Monday, April 21, 2014

Pandemonium | Lauren Oliver

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.

Non-Spoiler Review

This book is the sequel to Delirium and I have to say, it's an amazing book. Compared to those from Delirium, I was able to connect more emotionally with the characters from Pandemonium and I was so much more thrilled by the action scenes. The sequel basically picks up from where Delirium leaves off and is told in two separate times: Then and Now, both of which tell different stories. The two stories are woven together so well, I was constantly left on the edge of my seat at the end of each chapter, dying to know what would happen next. If you haven't yet picked up this series, go get it right now, it's action- packed and thought- provoking. If you've only read Delirium and are a bit hesitant to finish the rest of the series, I seriously recommend picking up the sequel, it only gets better. Go read the book and come back for the spoiler section once you're done!

Spoiler-Filled Review

This book is different from the first in the way it's written. The first two chapters are written in different time periods: Then and Now, which at first was slightly confusing. For the first chapter, I thought maybe she was having a flashback or something, but as we got more and more into the book, it began making sense. For the first half of the book, Then was really interesting, then Now became interesting. It was a constant battle between which side I liked more.

There were so many new characters introduced in this book. We got new people from outside: Raven, Tack, Hunter, Blue, Sarah, etc. and then more people from within the walls: Julian, Thomas, the Scavengers, etc. Now that Lena is officially part of the Resistance, it was really interesting to see her actively fight for her cause. Since the first book she's become so much more outspoken and stronger, ready to fight for what she believes in. Her character development throughout both of these books is so prominent and it was just really great to read about. 

During the DFA rally at the very beginning, when Tack handed Lena the umbrella, I thought it was glaringly obvious that there was some type of tool or something inside the umbrella, but it took a lot longer than it should have for Lena to realize it. Maybe it was Julian's presence preventing her, but I expected her to figure out the clue sooner. 

My favorite scenes in this book were those of Julian and Lena. Between them I saw an enormous parallel between Lena and Alex within the first book, where Julian is the innocent, "brainwashed" one and Lena is the experienced "Invalid". I really enjoyed when Lena and Julian began telling each other stories of their pasts simply in order to pass the time, but began growing closer. It was really cool how it all basically went full circle and Lena began teaching others about love what was once taught to her. 

As much as I love Alex, he's kind of just "the boy next door", we don't know much about him and so we can't really connect with him. We didn't see a lot of him in the first book, he was just "the guy that changed Lena", on the other hand Julian had a lot of backstory. His history with his father, with his brother and with his own cancer. Knowing about him gave me a little more connection to him and as Lena fell in love with him, so did I (but I fall in love with almost every male character in books). We learn that he doesn't completely believe in the cure and his curiosity drives him to fall in love with Lena, which again, PARALLEL. Does anyone else see it?!

The fact that the entire kidnapping was simply a ruse put together by Tack and Raven was just absolutely absurd. I understand what they were going for, but they went a little too far. It's one thing for someone to willingly sacrifice them self for a cause they believe in, it's a completely different thing to sacrifice someone else for a cause you believe in. That's just wrong. 

Did anyone else see the mom from like a mile away? As soon as she came into the picture and tried to touch Lena's face, it was so obvious that it was her mom. It only became more obvious when she refused to take her mask off. Although now I'm wondering what her reasoning was behind refusing to reveal herself? Lena claims that her mom simply doesn't love her anymore, but I think quite the opposite.

Between the time from when Lena left Raven and Tack to save Julian to when she was in the observation deck, I think it would have been really interesting to read it from Julian's point of view. I got mildly bored during that part mostly because it was mostly just Lena sneaking around to find Julian. I would much rather have read about Julian's internal turmoil. Was he thinking about Lena? Did he think she betrayed him or did he think she would come for him? 

Finally I think we need to talk about this Alex situation. Literally what just happened? Where did he come from? How did he survive? I ship Julian and Lena so hard together that if he even tries to break that apart I will stab him. I love you Alex, but you're supposed to be dead, don't ruin it.

In the first book, Lena lived in Portland, in the second she lived in Manhattan. How did she even get there? Is the expanse between those two cities just Wilds? I don't completely understand. I wanted to see a little more between the end of Then and the beginning of Now. I think it would have been really interesting to learn how they were able to get ID cards and integrate themselves into society. It would have just been cool information. 

Last review I made predictions for Pandemonium and some of them came true, which is cool. But I literally have no idea how this story is going to progress from here. I really hope Hana makes an appearance in the last book. And I want Julian and Lena to end up together. I have so many questions, I can't wait to dive into the next book. 

What did you guys think of this book? Are you guys Julena or Alena shippers? Let me know in the comments!