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Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Review: Pandemonium (Delirium #2) by Lauren Oliver

Publisher: HarperCollins
Published: February 28, 2012
Pages: 375
Source: Bought
Rating: 4 Stars


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.

In short: Though Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver is a much different book than its predecessor, the change in tone is a welcome one.
I was a bit apprehensive about reading Pandemonium because I loved Delirium so much and from all accounts Pandemonium was going to be very different book. A new locality, new friends, a new boy, and a new Lena. I didn't want change if it meant doing away with all the things that I adored about Delirium. Why fix it if it ain't broke? I think it's because of my doubt that it took me a while to become fully immersed in Pandemonium. Thankfully, Lauren Oliver's charm worked on me as it always does and it wasn't too long before I found myself appreciating the change in tone.

I remain astounded at Lauren Oliver's writing ability and talent in character development. To have such a drastic change in the story, a huge development in Lena's character, and a completely new love interest and have all of this be actually believable - now, that takes talent. I like the new Lena no more or less than the old Lena from Delirium, but I wholeheartedly appreciated seeing such growth and maturity in her character, rather than have her remain static for the entire series. Same goes with the new love interest, Julian - I was prepared to be offended at the introduction of this love triangle, but was quickly won over by him. It is a true love triangle for me because I honestly couldn't say which boy I like best for Lena.

Unfortunately however, I found that I wasn't held quite as captivated with Pandemonium as I was with Delirium, though the reason why is unknown to me. It's surprising that I would feel that way because in a way, Pandemonium was faster paced than Delirium. Pandemonium certainly had a few surprising twists that were quite interesting, and yet I found my attention drifting a bit more than I would have liked. For me, Pandemonium seemed to lack a lot of the magic of Delirium. I did still love Pandemonium, of course - by this point, I can't imagine not liking a Lauren Oliver book. I will be  anxiously awaiting the third and final book in the trilogy, Requiem, to be published March 2013.

Previously, my review for Delirium.

Other Reviews:
All of Everything
Logan E. Turner
Shooting Stars Mag

Author Links:
Website
Blog
Goodreads
Twitter
Fansite

31 comments :

  1. I can't imagine not liking a Lauren Oliver book either! She is so immensely talented and develops her characters so well.

    Going into this one, I was nervous about the new love interest, but what do you know...I ended up loving him even MORE than Alex!

    Lena's arc has been fantastic and I can't wait for the journey ahead for her.

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    1. I know, she's one of my go-to authors, for sure. And I was surprised that I was able to buy into the new love interest. Can't wait to see where the story will go!

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  2. I've heard some people like Pandemonium better than Delirium and some people hated it. I'm not sure what I'd think. I actually got bored with Delirium, despite the excellent writing, so I'm worried what I'd think of Pandemonium if it distracted someone like you who loved the first book.

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    1. Hmm, I don't know, maybe you'd like Pandemonium better if you were bored by Delirium.

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  3. i really love delirium:) if you don't mind, you can submit a summary of this review to our site=)

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  4. I seriously need to get to this one. It's good to hear you loved it, even if it wasn't as much as Delirium.

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    1. You should! Interested in what you think.

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  5. Beautiful review Aylee, I'm glad you enjoyed this one even if it didn't quite captivate you as much as Delirium did. Like you, I was really impressed with the the new love interest and how she made me actually like him despite my unwavering loyalty to Alex, that takes some skill:) So excited for book three!

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    1. Yeah, no denying that Lauren has some serious skill in making me change my mind and warm so quickly to a new love interest.

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  6. Haha I didn't really like Delirium that much but I enjoyed Pandemonium a lot! So the shift in tone & Lena's character growth worked for me. Julian DEFINITELY worked for me, I love him. I can't wait to see what's in store for Requiem.

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    1. Interesting. I can definitely see why even people who didn't like Delirium would love Pandemonium.

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  7. The best part of Pandemonium for me was watching Lena grow and change. I was definitely not a fan of the new love interest. Definitely can't wait to see what Lauren Oliver does next, she is an amazing writer, and I definitely love her character development.

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    1. I wasn't sure about the development at first because she was so different, but I came to appreciate it. I wonder if she'll grow even more in book 3.

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  8. I'm glad all the changes didn't affect the book too much for you and that's awesome the love triangle actually WORKED. I need to read this series, but it sounds really good. I do have Delirium, so I gotta get on that. Thanks for linking to the blog though (Alicia reviewed that one!)

    Lauren

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    1. You should! I think you'd like it a lot.

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  9. I haven't started this series before but wow I've heard so many people talk about this one. I'm kind of curious how different it is from the 1st book. I've seen people say this liked this one more, and others who preferred the first. Regardless I'm definitely planning to read em!!!

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    1. Opinions sure seem to be split, it's true. Hopefully book 3 will the the unanimous favourite!

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  10. You know, I actually find myself more interested in this book than I did with Delirium -which I read because everyone said the author was so good but I wasn't very enamored of it!

    But I think this has the potential to be awesome. :D
    So I'll try to squeeze it into the reading pile

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    1. I'd be interested in hearing whether it would change your opinion about the series or author!

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  11. It's so easy to enjoy Lauren Oliver's books - her writing style is just wonderful. I was surprised by how quickly Julian won me over too...Requiem will be a very interesting book!

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    1. It sure will! Especially with that ending...

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  12. I have yet to read Delirium, but yeah, I think it would have taken me a bit to warm up to all those changes too. Most times, it ends up being something I don't like.

    Sorry some of the magic was lost, but it's good to know it was still enjoyable.

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    1. Yeah, I can be pretty reticent to change when I loved the original so much. It doesn't always pay off.

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  13. I've held off reading this one for many of the same reason that you mention above. But I do love Lauren's writing. I'm happy to hear the book is a bit faster paced. I'm just struggling with the abrupt changes this book makes. I hope the third one brings everything back together again.

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    1. Yeah, that's what was holding me back from reading this one sooner. But I went it with moderate expectations and wasn't let down.

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  14. I still haven't read Delirium even though I have a signed copy and loved Oliver's Before I Fall. I think it's because I'm worried that it's a dystopian with a slow pace. I like my dystopians with lots of action.

    I like that this one is a little faster paced but it's too bad you didn't love this one as much.

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    1. Hmm, well I would hope that the beautiful writing would make up for the slower pace for you! I would be interested in what you thought of it, anyways.

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  15. I'm with you -- I liked this book but not as much as Delirium. Something was definitely missing, but I know what it was. However, I did enjoy the different story and characters. The world Oliver creates is a unique one.

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    1. I'm not sure what it was either, but maybe it was just that it was so different that it was a little off-putting.

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  16. Lauren Oliver definitely doesn't skimp on character development. It seems like I've been waiting forever for this book to come out that it's sort of fallen by the wayside. I'm glad that you enjoyed the sequel even though it wasn't quite as captivating as the first. Love-triangle? Hm, I'll try not be too worried about that part since you were won over.

    Great review Aylee! I'll have to pick this one up soon.

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    1. Yeah, I lost interest in it quite quickly after its release - probably a little scared by the reviews indicating how different it was. But I'm glad I got it read it the end.

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