“Pandemonium” is exactly right!

Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver (#2 in Delirium series)

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4 **** = Can recommend; Great; Overall enjoyable

Goodreads Synopsis

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.

After reading Delirium, I was really excited to start on Pandemonium.  Now, it was nothing like what I expected and that was kind of GREAT.  We start off right where the last book lets off.  Lena is in the Wilds and trying to make a life for herself.  It was a roller coaster ride!  Since there is no normal everyday life, I was on the edge of my seat the entire time.

Let’s start out with some of my least favorite bits, I like to end on a high note.  The end is a cliff hanger and an emotional one.  I am not sure how to explain this without spoiling it, but it has a plot device that is my least favorite of all time.  I listened to this book in audio book form.  So I finished it in the grocery store this afternoon.  (Which, might I add, is the only way I shop.  Armed with an audiobook! )  The ending got me so worked up it was hard to concentrate and not act out my frustration on the poor unsuspecting shoppers.  I have been mulling it over all evening and just had to write a review.  The ending isn’t something that makes me dislike the book, I just think it kind of killed a small reason why I loved the series overall.  I am a hopeless romantic, there was a bit of really enjoyable love story in the first book. That just didn’t play the way I hoped in the second and especially the ending.  I think it is a personal preference, so I don’t know that other readers would dislike it.

On the upside, I loved the way this plot progressed.  You get glimpses of the present and the past.  The past starts where she lands in the wilds after her escape.  I don’t think it would have been as interesting if it would have been told in a straight line.  You really learn why Lena becomes who she is and in a really interesting way.  I really felt like she grew up and was a completely different person than in the first book.  The way the author paralleled her past and present made her growth believable.

You also have a cause she is fighting for now!  The Resistance!  I enjoyed the adventure and fight scenes much more than I thought I would.  Since you got to see her grow into a freedom fighter, it was more fun going thru those scenes with her.  I have to admit, I was a bit stressed out with the suspense and anticipation at some points, but it was very enjoyable.

Overall, I really enjoyed a majority of the book!  For me personally, the emotional cliff hanger ending is the only sour note.  But I am sure most people will just love it!

Requiem (#3 in the Delirium series) is expected to be released in March 2013.  I can’t wait!

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