I was 13 when I did NaNoWriMo for the first time. That was before I had ever read any Young Adult books, before I had ever finished a draft of any of my novels, before I began telling myself, "I want to be a published writer."
For those of you unfamiliar with Nano, they have a list of special pep-talks sent to the Wrimos (participants) by successful authors. Lauren Oliver was one of the pep-talkers the first year I ventured to do Nano. I really liked her pep-talk, so I decided to check out her books.
I was instantly hooked by Delirium. I remember lying on my bed, my eyes rapidly moving across page after page, devouring the words as quickly as possible to find out what would happen. Oh, geez, I wish I could go back to that first time I read the book. To be sure, I've re-read it multiple times, but there's something about the first time you read a book that you can never get back no matter how many times you re-read it.
Pandemonium was awesome, too. I didn't think it was as good as Delirium, but I honestly wasn't expecting it to be. That being said, I was not at all disappointed in it. It was still way better than most books. And that dang cliff hanger ending. . . even worst than the first=)
One thing I really like about Lauren Oliver is that her books aren't "video game books." That's what my dad calls books with action scene after scene. Even though her books are crazy exciting, Lauren knows how to write those mellow, everyday moments that everyone has. Though the Delirium trilogy takes place in the future, it is still so normal. People are still people, as they are today, and as they were a thousand years ago. People who are still making their way through life. People succeeding and failing, loving and hating, laughing and crying.
I just finished Requiem. As I closed the book, I was left with a strange array of emotions. The first one, I can't tell you, because it's a spoiler=) But after that feeling, I was like "Oh. My. Goodness. I just finished Delirium." The fact that I had finished the series made me want to cry more than the book actually did! And yes, my eyes did tear up multiple times while reading it. I was/am filled with a total awe of Lauren Oliver. She is such a talented writer who deserves all the attention and success that she is receiving and more.
Requiem was utterly beautiful. If there's one word that would describe the Delirium series, it's beautiful. So real, so honest, so soulful, so beautiful. Lauren Oliver, you've done it again. I hope someday I will be able to write as beautifully as you can.
(I would give the Delirium series a PG14 rating as a whole– probably PG13 for the first book, but PG14 for the last two. The books deal with some mature subject content, some language, and there is some sexual content.)