Series: Delirium #2
Published by: HarperTeen on February 28, 2012
Genre: Dystopian, Romance, Science Fiction, Young Adult
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The old Lena is dead.
The old Lena remains with Alex in Portland, Maine, behind a wall of smoke and flame, but the new Lena was born in the Wilds, transformed by hardship, deprivation, and loss.
Now an active member of the resistance, Lena fights for a world in which love will no longer be considered a dangerous disease. Her inner life is as turbulent as the world a round her... Although consumed with grief for Alex, might she be falling in love with someone else?
In this riveting sequel to her New York Times bestseller DELIRIUM, Lauren Oliver sets Lena on a course that hurtles through the unregulated Wilds and straight into the heart of a full-scale rebellion. With her signature exceptional prose, Oliver masterfully weaves a bittersweet tale of star-crossed romance with high-stakes action that fans of The Hunger Games will love.
Pandemonium and I have a rocky relationship. It took me like two days to get through 150 pages. Finally, about halfway through the book, things started to pick up, and at least become more interesting, but at the end of the day, I’m still not crazy about the book.
The story switches between two different time periods: “then” (immediately after book two) and “now” (a few months later). At first I didn’t really like all the jumping back and forth, but I quickly grew accustomed to it. It is interesting to be able to compare and contrast Lena from then and Lena now, and see how she grows and changes.
I have two big problems with Pandemonium. My first problem is that I feel like nothing happens until the last 50 pages. The first part of the book is just a bunch of travelling, waiting, meeting a few new people, more travelling, clawing through the Wilds, waiting in some sort of underground holding cell, more waiting, a bit of talking… You get the picture. To be blunt: it was boring.
And my next big problem is Julian. The author didn’t make me fall in love with him. Somehow Lena did, but I didn’t. And honestly, I don’t even know why Lena thinks she loves Julian. If you ask me, she only “loves” him due to 1) a lack of options and 2) she so desperately misses Alex and wants that emotional closeness that she’s clinging onto the first new guy her age that comes along. I feel like there wasn’t even a falling in love phase; Lena just woke up one day and decided she loved Julian. They had like 5 half-mumbled conversations throughout the whole book and suddenly they’re in love? Okay, they saved each others’ lives once.. but there wasn’t that sweet, passionate, slow-brewing romance that we had in Delirium. In Delirium, Lena and Alex had ‘moments’. They had cute scenes where they fell in love. They shared poetry, adventure, stories, memories. With Julian, I felt like Lena just shared two nights with him in a prison cell and one night in a bed and then suddenly they were head over heels for each other… Where did that come from?
Pandemonium does end on a huge cliffhanger, but it didn’t totally wow me for the sole reason that I saw it coming. It is pretty easy to guess what happens. Although I am really curious to see how the story progresses, I was missing that big *BANG* of an ending because I wasn’t shocked or shaken.
Ultimately, Pandemonium felt very much like that second-book-in-a-trilogy filler book. It was all about biding time until we can wrap things up in book three. To be fair, the last quarter of Pandemonium was entertaining—it wasn’t boring like the first half was. My main problem with the book is just that I got zero passion from Lena’s relationship with Julian, and that was the biggest part of the book.