Thursday, June 18, 2015

Review: Pandemonium - Lauren Oliver

Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver
Series: Delirium #2
Genre: YA, dystopian
Published on February 28, 2012
Published by HarperTeen
Pages: 329
Read From: 5.21.15 - 6.3.15

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. 

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.


Dear Pandemonium,
When it comes to the second book in a trilogy, I am always wary. Second books are notoriously the slowest, most disappointing. And when a romance actually works in the first book, I am terrified that a stupid love triangle will ruin it in the sequel. Pandemonium, I wish I could say that you belied my fears.

You are told through duel timelines: then and now. Then picks up where Delirium left off: Lena has escaped into the Wilds, she and Alex are separated - in fact, as far as Lena knows, Alex is dead. Lena has been taken in by some Invalids and it’s a brutal, bitter life Lena has entered into. But it’s what she needs to deal with the pain of losing her love. Now picks up several months after Lena has been in the Wilds. She is in New York, in one of the cured zones, undercover and with orders to spy on a young man named Julian. She’s supposed to get close to her target, but when an outside attack forces them to rely and trust one another, Lena gets closer than she should.

I do really like Lena and her ability to use her hurt as fuel for her strength and courage. I love her need to be useful, even though for a time she just wants to curl up and die. I liked Julian; he’s been brainwashed into believing everything he’s been told about the Invalids and deliria. And I loved how Lena finds herself in the position of educating Julian, just like Alex did for her. I loved the variety of side characters in the Wilds and Raven’s firm, unbending strength to lead her people. I love the lyrical, emotional, heart wrenching writing style.

What I didn’t like was the romance. Unsurprisingly, Lena falls for Julian - and Julian falls for Lena. I really didn’t like your romance, Pandemonium. Lena struggles with her affection for Julian - one, because they are on opposite sides and Julian could betray her at any second. And two, she still thinks of Alex. But her guilt doesn’t seem to hold her back when she gets the serious need to touch and be touched by Julian. It feels so good to be kissed and caressed again; never mind the gnawing guilt she has for Alex’s memory. She needs to be touched again! She needs it so badly! I felt sorry for Julian, too, because he was kind of being used by her and he has no idea about Alex.

Lena’s attachment to Julian felt completely shallow and self-serving and nothing beyond satisfying Lena’s carnal desire. I felt like she was betraying her memory for Alex - not because she was moving on and finding love with someone else, but because it didn’t once come across as heartfelt. I didn’t like it at all. It made me think less of Lena.

And then that ending. The one thing I was afraid would happen with this trilogy, Pandemonium, was a love triangle that would turn a couple I loved together against each other. I am fearful to read Requiem now. You started out as such a good trilogy; I loved Delirium. I loved most of you. But the romance is annoying me.

Feeling anxious,

~ Mara A. ~

Others in This Trilogy:


  1. I definitely liked the first book better than the second when it comes to this series. I hated Julien so much!
    Krystianna @ Downright Dystopian

    1. How is REQUIEM? I'm worried that I'm going to end up hating Lena and Julian - and just hurting for Alex.


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