Friday, October 12, 2012

Bad Ass Books: Pandemonium

I don't know why, but following up last Friday's bad ass book with its sequel makes me feel really powerful or awesome or genius or something. Not exactly sure the word. Maybe a mixture of all of those? Maybe like a bad ass myself?

Enough about me! Let's talk about Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver.

Summary (from her website):
Actually, I'm not giving a summary. I'm afraid it would give away the ending to Delirium, so I don't want to risk doing that to you. I'll give you a blurb instead: Lauren Oliver delivers an electrifying follow-up to her acclaimed New York Times bestseller, Delirium. This riveting, brilliant novel crackles with the fire of fierce defiance, forbidden romance, and the sparks of a revolution about to ignite.

Spoilers in white!

Why I read it: I read Delirium this summer, and if you read Delirium, you have to read the sequel. The ending really doesn't leave you with any other choice.

ZOMG Yes! Egads! So much! First, I love the way this is written. Oliver switches between two different time periods--right after the end of book one and the present. We get to see how Lena grows, how she recovers from the many things she endured in book one, and then make her choices along with her.  I've been thinking about writing in a sort of before and after style, but the more I think about it, the more my head hurts. I'm so impressed with how well Oliver executes this.

This next part is all spoilers. If you haven't read the first book, don't read it. If you have, read at your own risk. The romance in this book is so rich. It feels more real and more raw than Lena's budding love with Alex in book one. There is need. There is hunger. In Delirium, it really felt like Alex had all the cards. Not so here. I think both Lena and Julian are on an equal playing ground even though Julian fears the Deliria. I hated that Alex was gone, but I loved what was growing between these characters. I loved that Lena found it within herself to love again.

On to my next point, which happens to be the BIGGEST POSSIBLE SPOILER EVER. Don't say I didn't warn you. The ending of this book! Oh. My. Word. Here I am all happy that Lena and Julian hit it off, that Lena saved the day, that we could all be happy. In the back of my mind I'm thinking--where could we possibly go for the third book? What's the conflict? Lena and her mom? Will we see more? I guess that could drive a book.

THEN ALEX SHOWS UP. I think I actually screamed. Oliver is crazy and amazing all at the same time. She kills Lena's first love, but oh wait no! And when Lena finally heals from it SHE BRINGS HIM BACK. 

Meh Even though I was impressed with how Lauren Oliver weaved the past and present, at times it killed me. I wanted to keep reading the present, and she pulled me away from it. She did a great job building suspense that way. I kept reading. I had to. But part of me was mad at her for it--the way only a reader can be. Otherwise, this book was glorious.

Overall, Pandemonium is absolutely, one hundred percent, bad ass. It will make you swoon. It will make you scream. It will make you cry. And you'll love every second of it.


  1. Thank you for putting spoilers in white. In an uncharacteristic display of self-control, I didn't highlight them. But it was hard!
    Also, I should read this soon.

  2. I need to read these books. Now.

    And, oh my god, do I love the official seal of general badassery. That is so damn awesome.

  3. I enjoyed this book a lot, but I didn't really like the alternating timelines. I was enjoying the present, and the past was kind of boring to me. As for the ending, while it was great, I guessed it very early on. I am very excited to read the final book in this series to see where she takes everything.

    My current WIP (a YA romance) is told with Now and Then moments. I think it works in the story because those past moments are really important and because they're kind of swoony too. :)