Monday, February 13, 2012

Review: Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver

Title: Pandemonium
Author: Lauren Oliver
Publisher:  HarperCollins
Publication Date: 2.28.2012
Pages: 375
Genre: Dystopian
Series: Yes (Delirium #2)
Source: ARC from publisher

Rating: B+

Summary (from Goodreads):
I’m pushing aside the memory of my nightmare,
pushing aside thoughts of Alex,
pushing aside thoughts of Hana and my old school,
push,
push,
push,
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.

Review:
It’s safe to say that Delirium was on the top of everyone’s must read list last year. It was an epic, sprawling dystopian that took the YA world by storm, and Pandemonium is a book that is going to be just as huge this year. It goes without saying that Lauren Oliver is a writing phenomena, and anything she pens is breath taking and worth reading.

Getting back into Lena’s world was a relief. Delirium left things way too open-ended, and I was dying to know what had happened to her. The first few pages are heart-pounding as you escape with Lena. Her jumbled, broken thoughts are mesmerizing. I love how quickly I was drawn back into this story.

While I absolutely adore Oliver’s writing and the way she tells a tale, I felt like this story was a bit frustrating. Let me explain: While the action and drama were undoubtedly present, this book did what so many other books and even TV shows do in their sophomore chapters. They introduced new characters, and inevitably when new characters are introduced and given their own arcs, other main characters you initially fell in love with are pushed to the side. I will say that by the end, I came to enjoy most of these new characters, but I found it a bit off-putting in the beginning.

I also wasn’t entirely crazy about the flip flopping from Then and Now. The story alternates chapters, dividing the novel into past and present, which took a bit of getting used to. I was used to it by the end, but never entirely comfortable with it. I felt the story lost some of its fluidity. I would have preferred a more linear story, but that’s my personal preference.

The ending positively killed me. Oliver has also mastered the jaw-dropping, cliff hanger ending, so be warned. If Delirium left you craving more, Pandemonium will leave you pulling your hair out in frustration. I personally can’t wait to see what the next installment in this story brings, and how Oliver ties everything together. I’m sure it will be epic.

15 comments:

  1. Oooooh! I want it! I can't wait to get it!

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  2. I haven't read the first one yet and I've been wanting to read both of them. Thank you for the great review.

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  3. I can't wait to get this book and your review was great :D

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  4. Aghhh, that ending! Absolutely loved it and it's what I was hoping for, but now I NEED to know what's going to happen next. Delirium had a pretty crazy cliffhanger, but this definitely topped it. Great review!

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  5. Oh man... An even crazier cliffhanger then Delirium? Is that even possible? I just read that last weekend and I can't wait to get my hands on this. Thanks for the great review.

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  6. I've had this one on my wishlist since I first saw the cover and read the blurb. Thanks for the review!

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  7. This looks like a good book! I want to read it! Of course, I still have to read Delirium.

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  8. I definitely didn't think the 'Then' and 'Now' were necessary. It totally could have been told in a linear fashion and it would have been just as good. That being said I still really, really loved this one. I wasn't sure at first, because like you said, it can be hard to get used to new characters, but I think Lauren did a really good job of it.

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  9. Honestly, it took me ages to finally get into Delirium, and the only reason is I eventually picked up an audio copy, and the narrator was fantastic. I tried reading Pandemonium a few months ago, but I found the same problems. Sooner or later I'll get an audio copy of Pandemonium so I can finally find out what happens. That was the worst/best edge-of-your-seat cliffhanger I've ever read!

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  10. I thought this book was better than Delirium! It was so good! The ending killed me too! Can't wait for the next one! Great review!

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  11. I want to read this so bad...thanks for the great review!

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  12. ugh! I'm honestly not sure if I want to read this until the last one comes out. cliffhangers just kills me...

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  13. You know, I never read Delirium. I should probably do that, it sounds like I'm missing out on something. lol

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  14. SQUEEEE!!! I can't wait to get my hands on this, great review!

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