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on March 30, 2014
After reading Delirium, I wasn't sure what could possible happen next to Lena. Pandemonium picks up right where Delirium left off. The author made it easy to stand in Lena's shoes and feel the pain she felt of loosing her first love and her leaving her best friend behind. There were enough twist in turns in this novel that before you realize it the book is over and you can't help but crave for more!!!
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on March 18, 2015
This one took a little longer to get going than Delerium, but when it finally did, it was good. I am not so sure I like the twist at the end, but I did see it coming, particularly towards the end. I am curious to see how that works out. So, I guess that means i will be reading the next one!
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on March 5, 2012
I fell in love with the alternation between past and present. Lena's character seems so real to me; hurt, hate, unknown strength, love. I wasn't sure how I felt about the introduction of Julian, but by the time the ending hit, my heart tore into two directions. Excited to read what this world, and the characters have to offer in the third book!
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on April 14, 2012
After reading Delirium, I couldn't wait to read this book. Read almost non-stop. It was a quick, good read. I have thoroughly enjoyed the book and will recommend it to my teenage granddaughter. Both books can be enjoyed by all ages. These were my first read by Lauren Oliver and I have to say they won't be my last.
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on January 28, 2015
It’s been almost three years since I’ve read DELIRIUM and I remember next to nothing about it. Even reading back through my review of it it’s not really jogging any memories but holy wow, did I love the book. I even gave it a Squeezers rating (my top honor and not bestowed on very many books I read) and that’s saying something. I’m not going to second-guess my younger self but reading PANDEMONIUM, well, it didn’t live up to my review thoughts of DELIRIUM. I’ll say that much.

Where I appeared to love the pretty writing of the first book despite mentioning that some of it was rather superfluous, with PANDEMONIUM I found a lot of it redundant and rather bland. There’s a lot of the triple word thing going on like in the blurb above and it felt it it just served to fill space. There were also a lot of redundant statements. Flipping to a random page in the ARC I read (that I can’t remember where I got it from, it’s been that long, maybe a BEA past or the publisher sent it to me directly considering it’s in pristine condition, and it moved across the country with me), on page 221:

<blockquote>It’s strange to think how close we have been to the valid places, established cities filled with food, clothing, medical supplies; and yet we may as well be in a different universe. The world is bifurcated now, folded cleanly in half like the pitched steep sides of a tent: the Valids and the Invalids live on different planes, in different dimensions.</blockquote>

That paragraph circles back around on itself at least twice, in and of itself a bit redundant. But what made it even harder for me is that these kinds of descriptions regarding the differences between the two worlds, are repeated constantly, using a variance of words. This quote was pulled from the middle of the book. To me that’s something that should have been gotten out of the way within the first third but it keeps getting repeated. I got it. It’s different. Move on.

And Lena? She’s changed. She left the old Lena in the other world. She’ll tell you that repeatedly and with unnecessary flourish. There are a lot of pretty-looking words in this book but they’re not saying a whole hell of a lot.

Things happen all of a sudden, too. A lot. Maybe once every three chapters or so. All of a sudden, something happens. Over and over again. The writing is definitely conflicted. It wants to be pretty and flowery in a good way but it comes off like too much perfume on someone who may need a shower. PANDEMONIUM is definitely a middle book and not a lot happens to really advance the story and I think an attempt was made to hide that under the superfluous writing. I mean Lena’s living in the woods but if they’re not scavenging for food they’re cleaning dishes and watching people get sick. Or walking. There isn’t a lot of plot movement in that half of the book and I think it was meant more to break down Old Lena and rebuild New Lena. Which I’m told over and over again. And then the present story is a hint of action and then stuck in a cell and more pondering of character. So we have maybe an 1/18th of the book going somewhere and the rest of it stuck in Lena’s head.

The world itself wasn’t something that bothered me reading DELIRIUM. I even raved about it. In PANDEMONIUM I had a fair amount of eyebrow-raising. There are a lot of inconsistencies in the application of the lobotomies and it appeared that the Cure was only used when it was convenient to use. The Invalids call the Cured zombies. All of their emotions have been lobotomized away. Yet they panic during an attack. Yet Daddy Cure Movement beats his children for not falling in line. Yet people protest and fight against or for an earlier Cure. I can suspend my disbelief when it comes to the feral children that loveless people would raise in this world (something that wasn’t brought to my attention until after I’d read DELIRIUM) but the application of how people react after they’re cured is inconsistent at best. I get it; there needs to be action and cause in the book but Oliver isn’t being genuine to her own world. If these people are actually zombies, they wouldn’t feel anything. They’d fall in line, exactly like how they were supposed to. There wouldn’t be protests, there wouldn’t be panic and screaming, there wouldn’t be child abuse. I think there were some plot instances used to poke holes in the application of the cure, mainly using Raven and her history and the potential for Cure failure but it doesn’t feel to me that the conspiracy goes that far. I just think it’s a major chink in the world and it really bothered me.

I saw the end coming. It was set up too obviously for anything else to have happened, although the part with the escaped prisoner did surprise me. I’m not going to elaborate because of spoilers but it was a good surprise.

I’m probably going to leave the series here. I just wasn’t impressed with this book. I don’t like how the world is panning out, I’m not enamored with the writing (without re-reading DELIRIUM I can’t tell if the writing actually changed or just I did, although I have read other Oliver books and I liked them enough), Lena’s rather insufferable and is trying to convince herself too much that she’s changed when her actions would have spoken plenty to that (although I guess that leads back to writing). There just wasn’t enough here to keep me going.

2
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on February 17, 2015
Originally posted at [...]

4.25/5 stars!

I can’t say too much about Pandemonium because Spoiler Alert! So, this might be difficult. But then again there might be some spoilers for Delirium, at least.

