playlist and interview with Lauren!

And of course, a little giveaway.

HarperCollins Canada has very generously offered to sponsor a giveaway for one winner! The details are pretty simple and straightforward.

Open to Canadian residents only (sorry!)

The prize is a copy of Delirium AND Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver! So if you haven't picked up a copy of them yet, here's your chance!

To enter: all you have to do is leave a comment on the Pandemonium Club posts with your e-mail address. That's it. You can comment once on each separate post, for a total of 5 entries. Good luck!

And now, for my special contest I'm doing a special review for the audiobook of Delirium, which I listened to as a reread of Delirium a few weeks ago :) This is perfect for those of you who haven't read Delirium yet and want to know what you can expect from it without getting any spoilers!

Delirium (Delirium #1) by Lauren Oliver ~ audiobook
Release Date ~ February 1, 2011
Harper Audio ~ HarperCollins
Narrated by ~ Sarah Drew
Length ~ 11 hours and 41 minutes

Goodreads Synopsis:
Before scientists found the cure, people thought love was a good thing. They didn’t understand that once love -- the deliria -- blooms in your blood, there is no escaping its hold. Things are different now. Scientists are able to eradicate love, and the government demands that all citizens receive the cure upon turning eighteen. Lena Holoway has always looked forward to the day when she’ll be cured. A life without love is a life without pain: safe, measured, predictable, and happy.

But with ninety-five days left until her treatment, Lena does the unthinkable: She falls in love.

"Ninety-five days, and then I’ll be safe.
I wonder whether the procedure will hurt.
I want to get it over with.
It’s hard to be patient.
It’s hard not to be afraid while I’m still uncured, though so far the deliria hasn’t touched me yet.
Still, I worry.
They say that in the old days, love drove people to madness.
The deadliest of all deadly things: It kills you both when you have it and when you don’t."

I somehow thought (perhaps naively) thought Delirium wouldn't be as heartbreaking the second time around as it was the first time I read it. I thought that it would be less shocking, less gripping, less everything. That's my confession, coming from someone who picked Delirium as her NUMBER 1 book of 2011. Of that whole year.

And I can now absolutely, confidently say that I was wrong. If anything, Delirium is even worse when you're rereading it because you remember just enough of what to expect from it.

It's like getting on to that really big, really scary roller coaster for the second time. No, it isn't quite like the first time where every drop startles you but you know it's coming, and even though you're expecting it the ride is still THAT intense. That's Delirium for you. That's exactly what it will do to your emotions.

  1. A unique dystopian:
    I had read other dystopian books before Delirium, but this is the book that really sold me on them. And Delirium still stands out even among the numerous others currently being cranked out. Rather than focusing on daring action scenes, most of Delirium is a fairly quiet plot. Lena is a rather quiet, obedient introvert. She has no desire to do anything else besides what she's been told she will do and that day (the day she'll be cured) is coming soon. Delirium is different because it goes so far as having others try to control what's inside you, as well as everything surrounding you in society. Love as a disease? That's scary. Just think about it.
  2. Lena's growth as a character:
    I can't stress this enough, but Lena changes SO MUCH as a young woman over the course of Delirium. And that continues into Pandemonium (hint), but it all makes perfect sense. Her development is so gradual and natural that you barely notice it and there really aren't any sudden, jarring changes that don't add up or conflict with her character. Lena, along with Alex and Hana, are all very well-done characters and I love getting to see the different sides of them.
  3. Alex:
    I know I'm biased because I'm a total Alex fangirl BUT I really do think that Alex is reason enough to read Delirium. Just give it (him) a chance. Alex is like the perfect dream boy, and I just love him as a YA romantic interest! He walks that fine line between being brave and protective, but without becoming overprotective and controlling. He's thoughtful, and such a warm person. He's just the perfect boy to balance out Lena. He just steps into a scene and does something cute, and it's like "ALEX!!!!! *swoon*". Constantly.
  4. Perfect heartbreak:
    If you've heard anything by now about Delirium, I'm sure you've heard mentions of a totally emotional, shocking ending. It might be less so because you've just heard SO much about it by now, but this book is awful when you can't stop thinking about it and how sad it is, and you can't possibly imagine how things will ever work out. EVER. But you want it to happen so badly. And I'm a total baby and sobbed after reading this one. Both times.
  5. The ultimate forbidden romance:
    I know there are plenty of these out there. There's no shortage of forbidden romances in pop culture, and we just eat them up. Romeo and Juliet. Buffy and Angel. Now there's Alex and Lena. Seriously, when you can't be in love because one of you is about to undergo a surgery to remove your capability to love, and love is seen as a disease, a SICKNESS (among other things) and you happen to be in love... well, that's really forbidden. Pure treason right there.
My love for this book is undying. I almost feel like I've been ruined for other books, because I really do have a hard time seeing how another book could ever impact me as much as this one. It's definitely a slower paced book, but just go with it. It will pick up. And it needs that slowness to set the stage for everything that's about to happen. And of course, Lauren's writing style is just as beautiful as ever. It's impeccable and everything about it makes the story just feel right somehow.

