Friday, February 22, 2013

Review: Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver

ISBN: 9780061978067
Publisher: HarperCollins Children's Books
Publication date: February 28th 2012
Series: Delirium #2
Page count: 375 pages


"After falling in love, Lena and Alex flee their oppressive society where love is outlawed and everyone must receive the "cure" - an operation that makes them immune to the delirium of love - but Lena alone manages to find her way to a community of resistance fighters. Although she is bereft without the boy she loves, her struggles seem to be leading her toward a new love."

**May contain some small spoilers**
When I started reading this book, the first thing I thought was - "I don't remember anything from Delirium." I was so annoyed, and afraid I wouldnt enjoy Pandemonium because of it. I was three chapters in and I was praying I'd have an a-ha! moment. Thankfully I did, when 1. I read some reviews on Delirium to refresh my memory and 2. I realized the chapters were titled "then" and "now" and didnt have to keep muddling through, hoping for the best. I could finally keep up!

I actually for once don't have much to say about a book. It was so much better than the first in the series. Delirium was so boring for me. I thought Lena fell flat, I thought her love with Alex fell even flatter. I didnt believe any of the story or connect with any of the characters.

THANK GOD Pandemonium was not like that. Lena evolved in the second installment and quickly. In the first few chapters of "then", when she was still just over the border into the Wilds, she was still very flat for me. I couldnt connect with her emotions, but once she began growing stronger, accepting her grief as a part of her and moving on, I felt like I could relate to her better.

I dont know - maybe it was just me but I was even more interested in the world in Pandemonium, in the plot and storyline. I always found the whole premise intriguing, but when I read Delirium I was so disappointed with where Oliver took it. Now I'm happy with Pandemonium and where she took it, and Oliver has redeemed herself for me.

The story progressed quickly, and I felt every single one of Lena's emotions. It annoyed me a little that Julian was so... I don't know. Weak, maybe? I guess I just dislike weak characters. But what would a book be if every character was strong and independent?

I felt SO MUCH more in tune with Lena and Julian's love story, of their tentative reachings-out to each other, etc. Even when Lena didnt want to love him because of Alex, she knew she did and eventually stopped fighting it.

I know many people have been talking about the ending. Unfortunately, I knew what was coming because I had read some reviews containing spoilers, so I wasnt exactly surprised. I was a little surprised at how it happened, and that it happened in the LAST PARAGRAPH OF THE BOOK!! And I desperately want to get my hands on Requiem to find out what the hell happens, but all I can say in this regard is that I am 100% team Julian. That is all.

Oh, a few stray thoughts - to those readers who say Lauren Oliver's writing is awful... What?! She writes beautifully, regardless if Delirium was slow. Slow or not - she's still a great writer.

Also, I'm very intrigued by the way Oliver addresses homosexuality in the story. I love that Lena's take on her friends' relationship is one of tolerance, and that it doesnt focus on their differences. It is ironic though that it still exists in the world that Oliver has created, and gives me little hope for the real world's future of tolerance. I mean the book doesnt tell the future, but thats the whole point of dystopia isnt it? This is where the world is headed if we cant get back on track.

One last stray, this book is slightly reminiscent of one of my favorite books ever, The Giver by Lois Lowry. In the world Lowry creates, feelings, colors, seasons, pain, differentiation, it all doesnt exist, so in my mind it is an extreme version of the Delirium story, where Oliver focuses on love being the root of all evil, not knowledge of feelings and the world in general, but I still see similarities. The spark of this thought process was when I realized that Oliver uses "the procedure" to administer the "cure" and Lowry uses pills to stop the "stirrings" and pretty much turn people into robots - or better yet, ZOMBIES! Like Lena calls the cureds.

Oh and might I add, there was virtually nothing about this book I didnt like.


I enjoyed this book very much. I love Oliver's writing, and the plot moves much quicker in this book than it did in Delirium. I liked Lena's new love interest and the progression of their love story, and I connected very much with all of characters, especially, finally, with Lena.


You may be wondering why I loved this so much and only gave it four stars. First, I'd like to say it really should be a 4 1/2 stars but.... I dont know how to make half a star (if anyone has any idea let me know!) so there you go. But the reason this doesnt make five is probably my own fault, because I already knew the ending of the book, so there was no jaw-dropping holy sh*t moment for me. It may be a little unfair because the book didnt do that, I did, but it is what it is. I did like this book a lot, cant wait for Requiem in 12 days, and I recommend this to you YA lovers who havent read this one yet!

For those of you who have read it - what did you think? Do you agree or disagree with the points I made?


1 comment:

  1. I'm Team Julian too! Loved this one so much more than Delirium!


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