Thursday, April 5, 2012

Speed Date with Lena: PANDEMONIUM by Lauren Oliver

Thursday is Speed Date Night around here. What's a Book Speed Date, you ask? It's a quickie review--about 150 words or so--of any genre book (variety is the spice of life, after all). If you're interested in joining in the speed dating fun, sign up in the Linky below. This speed date is all about "meeting" new books. Cheers, my reader friends!
Book cover for Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver, second in the Delirium series, published by HarperTeen
YA Dystopia
375 pages, hardcover
Available now (February 2012)
Publisher: HarperTeen
Review copy purchased

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. 

Y'all. I didn't expect to love this book as much as I did. I didn't expect to pick it up one lazy afternoon and read-read-read until it was dark and the book was done and I was replete. 

Of course, I enjoyed Delirium and, with Lauren Oliver's talent for writing, knew I'd be in for a great story with Pandemonium. But this just sucked me in and didn't let go.

Lena's all alone, having escaped her prison and left behind her family, friends, and lover. Love. The disease she was warned about embodied in a boy--Alex, the love of her life--who she left struggling in the grips of the regulators and destined for the Tombs or, more likely, death.

But she has to move on, to survive. She does, joining with other Invalids who live free in the Wilds. She becomes part of the rebellion. And, though her heart is broken, she meets another boy who resonates, who she connects with. I thought this "connection" came about too quickly but, because the concepts of love and lust are so foreign to these people, it's viable. 

And then there was the ending. Yes, a cliffhanger but not unexpected. It is, after all, the middle of the series, and I just knew "it" would happen. "It" brought about a small amount of eye-rolling on my part but I still closed the book with a sigh of satisfaction.

Brilliant, poetic writing wrapped around an action-packed story encased in the beauty of love.

Available on Amazon | IndieBound


  1. I haven't got around to reading this one yet but I've seen some really good reviews for it. I'm glad to know that you liked it! I love Lena so much! A new guy? Aw no...:)

    Great review, Mary!

  2. Yay!!!! I so loved this one too Mary, I wasn't expecting to as much as I did. I thought it wouldn't feel right without Alex, and while I did miss him, there was so much else going on to keep me interested. And the ending I knew was coming, but it didn't hurt any less for me:)

  3. And see, I'm so nervous about reading this book. I'm worried I'm really going to not like it and that it's going to make me not like Delirium. I don't like the thought of a triangle and I don't like the thought of no Alex. He was really the book for me with the 1st one. Everyone says they love this one, so I should probably just give in and read it. Still.....

  4. My students enjoy Oliver's books - haven't seen this one yet! :)

  5. Everyone is loving this one even more than the first. I haven't even read the first yet!! *sobs* I really have to dude it sounds incredibly amazing and right up my alley for sure!!

  6. Oh, I think I was one of the few that didn't like the first book as much - that ending, it frustrated me - but I'm thinking I might have to give this book a chance, it sounds like I might like it more.

    Thanks for the speed-date, I love it :D

  7. GAH! That ending?! How could she leave it off like that? It nearly killed me, seriously. ;) I thought this was a great book as well, but in a completely different way than Delirium. I can't wait to get Requiem! I hope it's even more awesome than the first books. :)

  8. Oh man I totally loved this one. It was definitely a middle book but I thought it did a good job of telling an independent story, or at least bringing it to that ending (which yes, I totally expected, but it was still a "gahhhhh!" moment). Yah I wasn't sure what I would think of it when I heard the one main plot point, but I ended up totally falling in love with it. The only thing I found fault in a bit was the back and forth. I think it could have been told in a linear way just as well.