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"Saying 'I notice you're a nerd' is like saying, 'Hey, I notice that you'd rather be intelligent than be stupid, that you'd rather be thoughtful than be vapid, that you believe that there are things that matter more than the arrest record of Lindsay Lohan. Why is that?' In fact, it seems to me that most contemporary insults are pretty lame. Even 'lame' is kind of lame. Saying 'You're lame' is like saying 'You walk with a limp.' Yeah, whatever, so does 50 Cent, and he's done all right for himself."— John Green


Pandemonium (Review)

Title: Pandemonium
Author(s): Lauren Oliver
Edition: Hardcover, 375 pages
Publisher: HarperCollins Children's
Publication Date: February 28, 2012
Source: Bought from B&N
Buy: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository

The 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.

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.

My Opinion
I know this book has been out since February, but I have this problem with reading funks.  I’ll be super excited for a book, but once I buy it I won’t read it.  It’s really annoying and sometimes makes me miss out on an awesome book at the time everyone else is enjoying it.  But I did, finally, take Pandemonium off my shelf and I was hooked from word one!

This book picks up right where Delirium left off.  Lena is struggling to survive in a dangerous, harsh, and alien world without Alex to give her strength.  In the Wilds she is reborn and comes to rely on herself more than ever.  It was a really intense journey and I loved every page of it!

One of the things Lauren Oliver does exceptionally well is craft living, breathing characters.  Living in the Wilds, the new people Lena finds are hard without room for excuses, laziness or error.  While there is freedom, there is still a sense of entrapment, as they never know when the next attack is going to come.  Raven, the leader of the group, is one of the strongest in terms of development.  I love her and I hate her, but she helps Lena in too many ways for her not to be important.  She is Lena’s mother in a wa, and is integral to the story.  The other new character that makes an impact is Julian.  I liked him from the get go, and I think he turns Lena’s mission towards a different outcome.  I don’t want to give away too much, but I see him as a forever type of guy.

Besides her amazing characterization, Oliver’s world building is phenomenal.  However, I will admit one thing that was my stupid fault: I didn’t realize the Portland Lena lived in wasn’t Portland, Oregon, but Portland, Maine.  Yes, I know stupid of me, and definitely not Oliver’s fault as she develops the world so well.  There is a dream like quality, overlaid with grittiness to the Homesteads that the people in the Wilds live in.  And the distinction between the Wilds and the Towns was clear, as well as the distinction between those well-off and those not.  But the best part of the world building is that it is so grounded in our own reality that you can imagine this coming to pass.  Love being made a sickness, the EMP coming and destroying things, the government mandating who people can be with, it all has a base in what’s happening in our own society now.  I wish that they would publish a Book of Shhh as a companion to the series.  It is such an interesting mix of religion and science, and it would give even more insight to the world.

But my absolute favorite part of the book was Oliver’s writing.  She has such a powerful gift with language.  Lines that are harsh still carry beauty within them, and lines filled with happiness are still overlayed with sorrow.  It was an absolute joy to read; the flow was amazing and kept moving me forward through the story.  I thought how she broke the book into Then and Now was genius; it gave the full scope of Lena’s experience until it finally merges together at the end, creating a juxtaposition with the beginning of Lena’s journey to the end.  There was harmony throughout, something I’ve found in all of Oliver’s books.

I see Pandemonium as a vast bridge one must cross; it can be a difficult journey, but the reward at the end is well worth it.  I know there has been mixed reviews regarding this book, but I encourage everyone to try it out, especially if you loved Delirium.  I think Lauren Oliver is building up to something fantastic in Requiem, and you can’t get there without reading Pandemonium!


Final Rating
Book Cover: 3/5
Book Title: 5/5
Plot: 9/10
Characters: 9/10
Writing: 10/10
Ending: 9/10
Overall: 45/50: A-


  1. Enjoyed your review. Brought it all back to me... Thanks.

  2. I loved Pandemonium! I read Delirium last year and really enjoyed it but then I read Pandemonium and I thought it was 10x better! I think it might actually be the best book I've read this year. I am completely inlove with Lauren Oliver's writing.

  3. Hello!
    Here in Brazil Pandemonium hasn't been realised yet, but I loved Delirium. I'd like to buy Pandemonium in english, but I think the book cover of the english editions isn't so beautiful as the brazilian edition will.
    Congratulations for the review! ;)



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