Here's a description I lifted from Amazon:
Lena Haloway is content in her safe, government-managed society. She feels (mostly) relaxed about the future in which her husband and career will be decided, and looks forward to turning 18, when she’ll be cured of deliria, a.k.a. love. She tries not to think about her mother’s suicide (her last words to Lena were a forbidden “I love you”) or the supposed “Invalid” community made up of the uncured just beyond her Portland, Maine, border. There’s no real point—she believes her government knows how to best protect its people, and should do so at any cost. But 95 days before her cure, Lena meets Alex, a confident and mysterious young man who makes her heart flutter and her skin turn red-hot. As their romance blossoms, Lena begins to doubt the intentions of those in power, and fears that her world will turn gray should she submit to the procedure.The thing that drew me into Delirium right from the beginning was its setting. The author, Lauren Oliver, has set this story in my hometown of Portland, Maine. And Portland itself plays a big role in this novel. She intricately describes areas of the city without changing any of the names or nicknames. Commercial Street is still Commercial Street but instead of the busy, working waterfront lined with restaurants, bars and fish markets it is today, it's a scary, vagrant-filled alley that you avoid like the plague. It made it so much more fun to read.
In Delirium, Portland is fenced in and the outlying areas and towns are referred to as the "wilds" -- a community for the "uncureds". In actuality, the places I imagine to be the "wilds" are the up-scale neighborhoods like Falmouth and Cumberland -- which makes it all the funnier to picture dirty, homeless people living here. At times I almost got too distracted from the story because every time the author would describe a place, I would spend far too much time picturing (or trying to picture) it -- especially in its fictional, futuristic state.
Lena Haloway, the main character, and her bestest friend Hana do a lot of running and they run through the same streets I did in high school. They hang out in Monument Square which (in real life) is a hub of activity during nice weather with farmer's markets, outdoor restaurant seating and the Portland Soldiers and Sailors Monument, which also plays a key role in the book.
And then there's Alex... I can't even talk about him without getting a bit hot and bothered. *fans self*
I don't want to give away too much here and spoil it for you but trust, this book is fantastic. I'm hoping it makes it to the big screen -- I read that it was optioned back in February, 2011... so the fact that I've heard nothing else of its making, doesn't bode well. Fingers crossed.
Here's an unspoiler-y video of the author...
A couple months ago, the sequel to Delirium, called Pandemonium, came out. And it did not disappoint. While it takes the characters in a completely different direction, it kept me riveted and even more excited for the conclusion of the trilogy, Requiem, due out February, 2013.
Have you read it? If so, I'm dying to hear your take. I've been waiting for someone who doesn't live in Portland to read it and let me know if it's as good as I think it is.