Author: Lauren Oliver
Genre: Young Adult Dystopian
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Caution: Will contain spoilers from first book in series!
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.
~synopsis from Goodreads
I fell in love with Delirium when it came out. It was around the time right before I started reviewing books online. It was also my first real taste of Dystopian novels. I was captivated by the possibility of a world where love was considered a bad thing. Once I finished it, I was beyond anxious to climb back into Lena’s world and see what happens next.
This novel is broken up into two parts: ‘Then’ is when she is in the Wilds, and ‘Now’ when she is in New York. They are told between alternate chapters. We learn about how she grew while in the Wilds to the person she became in the present. She started out weak but matured into a more powerful person. Reading about her in the ‘Then’ sections was difficult. She was depressed with Alex gone, and unwilling to do what she needed to do. When she started running again, and putting forth the effort to help her friends in the Wilds, she was slowly brought back to life.
In the ‘Now’ sections, I have to admit it wasn’t what I was expecting. Not that this is a bad thing. It’s just from reading reviews here and there about this book, I didn’t get the impression that this is where everything was leading to. I remember hearing about Julian, but not many people had great things to say about him. They were all, “I liked Julian, but I loved Alex.” Hey, I get it. First love and all.
But me? Maybe it’s because it has been a year since I read Delirium and I can’t remember how amazing Alex was in it, but I fell in love with Julian. I really did. There was something about him--his innocence coupled with curiosity. The fact that he was an important person to the ones against the deliria. One of my favorite things to see is a character who can learn about ‘the other side’ and realize that some of the things they’ve been taught aren’t what they seemed. And Julian was that person. What he and Lena went through to get to where they got in the end, it all worked out better than I could have hoped.
Now the end. So many people were all “OMG” about it. I totally and completely expected it. I expected it since I finished the first book. Now, let me tell you guys a secret. It’s a spoiler for this book, so I am going to hide it. Please, don’t read it if you haven’t read either book yet. ***highlight to read SPOILER*** When I finished the first book, for some reason I didn’t get the impression that Alex had died. I read it and believed he was just wounded and captured. To me, it seemed like it would be a STUPID idea for the author to just throw away a character’s first love, especially in a society that BANS love. It wasn’t until I read other reviews that I realized others got that impression. Like I said, it would be stupid to kill him off. Even though the author even portrayed it as Lena believing Alex was dead, I never believed for a second he was dead. So when I read the last few paragraphs of the book, I wasn’t shocked. I was frustrated. Because now, it’s a LOVE TRIANGLE. And honestly, you know she’s going to pick Alex over Julian. That’s how these books go. So, I’m sad. Because I love Julian. ***end of SPOILER***
Was Pandemonium a great continuation of the story? Absolutely. Lauren Oliver’s way with words never ceases to amaze me. I loved the journey from weak Lena to powerful Lena. I loved the path that lead her to Julian. I loved Julian. Should you read this series? DEFINITELY.
Exceptional: Stay up until at least 1 AM