Saturday, April 14, 2012

Guest post for Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver

Published: February 28th 2012
Publisher: Harper Teen
Pages: 375
Copy: Won from Esther's Ever After courtesy of Harper Teen

Sometimes my darling daughter comes over to visit and asks me what she should read next.  I love that question :). It's every readers advisor's favourite.  Anyway, I handed her Delirium and then very shortly after that, Pandemonium.  Here is her take on Pandemonium

Pandemonium (Good Reads Summary)

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

REVIEW (Potential Spoilers for those who have yet to read Delirium)

I frequently raid my mother's shelves for both movies I haven't seen in a few years, and books I have yet to read. Last week on a visit she handed me Delirium, Lauren Oliver's first book in this series, and said "Here, you have to read this." Within 36 hours I had texted her saying something along the lines of "OMG! This book is blowing my mind!" and 12 hours after that I was calling her begging for the second volume in the trilogy. And Pandemonium did not disappoint - I think, actually, it was even better than the first novel! The story continues Lena's personal battle in a dystopian world where love has been declared the disease, that, once contracted, is the root of many others: anxiety, depression, mania, stress, high blood pressure, etc. What a concept! We never really find out what the cure is, or how it works, but it appears to make people emotionally defunct, and essentially free from attachment or connection.

Pandemonium is an interesting contrast between NOW and THEN, a writing style that differs from Delirium, but is not irritating or confusing. Rather, the contrast of past and future create a balance in which we learn how one happens as a result of, or as a precursor to, the other. I loved the characters in this book. I loved the harshness of Raven, the uncertainty of Lena, the confusion in Julian, the motivation Alex provides, even in his absence and all of the other minor roles we stumble across throughout the story. I loved reading the development of the relationship between Lena and Julian, which, though somewhat predictable, didn't disappoint in the slightest. I loved the settings: from Portland, to the Wilds, to New York City....It is an adventure to imagine our world through such different eyes. I tore through this  book just as quickly as I did Delirium, and actually shouted a curse across the room to my husband upon finishing the last page. I CANNOT believe I have to wait an ENTIRE year to see how this huge plot twist will play out. Well worth a read in my mind (and also a re-read so everything is fresh when I finally get the last book in my hot little hands!)

Many thanks to Ellie Kathryn from Wide Eyed with Wonder for sharing her thoughts with us.  Now I just have to find time to read it!

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