Release Date: February 28th 2012
Publisher: Harper Collins
Also by this Author: Delirium (Delirium #1); Liesl & Po
Buy It: Book Depository
After falling in love, Lena and Alex flee their oppressive society where love is outlawed and everyone must receive "the cure"--an operation that makes them immune to the delirium of love--but Lena alone manages to find her way to a community of resistance fighters, and although she is bereft without the boy she loves, her struggles seem to be leading her toward a new love.I'll start by getting this out of the way. There was only one thing I didn't like about Pandemonium: the fact that I have to buy a new copy of Delirium if I want my books to match.
Other than that, pure genius.
Because this is the third book I'd read by Lauren Oliver, I knew what to expect when it came to her writing. Perfect tiny details, beautiful images, easy flow, and a raw emotion that is incredibly powerful– Pandemonium delivered. But, if I'm perfectly honest, the book didn't captive me as much as its predecessor, Delirium. I didn't read it in the same rushed spurt. Still, by the time I got to the end, I was absolutely blown away by the way things turned out, and though I may have had my suspicions about the final reveal, that didn't stop it from absolutely tearing my heart out of my chest.
Like I said, pure genius.
Pandemonium transitions between two Lenas, "then" and "now" which alternate every chapter for a chunk of the book, telling the story of the last year, and then the "now" which picks up a year following the events of Delirium. The technique worked okay, as some of the most emotional portions were past events, but I think I would have preferred it in chronological order. My reason for that, is that Lena is grieving over Alex, but when as a reader I was regularly skipped ahead, it was more difficult to see the evolution of that grief. Still, like her middle grade novel Liesl & Po, Oliver captures the grief in a pure, heart-breaking and genuine way.
As a middle book in a trilogy, I really appreciated how much of a complete story Pandemonium told on its own. There was also a lot of character growth when it came to Lena, and I think that, without Alex to fall back on, she really had to learn to stand on her own. As much as I loved her in Delirium, it was great seeing the character develop and her become less meek. Oliver made her feel like a real person that way. I still missed Alex though!
And actually, I lied. There were actually two things I disliked about Pandemonium. The second thing was that it ended, and now I have to wait another year to finally read the last novel in the trilogy, Requiem. With those final few intense pages of Pandemonium, Oliver has me incredibly anxious to find out how things end for Lena.