First off I have to say HAPPY BOOK BIRTHDAY TO PANDEMONIUM!!!!! I'm so excited about this book, and I hope you all enjoy!
"That's the flip side of freedom; When you're completely free, you're also completely on your own."
I'm… this book… oh just DAMN IT ALL TO HELL!!!! LAUREN what did you do!?!?! I still don’t know what to say about this book! It’s so different that Delirium yet still just as amazing!!!!
by Lauren Oliver
*an ARC was provided by someone from HarperCollins (not sure who, it was a surprise in my mailbox), in return for an honest review*
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.
Now this is a spoiler review if you haven’t read Delirium yet! At the end of Delirium, Alex sacrificed himself so Lena could get away. And we were all screaming NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO nooooo you can’t do that!! WHY WHY WHY!!! Funny how I'm saying the same thing at the end of Pandemonium but for TOTALLY different reasons.
Pandemonium is told in a “then” and “now” time frame. “Then” takes place right after Delirium. We follow Lena thorough the fall and winter months and deal with her struggle in the wilds without Alex, trying to survive on her own with no guidance and no help. We feel her heartbreak for Alex and her determination to continue for him, but she soon gives into the darkness and pain. The Wilds try to claim her and suck her in and for a moment she wants nothing more than to give in, disappear in the forest floor, forget the pain and the fact that Alex isn’t here. And for a brief moment, she does. When she is awoken again, it’s by strangers. She is soon found among a group of others in the Wild in a settlement, working to find her place, despite her recent injury. We follow Lena learning her way in the Wilds. Finding her place with the others and what it means to survive and truly live and love; and sadly also lose.
The “now” follows Lena during the springtime where she is deep in the resistance and spying on the DFA (Deliria-Free America). The DFA wants harder standards for the cure and is pushing to lower the age limit, despite the risks. The DFA is so committed to the cause, and are so willing to show how dangerous Deliria is, that they are willing to sacrifice one of their ow; the founders son and leader of the youth division, Julian Fineman. With a history of seizures, brain tumors and brain surgery, he knows the cure could kill him, but in the world of the DFA, catching Deliria is worse than death.
Lena is just a spy; silent and just observing the DFA. There is a HUGE DFA rally coming up, and Raven and Tack ask her to keep an eye on Julian. But on the day of the rally, the Scavengers make an attack. And both Lena and Julian find themselves kidnapped.
I love this book so much!!! I was scared because I loved Delirium so much I was like can Lauren really live up to the perfection that was Delirium!!! And I have to say that I was pleasantly satisfied!!! It still had the same essence and wonderful exploration of emotions that we first saw in Delirium but it was worlds different!!!
Pandemonium has a lot more action in it and it will get your heart racing!!! It really puts you in Lena’s shoes because she is going though these intense struggles and she always on the run. When you read an action scene, you feel your heart race, your adrenaline pumping and your fingers tingling to keep turning the pages faster and faster. And when you reach a rest point at the end of an action scene, you let out your breath you have been holding. You feel like you have been there with the character fighting right alongside of them, or running with them. And this book does this SO many times! And just when you think that you are safe, BAMN! Something else is happening. It’s never resting. Just like Lena. You don’t get to rest until she does, and she never does. And I think that makes a stronger connection to her.
What I loved the most about Delirium and Oliver’s other work, is that she has an incredible ability to describe emotions and really make you feel the raw energy that they are. And in Pandemonium, it’s no different. You really feel the emotions that Lena is going though! You feel her pain, her heartache, her hopelessness but you also feel her fight for survival. This is less about love and more about the other emotions that come with love, anger, pain, sadness. With every good emotion there is a counter emotion. Being “infected” means that you feel them all. And you find Lena asking herself if it is worth it? Is everything she experienced with Alex and all the promises he had her worth it?
Now I know the now and then can be annoying sometimes because you finish a chapter and go OH NO!!! I wanna know what happens! And you’re like damn I gotta get through a different story line! But then you start reading the next story and you forget all about the other story! And then that story line ends the chapter and you go NOOOO oh wait I was wondering what happened! Its brilliant!!! Frustrating but brilliant!!!
Lauren did this brilliant thing with Lena, the THEN story is building up to this new Lena, a deliria infested, strong minded new human. And then NOW story is revealing this old Lena, almost reverting backwards. But they both a building and intertwining into this totally different Lena you see on the last pages.
Lauren did a very different thing with her character that I have seen before. I noticed that the THEN Lena is discovering and struggling and growing into the NOW Lena, while the NOW Lena is almost doing the opposite. She is reverting back to the THEN Lena, but they are both working towards the middle, which is the Lena in the last chapter.
The Lena just after the escape is working on being stronger and learning to survive in the Wilds. She is finding out who this new Lena is and who she wants to be. This now Lena is almost to strong and to engrossed in New York that she almost forgets that she is actually part of something bigger. She has lost who she is to fit it with what her mission is. And while she is going though this new mission from Raven, she starts to realize that she has lost who she is and starts to work back into the Lena from before.
They both are working at the same time, in different direction and different points in her life, but both achieving the same objective.
And yes there is a new guy but man! It’s done almost as perfectly as Clockwork Prince. Now don’t get all freaked out because there is a new boy in it!!! As much as we hate it and as much as we wish it didn’t happen, it did! But it’s done and you know honestly I'm so torn because I was like YES fall for Julian and let Julian get it and know what love is all about!! Please please please!! I know you love Alex but you should know what other love can give you! And then I go all oh but what about Alex!!!! You love him and I know he isn’t dead!! Oooooooo!!! Totally torn!! But in such a good way! Like when you tear a tortilla in two for fajitas!!! One was great, but two is even better!
Pandemonium is one of the most amazing sequels to a book that could ever be! Its intense, action packed and touches on all of your emotions the way that only Lauren can. Your fingers will tingle, your heart will beat up your sternum to be released from its cage, and you will have to fight the urge to do this:
Because DAMN IT ALL TO HELL! This is the WORST CLIFFHANGER EVER!! If you don’t like them, then wait! I'm not kidding! You know when you are reading that its coming but it still hurts and it SOOO OMG!!! I almost regret reading this book early because I have to wait even longer to read Requiem! But damn did I love this book still!
You will feel sad, happy, angry, scared and totally pissed off at the ending (which I have to say is *#&^#@@_#(**amp;&$^) but its one of the best books I have read this year!
"I wonder if this is how people always get close: they heal each other's wounds; they repair the broken skin."