Delirium by Lauren Oliver

The basics

Title: Delirium


Series: Delirium #1

- Delirium (February 2011)
- Pandemonium (February 2012)
- Requiem (March 2013)

Add it: Goodreads

Goodreads Summary:

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.

Read a full summary of Delirium by Lauren Oliver below. If you can’t remember what happened in Delirium and you need a refresher, then you’re in the right place.

In short

In the country Lena Haloway lives, love is seen as an illness. Therefore, people who are eighteen will have an operation that will cure them from it forever.

What happened in Delirium?

  • On the day of Lena’s evaluation (where 18-year-olds are judged to determine their future career and match), someone lets a bunch of cows loose in the building. In the room of Lena’s interview, she sees a boy laughing, and she suspects him to be an Invalid (uncured people who live in the Wilds).
  • The following day, Lena goes running with her friend Hana, and they end up walking around the government buildings, where they meet Alex, the boy Lena saw at her evaluation. Alex and Lena have a moment 🙂 He asks her to meet him later.
  • Though she’s hesitant, she decides to give it a try. However, she’s interrupted along the way and doesn’t make it there before curfew. (Note: she isn’t allowed to meet him before she’s cured.)
  • One day, Lena catches Hana listening to at illegal music station. She also learns that Hana plans on going to a party of uncureds and Invalids after curfew, and Lena pretty much freaks out.
  • But obviously, she ends up sneaking out and going later anyway. On the party, she also meets Alex again, and he tells her that he used to see her running with Hana. Alex is nineteen, and therefore cured, and so she trusts him and decide to meet later.
  • However, when they meet again, he tells her that he was never cured and that he comes from the Wilds. Lena, again, freaks out and takes off.
  • We learn that Lena’s mother has killed herself because she wasn’t cured and didn’t want to give up love, and that her sister Rachel has had the disease as well, but did end up being cured.
  • Days after that, Hana goes to another party, but there happens to be a raid (an unexpected search for the deliria and inappropriate behavior). Even though Hana and Lena are fighting, Lena immediately decides to go warn her.
  • But when she gets to the party, the cops show up there too and Lena ends up fleeing the scene with Alex. AND THEN THEY KISS.
  • The day after, both Hana and Alex show up at the store where Lena and her uncle work. Hana finds out that Lena likes Alex and they become a team! After that, Lena and Alex (and Hana) start seeing each other every day.
  • Lena decides she wants to see the Wilds, and Alex takes her. They climb over the fence and spend a night in his trailer. He reads poems to her, awwww. They plan to escape to the Wilds together.
  • Ready for the big news? Alex tells Lena later that he thinks her mother is still alive and that she’s a prisoner in the Crypts. They sneak in to see her, but as it turns out, Lena’s mother has just escaped the Crypts.
  • Lena tells Hana that she’s planning to escape. But when Lena goes to meet Alex after that, they’re discovered and taken by the authorities. Lena is being locked in her room until her cure.
  • But of course, Alex shows up to rescue her and they race to the Wilds to escape.

How did it end?

They try to climb the fence, but while Lena manages to climb over and escape into the woods, Alex is shot. He tells her to run, so she does.

Anything else

Invalid: People who live in the Wilds.
The Wilds: Pretty much anywhere outside the cities. Though the government has tried to kill all the people who live there, they didn’t succeed.
Sympathizer: People who help the Invalids.

This is a full plot summary of what happened in Delirium by Lauren Oliver. Check out our recap list for more recaps. If you can’t find what you need, you can request a recap from us!

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