Review: Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver

Title: Pandemonium (Delirium #2)
Author: Lauren Oliver
Published: February 28, 2012
Pages: 337
Series: yes (first installment is 'Delirium')
Source: purchased

Amazon Summary: 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.

After finishing 'Delirium' I immediately picked up 'Pandemonium' and finished it in one sitting.

It took me completely by surprise how good I found it - so good.

'Delirium' is faster, action-packed, stronger. It's now clear 'Delirium' was only setting the stage, convincing the reader. I left off not quite liking Lena - I found that she was incredibly brainwashed, that she was weak.
In 'Pandemonium' we'll flash back and forth between Lena's "now" (when she's back inside the fences) and her "then" (when she's living in the Wilds) and I very much enjoyed following the two stories back-to-back. It was a great idea of Oliver to craft the story this way.

The Wilds was believable and I could sense the cold and struggle through the pages, I also really liked that the book was set in New York - it was much wider, freer, the atmosphere definitely didn't feel as controlled or trapped as in Portland. There was more room to breathe. For the majority of the book, it barely felt like a dystopian society which I didn't mind.

The whole plotline in 'Pandemonium' did contain a few flaws but generally had more space to move around in. Though I loved Lena's newfound egde, I found it a bit unbelievable that she'd gotten so invincible in all of her encounters. She was a little too much of a pro all of a sudden.

To me, 'Pandemonium' was all about Lena's growth. She's made a 180 from where she left off, she's grown - I was shocked by her newfound strength.
In 'Pandemonium' Lena's been learning to survive in the Wilds, to live with everything she's left behind. She's tougher, edgier, stronger. I automatically compared her to Cammie from the 'Gallagher Girls' series by Ally Carter.

I was heartbroken by how Lena held onto Alex, it actually made me like him so much more. Just the constant idea of him made me realize I needed him with Lena. Alex had been the reason for everything and it really mattered now that he wasn't around.

[Minor spoilers!] How the deal with Julian was going to unfold was apparent. Some may have been bothered by the fact that Lena could fall in love with another guy so soon after supposedly losing Alex but considering the circumstances and the odd situations she found herself in with Julian, it wasn't out of the blue. Two people, forced to be with each other, and fearing for their lives, are bound to grow some kind of connection. I didn't feel any particular way about Julian but I didn't mind him either, he was just there. [Spoilers ended!]

The end, sort of expected, had me totally excited. I'm dying to read the last installment! I need to know how things are going to turn out and I can't believe I'll have to wait until next year. Though, it's set in stone I'll read the third and last installment. How could I not with the cliffhanger Oliver presented?!


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