Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver

Title: Pandemonium (Delirium #2)

Author: Lauren Oliver
Publisher: Harper Teen
Format: Hardcover
Publication Date: February 28, 2012
Overall: 4/5 
Source: Bought

I’m pushing aside the memory of my nightmare,
pushing aside thoughts of Alex,
pushing aside thoughts of Hana and my old school,
like Raven taught me to do.
The old life is dead.
But the old Lena is dead too.
I buried her.
I left her beyond a fence,
behind a wall of smoke and flame.

Lauren Oliver delivers an electrifying follow-up to her acclaimed New York Times bestseller, Delirium. This riveting, brilliant novel crackles with the fire of fierce defiance, forbidden romance, and the sparks of a revolution about to ignite.

**Warning: Possible DELIRIUM spoilers.**
PANDEMONIUM follows two story lines–Now and Then–as Lena details how she made it into the Wilds after her and Alex’s escape gone wrong, and later as Lena secretly watches the son of the leader of the DFA (Deliria-Free America). All the while, Lena tries to push out the old her, push out thoughts of her old life, so she can survive in her new one.
Well. Here might just be the most difficult review I’ve ever written. For me to be able to sit down and write this review, I’ve had to distance myself from the book for a few days and have a looooong conversation with a good friend who had also just finished reading it about the same time I did.
A word in advance: I do recommend this book! I do! I do! Don’t take anything in this review to say that I don’t, otherwise I wouldn’t have given it 4/5 rating!
*deep breath* Okay. Here we go.
I’m torn about this book.
Did I like it? Yep! I thought it was an excellent sequel. In fact, for the first half of the book, I was thinking it was even better than DELIRIUM. Tons of awesome action and such an emotional roller coaster. The writing is phenomenal. Oliver is so, so, so talented.
When I was reading DELIRIUM, the only problem I had with the book is that the premise didn’t seem realistic. Which, admittedly, is a pretty big problem. I mean, a world without love? Okay, but that’s not much of a story. I mean, if no one loves, how can they be passionate about anything? How can they care about anything? How can they HATE? How is this world so scary when these loveless people even say they don’t hate anything or have passion for anything? Why are they going after the people who love, then? It didn’t make sense to me. However! I was actually able to get past that when reading PANDEMONIUM because the story and the writing was so good.
I loved the inclusion of the Scavengers in PANDEMONIUM. I thought they were an excellent way to show a darker side to love and passion. Now it’s no longer those who don’t love = evil, and those who love = good. Now it’s about navigating those positive and negative aspects of what it means to be able to love.
So why am I torn? What is stopping me from giving this book five stars?
First, I’m not sure how I felt about the duel plot lines. I loved both stories and both stories were equally intense. And maybe this is just a personal thing, but it was like I couldn’t fully commit to either story. I can only invest in so much at one time!
The main reason for why I can’t give this book five stars though is really spoilery, so I’m not going to write about it. I will say, though, that by the second half of the book, I was starting to get this sense of dread because I knew exactly how the rest of the book was going to go, right down to the end. And I was right. I hate being able to guess how a book is going to go (because, as a reader, is makes me feel cheated when I can guess, but that’s my fault, certainly not the book’s fault!). And the more I read, the better I am at guessing. Ha! Perhaps I would feel differently about this book if I hadn’t been able to guess how it would go.
But in the end, maybe that’s okay. Maybe I need to take the book’s message to heart–the ups and downs of love. The good side of love and the bad side of love. Hmm. Even if I can’t suspend my disbelief for the premise, it still makes me think. And that’s always good!
I just desperately wish I could get my hands on REQUIEM, the third book, RIGHT NOW BECAUSE I MUST SEE HOW THIS ALL WORKS OUT. And that, dear readers, if how I know a book has hooked me. I care about this series. A lot. I care about the characters. And considering I don’t hide the fact that I don’t really like stories that mainly focus on love/romance, it has to be an amazing series that is able to hook me when its very premise is about love!
So, yes, I absolutely recommend this book! To anyone who love dystopian YA, good writing, and interesting and strong characters. But maybe. . .if you haven’t read it yet, hold off until the third book, REQUIEM comes out. You may thank me. Ha!
An Enjoyable Read, Well Written, Recommended
**Please Note: This review is my honest opinion and I received no monetary compensation from it.**
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