I really thought it was interesting how it’s told from Lena’s POV of ‘Now’ and ‘Then’. When she first gets to the Wilds and then when she acclimates and what she’s doing now. I really loved seeing her adjusting to life in the Wilds, without Alex and I also loved seeing how strong she is in the present time. So proud! I did feel like she lost a bit of herself in the Wilds, though. Very hardened. But it’s understandable. She never gave up though and does what she needs to do to make it out there. To survive. Now and Then.

We do meet some new characters, obviously. They become Lena’s new family and I loved all of them. They’re all so different and so strong. I really loved Raven. She’s fierce and strong and independent. A true leader. But she can be guarded. She’s very take charge and tries to help everyone but doesn’t take s*** either. Definitely someone you want on your side, I’ve found.

Pandemonium is very political. You learn about organizations and different type of Invalids. Delirium is all about the love and finding out that it’s not a bad thing and Lena’s journey to finding that out. Pandemonium is all about survival and taking sides. Starting an uprising.

The last ‘chapter’ was a whirlwind. Holy friggens, did I fly through it, just wanting to get to the end to see what happens. And guess what? Another cliffhanger! Holy wow, it was crazy! I have no idea what’s going to happen in Requiem. No freaking clue! It’s going to be insane.
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on June 21, 2012
Lena's so different in this book. She's struggling with the pain of losing Alex, adapting to her new life. She's burying the past, trying to let go. And she does.

When Julian Fineman was kidnapped and she got caught too, I didn't know how she was important...but I figured she was going to change his mind about the deliria. How could that not be how it was resolved? They were locked up in a tiny room together, and then made their escape, relying on one another. Of course they'd end up at least friends.

I liked the double storyline thing. "Then" and "Now" was a really good idea on Oliver's part.

But the ending pissed me off...No, it wasn't bad. It was a cliffhanger. The next one won't be out until March next year! How do you expect us to wait that long without going completely bonkers? Couldn't put it down...and then I find this ending. It's quite frustrating. You people who've read it, you know what I mean.

So, we come across yet another dreaded love triangle. Really? Just as long as it doesn't turn into a vicious Team Julian/Team Alex battle like Twilight, I think it'll be okay. Personally I haven't picked a side. I don't know enough. Julian's a likeable guy, but so was Alex in Delirium. Now that he's back, I've no clue who to root for. What if he's not the same person? Whatever happenned in prison or whatever might've really changed him...and Lena's changed too. Maybe he doesn't love her anymore. Maybe she'll realize that she doesn't love him anymore. I don't know.

So mummy dearest is part of the resistance? I saw that coming. I was thinking about the woman Lena was taken by, how she kept saying her name and didn't want to be revealed...who else could it be?

And Thomas Fineman...I'm assuming he's dead. Raven shot him, but then again, we know gunshot wounds don't always take in this dystopian world. I'm not glad so much as in agreement that Oliver was right in killing him off. You grow to hate him once you realize how he treated his children. I mean, Julian's brother, may he rest in peace whatever his name was, died because he was beaten and then neglected. And he was willing to have his son executed because he was "sick". Ridiculous, Thomas. I realize there's no love in you...but does that have to make you cruel?

Great book. Different. Thought provoking, just like the first. Love may the reason for a lot of problems, but really it's one of the most important things ever. Take that away, call it a disease...well, then we're not much more than empty shells, are we? This book helps prove that.
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on January 1, 2015
I loved Delirium and I loved Pandemonium just as much, if not more! I enjoyed the "now and then" structure of it. It gave us backstory a bit at a time and let the story of the now keep moving forward and that was an interesting mix.

Everything about Lena's life has turned on edge since she escaped to the Wilds. Her character arc is great as she struggles to adapt to her new world. Life there is so different from everything that she has known before and change is necessary. She becomes strong, physically and mentally, and creates family out of strangers. I love how real the characters are. Some of those in the Wilds have spent most of their lives there. They are fully adapted to the ways and customs of living in a world of survival and chaos. But there are the others that spent much of their lives in the valid cities. No matter what their reasons for escaping into the Wilds may have been, no matter what it was that they were fleeing, it is clear that it is hard to get past the teachings of the valid cities. Those teachings linger even as they form new families and new societies.

The romance factor for Lena takes a new turn and, even now that I have finished, I am still not sure how I feel about it. But there was so much sweetness and humanity about it and that I loved.

There was a lot more action in this book, and I loved it. More than in Delirium, you could really get a sense of the dangers of the Wilds and living in the ways that these people must. It was fascinating!

Things to love...

--The action!
--Lena and her character's growth.
--Julian and how his character changed.

Things I wanted more/less of...

--For most of the book, it was Alex. But then...!

My Recommendation: I love this series and this is a great installment in the series. I gave it 4.5 mugs.
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on February 13, 2013
I loved this follow up to Delirium. And as a side note, I think you should read this series in order. The second book references Alex, an important character from the first book, and the dystopian society is gone into into much more detail in the first book - you see Lena living in it.=, and get to go through her emotions as she becomes more aware of other possibilities.

Now, in Pandemonium, Lena is a bit more clued in. She's tougher and stronger, but still retains some naivete, so her growth seems a natural progression - Lauren Oliver is a master at character development so I connected well with all the new people in this book. There's also a lot of action with just enough drama to make this book exciting! The twists and turns of the story, while slightly predictable at times, still drew me in and kept me reading well into the night. And that ending!!! Major cliffhanger alert! I for one HATE cliffhangers - but for some reason, this one left me excited to read the next book in the series, instead of annoyed and exclaiming in disgust, "No More!"
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on July 1, 2013
Not sure how I feel about the "then and now". I didn't like bouncing back and forth, but I did like how the story went and its outcome. Can't wait to start reading the next one. I like the way Lauren Oliver writes.
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