Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver

Friday, December 26, 2014

Author: Lauren Oliver
Published by: HarperTeen

*This post contains spoilers.*

This book is the second in a three part series. To read my review of the first book, Delirium - go here! 

Lena has learned a lot from her time in the Wilds. She's grown hard, tough, resilient. Now she's a totally new person in New York. With Raven and Tack as her guides, Lena has officially become part of the resistance. Her job is to learn everything she can about the DFA's young superstar, Julian Fineman. This task becomes both harder and easier when they are taken hostage at a rally. Stuck together in a tiny cell, Lena learns a lot about Julian. She learns about his father, his past, and she learns a lot about herself.

First, let me start off by saying that this book was just as good as Delirium. I loved every second of it. In a matter of 350 pages, you've learned a lot about Lena, the resistance, the Scavengers, and the ever-impending war between the Uncureds and the Cureds.

Oliver divides the chapters between Then and Now which help the book become something better.

THEN talks about Lena when she has just crossed over into the Wilds. We learn how she becomes stronger, how she gets accustomed to the changes and ways of life. We see her learn to fight, to forage, and to compartmentalize her feelings. We see her broken by love and question whether leaving Portland was really for the best. We see her weak and vulnerable in a way she had never been before.

The NOW chapters are Lena a few months later, when she has been given a new (false) identity and is living in New York as a Cured. Her job as part of the resistance is to keep an eye on the DFA and more specifically, Julian Fineman. But when the rally is ambushed by the Scavengers, Lena and Julian are taken captive. As they share a cell, the two of them become close. Julian tells her of his father and his brother and Lena, against her better judgement, tells Julian about her past. Soon, the two of them are growing closer together as they try to find a way out.

What I really liked about this book was seeing Lena in a new way. She was sad, lost, and longing for Alex in the Wilds but she had to overcome that. She's had to bury that part of herself. We start to see Lena experience other intense emotions that stem from love: loss, healing, rage, empathy. Without understanding what love is these other emotions wouldn't be possible. I like that we also see her struggle with it. She struggles a lot with her past. She gets angry at that fact. She knows that she shouldn't have to bury, hide, or fake her feelings. She no longer questions her feelings about the procedure. She knows what side she is on and she's willing to fight for it.

I think Julian is OK. He's different than Alex. He's softer and unsure of himself. He's nice and kind. I don't hate him and I think some of the scenes between Lena and him are steamy...but he's no Alex. I think I just like the bad boy vibe.

Anyway, this book is a great second novel and seemed the perfect fit as the next installment. I am so excited to read Requiem - you have no idea.

I give this book 4 out of 5 cateyes.

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