Monday, 26 March 2012

Review: Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver

In One Line: The much-anticipated sequel to Delirium.
Genre: Dystopia-tastic
The Gist:
After the heartbreaking ending of Delirium, Lena finds herself learning to survive in The Wilds with other runaways and delinquents. Will she ever get over the grief of losing Alex? Will life be too tough for her and would she ever go back to the loveless world she grew up in?
Parallel to this story is that of New Super Lena, a schoolgirl in New York City, cured of Amore Deliria Nervosa and seemingly integrated into the world she once struggled to leave behind. But nothing is quite what it seems, and New Super Lena is a rebel with a cause and ready to fight! 
(yeah, there’s a whole parallel plot line thing happening with alternate chapters from the Then and Now. It’s off putting at first, but you’ll get used to it I promise!)
The Cover:
Yeah... so... um... I’m not feeling it. I don’t get the relevance, it doesn’t match the hardback of the first book, and it doesn’t tell me anything about this one. If I read this on the tube (I read the proof edition, so I didn’t know what the cover would be at the time) then the people around me would have absolutely no idea what this book was about, or even it’s themes or genre. Distinctly, and disappointingly, meh. 
Why You’ll Love This Book
  • Lauren Oliver is amazing. She just... is. You can tell that she is in love with words, and is a master of conveying emotion in new and beautiful ways, without letting her style overcome the plot. She’s the kind of writer who I would love to emulate. 
  • After the death of Alex at the end of Delirium, Lena is back stronger, feistier and awesomer than before. She is a grown up now, wise to the ways of her world and hungry to fight. This is a Lena I can get along with!
  • Ms Oliver can write a kissing scene like nobody else. I was on the tube, reading this one scene in particular, and I felt like I was MELTING. And it wasn’t even particularly steamy, it was just a kiss! A very naughty part of me would love Ms Oliver so write erotica. Although I think if I read that I might actually die from blushing.

Why You May Not Love This Book:
  • The new love interest. I don’t want to do any spoilers but I just want to say that he is NOTHING compared to Alex. He’s a mere kid, immature and needy. Lena gets to play the role that Alex played for her in the first book, but I was so utterly in love with Alex and his fondness for colouring in his shoe laces that I just couldn’t let anybody else get in there. Sorry. 
  • It’s surprisingly different from book 1. I was a little put off at first, expecting those gorgeous extracts from the Book of Shhh at the start of each chapter, but this is actually like a totally different book. To the extent that you may actually be able to read this without reading the first book first. I wouldn’t recommend it, but it’s definitely possible. 
  • Cliffhanger alert! I was a sobbing mess of a woman when I finished Delirium (in public no less) so I purposefully didn’t wear any mascara for the duration of reading Pandemonium, but my reaction at the end was very different: I SCREAMED in frustration. If you hate a cliffhanger I would wait for the third and final book in the trilogy to come out and do them all in one go. Buy it now though. 

The Hypersomnia Test:
Passed. Passed. Passed. I didn’t want this novel to end. 
Final Verdict:
If you’re only going to read one dystopian series, then this one has to be it. The writing is beautiful, verging on literary, and the plot is plausible enough for you to get really involved. Pandemonium goes in an entirely different direction than you would expect from Delirium, but with such a gamut of dystopian tales out there it’s a relief to read something truly good and wonderful. Be warned, once you read this, nothing else will compare. I read another dystopian novel straight after, and all I could think was ‘this is no Lauren Oliver’. Plus the kissing. Oh my god the kissing. *melts again*
Further Reading:
Delirium by Lauren Oliver
Matched by Allie Condie
Pure by Julianna Baggott (read my review HERE!)
To buy Pandemonium please click HERE!!!

1 comment:

  1. Wow- I just got this and can't wait to read it! I'm sad to see a new love interest though- I love Alex! DEFINITELY reading this one next!
    Great review :)