About the Book:
Author: Lauren Oliver
Publisher: HarperCollins; Reprint edition
Publish date: February 5, 2013
Pages: 400 eBook pages can be different
Genres: Young adult, dystopian, Romance
I have been a huge fan of Lauren Oliver since her debut novel, Before I Fall, which remains in my top 5 favorite books. Because of my high affection for that book, I keenly flashed through her dystopian novel, Delirium. There were quite a few reasons why I was let down by that book, possibly due to high expectations. It was much slow-paced, perhaps because it was spread into a trilogy, and I was not as devoted in Lena (to me, she was almost too innocent and ambiguous) and did not feel much involved in Alex, her love interest. I felt he was too direct of a character, without the many coatings and complexity that I was used to in Before I Fall.
Pandemonium picks up right where Delirium ends in the result of Lena making it to the Wilds, with Alex seemingly left behind and killed. This book is poised as a series of flashbacks of her life in the Wilds and her current time as a lively part of the resistance.
This book again showcases Lauren Oliver’s stunning writing style. She writes so gorgeously and emotionally in a way I have not seen matched currently. Additionally, the pacing of this book is much better than the 1st. We are immediately prod into the risky Wilds and the tough life that Lena is now adapting. Lena has developed into a much more fascinating character, with hardened edges from the dreadful blows she has experienced and the hard life she now leads. Then, we are introduced to Julian, the head of the Cured activist group. I was instantly drawn to him in ways that I was never with Alex. Instead of a forthright protagonist, Julian is complex; a character with depth, emotion, and feeling, who changes with experience and develops meaningful relationships.
I also want to mention that while I was never surprised by any of the riddles discovered during this novel (and there are several), I acknowledged all of them. I thought they were well thought out and essential– the exact right moves. When I was in my fiction writing session at Stanford, my professor once told us to set-up 2 very different characters in a place and just see what happens. I see that might have been exactly what happened for Julian and Lena.
An outstanding book, well written and another remarkable success for Lauren Oliver. I was uncertain if I would read the final book in this series, but now that uncertainty has completely fled. I excitedly await the thrilling conclusion to this trilogy, and know that Lauren Oliver has a wonderful career ahead of her as one of the most talented YA authors so far.
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