Thoughts on the audio:
I wanted to listen to the audio as a reread of Delirium since I hadn't found time to read the actual book yet. and I ended up really enjoying it!

Sarah Drew is a fantastic pick to narrate Lena's voice, and I loved how put together she sounded at times but then you could still hear the anxiety and frustration and love sickness in her voice at other times. She also does a GREAT job doing voices for the other characters, especially Hana, although I was conflicted over her voice for Alex. I didn't love it as much as I wanted to, and seeing as Alex is my favourite character I was definitely hoping for more. But sometimes his drawl just didn't come across right and it just sounded odd. And because Alex has so many lines towards the end, you get to hear that odd voice a lot. But that was really the only thing that ended up taking away from the overall experience for me, and sometimes she really nailed Alex's lines. Especially the whispered ones. Oh my, those ones gave me such chills listening to them!


Gwenyth Love said...

I can't believe I haven't read either of these yet! I really need to rectify that soon! Thanks for sharing Brenna.

Andrea @ Cozy Up said...

I really enjoy the sound of the audio. Though it would have been nice to have a male do the lines for Alex (he is for sure my favourite character as well!). But I'm happy to know that she did get his lines sometimes, will definitely have to check out this audiobook (maybe this will be my first one). It's nice to see a review of a reread, and I believe that it's like going on a rollercoaster! Great review :)

Lindsay said...

WOW! What an awesome review... I cannot WAIT to read these books! Thank you for the chance to win!!


Anonymous said...

Why on Earth would anyone want to eradicate love? Seems crazy to me. I think Hallmark and Hollywood would be the first to protest it and the rest of us would fall into line ;) Enter me! brokenpenguins@gmail.com

- Farah @ Broken Penguins

Christina Kit. said...

Thanks for such a great review!

And thanks for this awesome giveaway!

ccfioriole at gmail dot com

Icequeen said...

I've had this book on my wishlist for a while now and for some reason I keep forgetting to put it on my list when I go to the store. Thanks for the giveaway, awesome!

icequeen at vianet dot ca

curlypow said...

I loved pandemonium and am anxiously waiting for Delirium. I haven't listened to it yet though, so I'll have to correct that soon. Thanks for the giveaway.

curlypow3 at gmail dot com

ChristasBooks said...

Pandemonium week is here!! Whooo!

I love the idea of Delirium as an audio book I am definitely going to give it a shot.

Alicia said...

thank you for the review and giveaway

itlnsilver at yahoo dot ca

Jennifer said...

I am dying to read Pandemonium.

Please enter me for the giveaway. Thanks so much.

jlkalman26 at gmail dot com

Mimi Valentine said...

Can't wait can't wait to get my hands on this book!! :) I've only listened to one audiobook so far, but it was great for when you need your hands but still want to read, and I'm glad that this one is pretty good! :)

Awesome audiobook review, Brenna! And thanks so much for the amazing giveaway, too!


Bleuette said...

I LOVED Delirium! I also really loved the world and as you said Lena's growth as a character! :)


Ang said...

Great review of Delirium! I LOVED that book so I can't wait to read Pandemonium. As such, I'm entering the contest! My email address is angela.haddow@gmail.com

Unknown said...

Nice review on Delirium. I wasn't a big fan of it the first time around, but you've kind of convinced me to try and give it a second shot. Sometimes the second time around resonates more with me :)
thriftshopgrrl AT hotmail DOT com

In Julie's Opinion said...

Awesome review!! I haven't read either book yet, but after reading how much you loved Delirium, I'm moving them up to the top of my must read list! It's even better that you loved the audiobook! I really need to stock up on my audiobooks for when I'm knitting, crocheting, or cleaning around the house, but I'm always wary because if the narrator isn't any good, it just ruins what could have been a great book for me! Since you have already raved about the narrator, though, I know this will be a safe one to listen to! Thanks so much for the awesome review:)
jwitt33 at live dot com

ZaraAlexis said...

I haven't read either of the books and there's SO much buzz going on about it, it's hard NOT to want to read them! Another good reason for me...well, according to your review, Alex is to "swoon" for! (And did you notice that MY name is ZARA ALEXIS? This must mean something!)

Here's hoping I get a copy of these books!!!!
Thanks Brenna, I love the design of your blog!

Zara D. Garcia-Alvarez
Email: zgarcia(dot)alvarez(at)gmail(dot)com
On Twitter: @ZaraAlexis

Proserpine said...

Hi! This book sounds awesome, I would love to read it! I never listen a book before, but your so lucky to have been able to do it! Thanks for this giveaway!


Tiffany Holme said...

I can't believe that I haven't read these yet. It is actually a little shameful to have to admit that! However I love Dystopian books so I am super excited for the chance to win them!!


Unknown said...

I haven't read this series yet, but I really want to especially after your review - it has me pumped to jump into the books! I was in Chapters the other day and debated on getting it or not, but I'm trying to save up for possibly studying abroad next year, so I had to stick with my bargain book... so I'd love to win!


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