Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver: Review

Wednesday, May 1, 2013
I got my headphones on and some peanut M&M's in my mouth. I'm ready to review!

This review will likely contain spoilers for the first book, Delirium, so don't read ahead if you haven't read Delirium! If I have spoilers for this book, I'll let you know in the review.


Pandemonium (Delirium #2) by Lauren Oliver
Rating: ***** stars :)

Initial reaction after finishing this book:


OH MY GOD. My life. It has just disappeared. Right in front of my eyes. Lauren Oliver... I can't even.... ARGH I'm just gonna review this. And let's make it different from my usual review. No good or bad or categories. Just chunks of text. :)

Throughout the first half of this book, I wanted to bawl my eyes out. Remembering the loss of Alex was like reopening an old wound. It hurt so bad. And Lauren Oliver willingly stabs you through the heart with mention of Alex EVERY DAMN CHANCE she gets. For example, this:
“Love, the deadliest of all deadly things. It kills you.Alex.When you have it.Alex.And when you don't.Alex.” 
Is that not ASKING for you to cry? Even the descriptions of leaves changing for fall, left a subtle reminder of Alex, who's hair was described as the color of leaves turning in the fall.

Speaking descriptions, can we just talk about Lauren Oliver's writing for a minute? It's beautiful. And the depth of thought is OUTSTANDING.
“Sometimes I feel like if you just watch things, just sit still and let the world exist in front of you - sometimes I swear that just for a second time freezes and the world pauses in its tilt. Just for a second. And if you somehow found a way to live in that second, then you would live forever.” 
I mean come on. You can't NOT stop and think about that quote.

Anyway, the plot. So, after Lena crosses the fence into the Wilds, she just runs. Because that's what the last thing Alex said to her was. To run. She passes out, and when she comes to, it turns out that some Invalids who have set up a homestead have taken her in and nursed her back to health. Throughout maybe the first 100 or so pages, Lena is just learning her way around, getting healthy again, working at the homestead, and pushing. Pushing away the memories, and pushing herself to work harder. And then this whole thing happens and she's on the other side of the fence back with the zombies and I'm all like, "Wait. What?" But then it gets straightened out that she's doing some undercover spying for the DFA, or Deliria-free-America. The head of the DFA is Thomas Fineman, and his son is Julian Fineman. Oh, Julian.

Before I read this book, I couldn't imagine loving Julian. I knew he came in this book, and I knew him and Lena would fall in love, but I couldn't stop thinking of Alex, and how it would almost be betraying my love for him. But Julian, with his sweet innocence and his bright, piercing eyes caught my heart. I still love Alex, but I love Julian too! I'm not sure if Lena loves Julian for realsies though, or if she's just trying to replace Alex with somebody, but either way, I'm excited for how Lauren Oliver resolves the love triangle.

MAJOR SPOILER AHEAD!!!!!!!!







This, I need to address. That ending. DAMN IT Lauren Oliver. How could you be so heartless? It's quite obvious that at the end of Delirium, Alex is dead. Come on! The way Lena describes a bunch of people jumping on top of him? You can't possibly hold on to one, single, shredded, pathetic ounce of hope that he's still alive. So then you meet Julian, and you think, "Okay...this could work! I can give my heart to Julian now since Alex is dead!" And then Lauren Oliver shakes her finger like Dikembe Mutombo:


And BAM! Brings Alex back from the dead. At the very freaking end of the book. And then she ends it. I can't even... Lauren Oliver...



So I gave this book five stars for the beautiful writing, the amazing new characters, and the edge-of-your-seat-action-packed plot, and an EVIL, yet amazing ending. On a cliffhanger.

To Read or Not To Read?

Obviously read Delirium first, and then DEFINITELY read this book. 

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