BOOK REVIEW: Pandemonium – Lauren Oliver

GENRE: Young Adult – Dystopian, Romance
FORM: Audiobook
SERIES: Delirium

SYNOPSIS (from Goodreads): 

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.

REVIEW:  How did I feel about this book..hmmm, how do I feel? Do you want me to be completely and 100% honest? Of course you do, right? Okay, PLEASE stick with me, because it’s not going to be how it sounds….

I am actually angry right now. I had a hard time sleeping last night. I was unsettled, and a bit mad at Lauren Oliver. I’m positive that was expected result though. Why do I feel this way you ask. Well, see, that is what is making this review difficult to write. I can’t say. If I did it would be a rather large spoiler. But let’s me just go on the record as saying….WHY????

Okay, I’m going to attempt something a little more review like, and less rant. Sound good? Pandemonium is a melancholy book. Sadness creeps from the pages and into your system. Lauren Oliver writes with enough emotion and imagery that it’s just poetic enough to give you a good idea of how Lena feels, but not so much that the details begin to bore you. The book is set up so that it flips between “Then” (being the Lena’s time spent in the wild with her new family) and “Now” (being back in society as part of the uprising or rebellion or whatever). Lena is still getting over her loss with Alex, which is where a good portion of her sadness comes from, but she has also had an extremely difficult year. Learning to live in the wild’s is no picnic. Neither is being constantly undercover. On her first true mission, Lena finds herself taken hostage, or kidnapped, along with Julian – the head of Teenagers who are for the cure (I quite honestly cannot remember the name of the organization. I listened to this via audio…I apologize for my lack of detail here!) So basically two teenagers who are on opposite sides of the fence politically are thrown together and are forced to help each other survive.

There were points (mostly in the beginning) where the book was a tiny bit slow in the moving forward progress. I even remarked to a friend, “I’m hoping for a bit of action here soon.” Well, be careful what you wish for, because action does come, in abundance. The book keeps you wrapped in and hanging on in anticipation for what happens next. I love that. There were a few tidbits along the way that I didn’t love so much though. The first being the obvious rant above….what happened was what I was expecting around every corner, and just when I thought we were safe…anyway. Another was some of the a little more than convenient solutions to problems. IE: in one scene there is a lock on a door that requires a punched in password. Julian suggests that at home for their keypad they have hints around that indicate the number. One…this is absurd. Two, it seems a little bit convenient that what works at home also works in the place where they are being held captive. This makes a reappearance later when Lena is actually breaking into Julian’s home – the “clues” were so weird random that it sort of came off as stupid in my opinion. Another annoyance is one of my pet peeves in many books I read. It’s the very obvious foreshadowing that takes place in the shape of the main characters intuition…I get so frustrated because 1. It’s extremely common; (Something in me was saying this wasn’t right …but I did it anyway). Can’t we have a character who listens to his/her instincts for once? Or maybe cut down on some of this blatant foreshadowing a bit? Just a suggestion.

So yes, this book is good. Yes, it drove me nuts. Yes…we have just begun another year of waiting…

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