Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver | Book Review
Release date: February 28, 2012
Series: Delirium (Book #2)
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopia
Let me just put this out there: I am loving this trilogy. I raved about the first book just recently, I burned through this one (review is a bit delayed since I was on vacation) and I can't believe I have to wait until March of next year to for the final one! I have seen some surprisingly unflattering reviews of this book, and while I do agree with some of the points, I still think this is a great read.
The book is written in two time periods simultaneously: the chapters alternate between "Then" and "Now." The "Then" part is Lena's journey starting right where Delirium ended and in the "Now" we see an "evolved" Lena months later. I was waiting for the two to eventually merge, but for some reason the author still left a gap between them - the reader never gets to see that final transition into most current events. Maybe next book? This style of storytelling bothered me in the beginning of the book: as soon as I would really get into whatever was happening at the moment, the chapter would end and I was thrown into the other storyline. After a while I got used to it, especially since the "Then" was giving some really good insights into who Lena is in the "Now."
I found myself missing a bit of Lauren Oliver's writing style this time around. I do understand that Pandemonium is more action packed than Delirium and there really isn't as much room for elaborate language. It might have also had to do with the change Lena goes through, making her tougher and more focused. Still, then language was one of the main things I was initially attracted to and I am really hoping it will flourish again in the final book.
My next point will contain major spoilers for both Delirium and Pandemonium, so if you are planning on reading the books stop after this paragraph. All you need to know is if you enjoyed Delirium you will enjoy this book as well. Just keep an open mind and prepare to be torn. Other than that, I am anxiously awaiting the release of Requiem. And by anxiously I mean I actually marked the release date on my calendar so I can get the final book as soon as I can. Is it March yet?
!!! SPOILER ALERT !!!
I have seen a lot of comments regarding Lena getting over Alex way too fast and I have to say I agree only partly. On one hand she is introduced to this whole new world of feelings and experiences through Alex. Most importantly he is her first love, he is her teacher in a way, and at the end of Delirium he sacrifices himself to give her a chance at a different life. There is no way she should be able let go of that, even though they technically haven't known each other that long. On the other hand she is still new to all these feelings and going from total control to freedom she probably doesn't fully realize how to deal with impulses. Up until the very end, the whole relationship with Julian seems like she is trying to open him up to the world she is in, teaching him what she once learned from Alex. Even in the most intimate moments between her and Julian, Alex is still present in her mind. She has also lost everything and everyone and I bet in her mind Julian can be the first person who is truly hers in this new world. The thing that bothered me though was how easily she made a promise to him at the end of the book. Everything before that I could explain or justify, but I felt like the new Lena wouldn't jump into a promise like that so quickly and carelessly. That's just my 2 cents. Team Alex. Moving on.
!!! END OF SPOILERS !!!