Another stop on my long list of dystopian novels, Delirium is one of the most enthralling books I’ve read in a while, mainly because its premise is so original. In the not-so-distant future, the United States has found a cure for the world’s most deadly disease: amor deliria nervosa or, as we know it, Love.  Education, government, and social structures have been redesigned around protecting the population from catching The Disease. Girls and boys who haven’t reached 18 (the legal age to receive the cure) are not allowed to talk, touch, or be alone together, especially after curfew--and God forbid anyone utter those deadly words: "I love you." 

Lena Haloway has waited eagerly for her 18th birthday, and for the cure that will guarantee that she is forever protected from the disease that killed her mother. Lena is impatiently counting down the days until she’ll be safe, but weeks before she is scheduled to receive the cure she meets a boy named Alex and suddenly she’s become a victim of the deadly illness. But can it really be called “illness” when it’s the best she's ever felt? Now Lena has to decide whether to stay under the thrall of a system that rules by fear and punishment, or leave behind everything and follow Alex into the Wilds and the unknown.  What I loved most about this book was that, unlike the other dystopian books I’ve read, this novel’s main character starts off completely under the spell of her misleading government, and we get to witness her slow evolution from terrified follower to fearless rebel.

The sequel, Pandemonium, comes out March 6th, 2012


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Delicious foods : a novelBy Hannaham, James

Hannaham’s book is the engrossing story of a Southern family’s disintegration after the death of husband and father, Nat Hardison. It is narrated by Eddie, the couple’s son, as well as an unusual inanimate character named Scotty, and Eddie’s mother, Darlene, absent both emotionally and physically during much of his childhood, unable to cope with the intense emotional burden, local injustice, and overwhelming grief she experiences when Nat is murdered. Eleven year-old Eddie spends a lot of time with his widowed Aunt Bethella, but at one point he decides to try to find his absent mother. Boldly navigating the seedy underbelly of the streets, Eddie’s path leads him to the horrible prison-like agricultural farming enterprise called Delicious Foods, from which he barely escapes with his life. A bold, harrowing story told with amazing love and respect for its characters.

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