Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver Review

I finally read the sequel to Delirium, Lauren Oliver’s novel set in a dystopian America where love is a deadly disease that all human’s need to be ‘cured’ of. I really liked the first book in the trilogy, but I read it just after Divergent which I LOVED. I read Pandemonium just after I read Insurgent, and I have to say I like Pandemonium better! I don’t know why, it just grabbed me more. Here’s the Goodreads summary:

‘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.’

Pandemonium follows Lena, the hopelessly in love teen who escaped to the wilds at the end of Delirium. I have to say the format of Pandemonium at first freaked me out – I’m used to chapters, whilst Oliver had decided to write in a ‘Then’ and ‘Now’ format. Although at first, I was’nt impressed (the ‘Then’ chapters seemed unnecessary because I knew that Lena was safe or ok because there was a ‘Now’ chapter, if that makes any sense at all. This made all the hardship and adjustment in the ‘Then’ chapters seem less dramatic) but as the novel went on I actually began to like them. They provided a background to where Lena was and how much she had changed since Alex died.

Pandemonium was also full of action, whether that be past action or present. The mystery of the resistance and their plans against ‘Zombieland’ were exciting, and Lena’s role in that was totally unexpected. I have to say, although I loved the romance, I love how that Pandemonium was more then that – more then Lena and her grief, more then her old life and more then her new one – It was about the struggle for freedom and what length’s people go to get it.

Of course though, there was a smidge of romance in this book. Of course Lena is distraught about Alex’s death and spends a lot of time trying not to think about him. She does however (SPOILER) meet someone new, Julian (or in Lena’s eye – The Enemy). Their romance is cute but of course fraught with difficulty – he does’nt want to catch love, and she feels so guilty for betraying Alex.

Of course, we’ve lost a tonne of character’s from Lena’s old life. Her best friend, aunt and cousins are all gone. I was sad about this – I almost wanted to know what had happened to them, and how they were coping with Lena’s disapearence. Lena mentioned them – but I would have loved actually seen them in Pandemonium.

Having said that the book did’nt really miss any other tricks. I loved Oliver’s writing style, and for me I didn’t think it suffered from the sagging middle book syndrome. Lena’s characterisation was amazing, and although she was grieving she wasn’t written in an annoying way. I loved the new characters – hardened by their life in the Wilds and there were a few big shocks on the way. I definitely reccommend Pandemonium if you like YA Dystopian Romance with a cool female lead, it’s a brilliant book and I can’t wait for the next one!


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