Saturday, June 2, 2012

Review: Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver

Publisher: Harper Teen
Publishing Date:February 1st, 2012
Genre: Dystopian, YA
Pages: 375 pgs
ISBN: 9780061978067
Source: Bought

My Rating: 4 stars

Summary 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,
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. 

My Review:

***This review contains spoilers of Delirium, the first book in this series***

I loved the first book in this series, Delirium, so much that I couldn't wait for this book to be released. Delirium ends in a bit of a cliffhanger and I couldn't wait to see what Oliver did next and how she was going to resolve some of the issues presented in the first novel. Well, I have to say that I waiting for what seemed like forever to find out what happens to Alex and when I finally had the book in my hands reading it, it seemed like I had to wait even longer to find out what happened to him. That drove me bananas but it also kept me reading. So while I found it to be irritating at times, Oliver does know how to captivate her readers' attention.
This book goes back and forth between right after book one and a little bit in the future. Lena is struggling to fit into this new world and she is also dealing with some pretty heavy emotions about Alex and leaving everything she has ever known behind. One thing I really liked in this novel is the world-building. I feel like I have a better sense of the society that Lena lives in after reading this novel. In Delirium, Lena is pretty sheltered and, as a reader, we only get to experience this dystopian society as Lena experiences it. Needless to say, at the end of book one we know a bit about the world that the characters live in but not too much. There is a whole other part to society that isn't discussed in the first book. I love that Oliver is able to expand her world in such an interesting way.
I think second books are always difficult to read because there isn't a huge lead up like there is in book one and there isn't a conclusion like there usually is in book three. That being said, Oliver does a great job of keeping things interesting. She introduces some new characters but she also allows for some appearances of old characters.
I have to admit though that when I got the end of the book I wanted to throw it across the room. It also ends on a bit of a cliffhanger and I think this is quickly becoming one of my pet peeves in YA literature. I know that many YA novels are part of a series but I like it when things wrap up nicely and I hate having to wait to find out what happens in a story. I read quite a bit and by the time the next novel comes out oftentimes I forget some of what happened in the previous novels. Oh well, you better believe that I will be lining up to get the next installment of this series as soon as it comes out. Overall I give this book 4 out of 5 stars.

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