My beach reading (and guilty pleasure reading) for this past weekend was a teen dystopian novel (first in a trilogy, of course!) titled Delirium by Lauren Oliver. In some aspects, this book has a lot in common with Matched by Ally Condie. (I talk a bit about Matched here). In Oliver’s world, citizens are “cured” of love (by the government) so that they will be happy and safe. Indeed, the government controls much, if not most, of the citizens’ lives including education and occupations. Delirium focuses on a young “ordinary” teenager who looks forward to the day she will be cured. Why? Because she has been led to believe that her own mother committed suicide because she could not be cured of love.
Of course, there is a teen romance thrown into the mix, and yes, political messages abound — but what I found really interesting about this book was that poetry has been banned. All poetry. What was the reason? Because the government believed that poetry was dangerous.
We complain a lot that people don’t read poetry in today’s world; thus, that is why I find it incredible and intriguing that a writer would think to include a government that was afraid of all things — poetry.