Thursday, January 26, 2012

Book Review: Pandemonium + Giveaway

by Lauren Oliver 
375 pages
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication Date: February 28th 2012
Source: An ARC copy won from EpicReads
Add Pandemonium to your bookshelf on Goodreads!

The old Lena is dead. The old Lena remains with Alex in Portland, Main, behind a wall of smoke and flame, but the new Lena was born in the Wilds, transformed by hardship, deprivation, and loss.

Now an active member of the resistance, Lena fights for a world in which love will no longer be considered a dangerous disease. Her inner life is as turbulent as the world around her... Although consumed with grief for Alex, might she be falling in love with someone else?

Delirium is a book that had a huge impact on my life. It completely changed my view on love and the importance of it in my life. When a book affects a person as much as Delirium affected me then it's hard for the sequel to measure up. That being said Pandemonium did a pretty good job. While it might not have had as much of an emotional impact as Delirium had it still proved to be an unputdownable dystopian and it's ending has me dying for the final book.

In Pandemonium we are introduced to a much different Lena than the Lena of Delirium. This Lena has just lost the boy who was everything to her. Sure, she successfully escaped to the Wilds but what's the point without Alex by her side? This Lena is hard and yet undetermined. But as the book progresses we see Lena really come out of her shell. It's like she's being reborn as a character and I found this fascinating. Those who loved Lena in Delirium shouldn't be worried though. Lauren Oliver hasn't reinvented Lena so much as she's developed her character even more.

The plot of Pandemonium was a real departure from Delirium. Delirium was definitely a character driven love story but Pandemonium was a lot more plot driven. It's like a survivalist story and a love story with some bombings, kidnappings, and secret identities thrown in for good measure. The structure of Pandemonium was also super unique in that instead of it being chronological the chapters alternated from "Then" (directly after Delirium ended) to "Now" (about a year after Delirium ended). It was a bit confusing at first but overall I really liked it. Plus it made the book super unputdownable! Cliffhanger's are twice as bad when you have to read a whole extra chapter just to find out what happens. I can't tell you how many times I told myself "Just one more chapter!" only to end up reading four more instead. :P

I know that some people have been disappointed in Pandemonium because they felt like it was a huge departure from Delirium and in some ways they are right. Let me say this right now: If you go into Pandemonium thinking it's going to be exactly like Delirium you're going to be disappointed. Delirium was a book about love: about discovering it, about it's importance in our lives, and about standing up for it's existence. Pandemonium on the other hand is more a book about healing. It's about moving past the pain and sadness and coming to a new place and it's also about opening yourself up to new possibilities. When you crack the cover of Pandemonium remember to go into it with an open mind. It may be different from Delirium, but its still an amazing book and definitely worth reading! It possesses Lauren Oliver's beautiful prose and imagery and has a great mix of action and suspense along with some quieter character driven moments. On top of that the ending is jaw dropping. The final book in the trilogy Requiem doesn't come out till 2013 and my goodness it's gonna be a long wait!

I give Pandemonium 4.5 out of 5 ice cream cones!

Awesome Quote: "In approved places, every story serves a purpose. But forbidden books are so much more. Some of them are webs; you can feel your way along their threads, but just barely, into strange and dark corners. Some of them are balloons bobbing up through the sky: totally self-contained, and unreachable, but beautiful to watch."

Now for the giveaway. I was lucky enough to win an ARC copy of Pandemonium and now that I've finished it I want someone else to have a chance to enjoy it.

Just fill out your name and email in the Rafflecopter form below and you'll be entered to win! Sorry international peeps but this is just for those in the United States. :(

BEFORE YOU ENTER:  Rafflecopter has gotten a little confusing of late and so I'm gonna clear up some things. The form below is gonna give you three options before you can enter:

1. You could be signed in to Rafflecopter already (because you have an account) and you won't have to put in any of your information. If that's the case all you have to do is choose the "Name and Email" option and then press "Enter Me".

2. You can sign in with Facebook and then Rafflecopter gets your information from there and you can just press "Enter Me"

3. You can sign in outside of Facebook or Rafflecopter by clicking "use your name and email" Once you enter your name and email you can just press the "Enter Me" button for the "Name and Email" option and you will be entered!

That being said PLEASE DO NOT LEAVE YOUR EMAIL IN THE COMMENTS! I know it might be nervewrecking thinking "What if I win and she can't contact me?!" but I assure you that your name and email has been saved by Rafflecopter and will be available to me if you end up winning! Have no fears!

Because Rafflecopter has been getting so confusing of late I may just switch back to Google Docs. What do you guys think about that?

a Rafflecopter giveaway

May the odds be ever in your favor!

Julia :)


  1. There wasn't a space to put my e-mail, so here it is! Thanks!!

    widsfam7 @ digis dot net

  2. naturalflorist(at)gmail(dot)com

    (there wasn't a space to put my email either... :))

  3. I subscribed using email: red_tigergirl2(at)hotmail(dot)com
    Thanks for the great giveaway!!! I'm so excited about this book!!!

  4. That is a great observation about this book being a plot-driven novel vs. Delirium that was a character-driven novel. Now that I think about it, you're absolutely right.

    I have been struggling to write my review for this book because I can't express in words what I love so much about Oliver's prose. Her books are so spellbinding to me.


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