Series: Delirium #2
Author: Lauren Oliver
Publisher: HarperTeen (HarperCollins)
Publication Date: February 28, 2012
Genre: YA Dystopian
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"So what was your name before?" I say, and she freezes, her back to me. "Before you came to the Wilds, I mean."
For a moment she stands there.
Then she turns around.
"You might as well get used to it now," she says with quite intensity.
"Everything you were, the life you had, the people you knew... dust."
She shakes her head and says, a little more firmly, "There is no before. There is only now, and what comes next."
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. Although she is bereft without the boy she loves, her struggles seem to be leading her toward a new love.
I loved Delirium but, in my humble opinion, Pandemonium was so much better. Lauren finally gets to the meat of the book and shows how living in the wild isn't at all about freedom, it's about survival. Sure, no one's performing procedures to make sure you can never feel love, but with love comes hate and deceit. More deceit than Lena could ever imagine. But there's also forgiveness and friendships.
When I first started reading Pandemonium, I was unsure about the "then" and "now" format of the book, many times I cannot wrap my head around this type of writing, but Lauren pulled it off and somehow made it dovetail perfectly in the end. Though, I will warn, the end is a bit of a WTH? moment.
I really loved Raven, but I would have liked to see Lena take a bigger leadership role in Pandemonium. This line really bothered me - "There is no before. There is only now, and what comes next." And this was Raven's absolute belief. You must forget EVERYTHING about before and just move forward. Well, it is the past that makes us who we are, so you must never forget but you must live in the present. I think this was one of Lena's strengths. I think, if she'd been allowed, she could have taught Raven and the rest of the group about empathy and true love. Raven was just a bit too hard and bitter for me. I understand that she constantly experiences death and loss, but she's basically turned off her feelings which is exactly what the government does with the "procedure."
Ms. Oliver amped up the action in this installment to a thriller level. I think I chewed most of my fingernails off while reading. Who was friend? Who was enemy? Was it possible to trust ANYONE? Poor Lena! But the girl rocked and completed her mission. That being said, she's a better person than me, because I just don't forgive deceit that easily.
My main complaint about Delirium was the super long paragraphs and extra fluff that I could have lived without. The writing in Pandemonium is much better in my opinion. You still fall into the world Lena's living in and feel her emotions, but the story is created much better. Now, keep in mind, this is my opinion and my opinion alone. My complaint about Pandemonium is, while there were definitely some twists and turns I never saw coming, I absolutely saw the cliffhanger ending playing out exactly as it did. But oh well...leads into an interesting storyline for Requium, which I will be posting a review of closer to release. But...I absolutely loved REQUIUM!!!