By Lauren Oliver
Delirium – Book 2
Available February 2012
Have you read Delirium, the first book in this series? If not be aware that the description contains spoilers for book one.
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 around her. . . . Although consumed with grief for Alex, might she be falling in love with someone else?
This Blonde’s Review:
Pandemonium is told in the Then and Now. In many ways it’s like being told from two points of view since Lena has gone through so many changes that she’s not the same girl. The things that happened in the first book have changed her. In the Then Lena is hurt and scared and has no faith in the world. All she can think of is Alex and the things that happened. She uses tricks that used to mean nothing to help her build her strength back up. We see her working towards the Now. In the Now Lena is strong and solid and cynical. She will do what needs to be done, she will lie, and she will refuse to feel anything at all if she can help it. She only wants to accomplish her mission and possibly find her mother.
I loved Delirium, I loved the way the author built a new world and managed to keep me surprised and wanting to know what was going to happen next. There were things that I expected and things I didn’t, but even when I expected it the way it would happen was always a mystery. In Pandemonium we had similar attempts, but it wasn’t quite the same. There were many things that I could see happening and I could see how it would happen as well. I wasn’t sure how I felt about the switching timelines, but I did like the way some of the chapters were lined up to almost be flashbacks as Lena remembered. Overall, I am not a fan of Then/Now writing, but I can also see how it worked for this one in many ways. It makes the changes in Lena much more obvious and that was important to recognize.
I loved the romance between Lena and Alex and I was not prepared for her to have any feelings for someone else. Attraction possibly, but actual feelings were something that I was not willing to accept as a reader. Despite the trials Lena and Julian go through together, their romance moves fast enough that their relationship seems more fitting to a lustful unfeeling one than a loving one. Lena went through so much with Alex that a relationship built on lust seems to better fit what she would need than love.
Despite what she saw and what she knew to be true, Lena still had hopes that she could be wrong about Alex. She still wanted more for them all throughout the Then. Seeing her grow stronger in herself and slowly give him up was painful to see. I kept expecting Alex to pop back into her life and throw her Now into a spiral, and then I started to accept that perhaps we wouldn’t get him back. It was possible that Lauren Oliver would do something few authors seem willing to do and Leave such a major character dead and allow his memory to be another major player instead of bringing him back. I hated that thought, but then I started to hope that this book would be so different from the rest that we would have that.
I found myself thinking about this one after I finished it, trying to decide if it was one that I liked or not. I read so many reviews of this book, some readers have loved this book and are eager for the third book in this series. Other readers have been annoyed by the predictability, how easy it was for Lena to fall for another guy, or the way the author switched between Then and Now. While I didn’t love the viewpoints or the love angle, I can’t help but love it.
If you enjoyed the first book I know you’re eager to find out what happens to Lena and you’re looking for a fix until you can get your hands on it. Yes, there are mixed reviews but the majority seem to love it, so be sure to get out there and get your copy.
If this series is new to you and you read my review Anyway… you may have had a few things spoiled for you. If you want to read about a world where Love is considered a disease, where people have to fight for the right to have Feelings for another human being and loving leads to death, then you’ll want to step inside Lauren Oliver’s world and read Delirium and Pandemonium. I hate that I have to wait until 2013 to read the third book in this series!