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Vladimir Nabokov, Craig Raine
Delirium  - Lauren Oliver I think one thing that disappoints me with most dystopian society books these days is that the genre has SO MUCH POTENTIAL! They can explore darker parts of our society and explore new ideas. I liked Handmaid's Tale because it was a creepy look into what would happen if women's rights were taken away. Even the book that started this trend, The Hunger Games, explored "reality tv" and human brutality. Sadly, most of these YA authors don't like to explore these ideas and instead just come up with the most horrible (and for the most part, ridiculous) thing they can come up with, give some basic and unsatisfactory explanation, and then have the entire thing be a love story. For example, in this story, the idea is that love is a danger and that they've come up with a way to remove that emotion by having everyone at age 18 have an operation to remove it. Why people can't have the operation before 18 or how society came to this idea is never explained. Other things are confusing too, like whether they mean romantic love or all kinds of love. Mothers don't seem to "love" their children, yet if love is so dangerous that people go crazy due to it and the operation can't happen until people are 18, isn't there a danger in loving your parents or friends or a pet? The people who have been cured don't seem to care about anything, though that could be a side affect of removing romantic love. Again, that is never really explained. There were some cool concepts. One thing in particular that stood out to me was how people took certain bible excerpts, said that they were against love, and used that as part of their book against love. People twist words around in religious texts all the time to suit their politics, and that she chose some was a good idea. What's especially frustrating is that Lauren Oliver is a competent writer, and could have done something good with this genre. I enjoyed her first novel quite a bit.