Sunday, May 27, 2012

Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver

Pandemonium (Delirium, #2)

The second novel in the Delirium is well suited for it's name. Pandemonium. It's chaotic characters and actions in a chaotic world, where order is falling apart. The resistance is rising, and the danger gets darker. While Delirium is full of the hope love brings, Pandemonium is full of the hurt and the healing, the aftermath of love. Because there must be an aftermath for there to be another beginning.

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.

It's true; the old Lena, the Lena of Delirium is dead. She dies in the Wilds, and experiences rebirth as an Invalid, a resister, a fighter. She's fierce, strong, tough. The first "then" chapter is terrifically described as Lena's run through the Wilds, a run through herself. Sadly to say, I found the first half of the book stronger than the second. And the "then" parts a lot more interesting and descriptive than the "now" parts. I didn't want to know about Julian and the Scavengers. I wanted to know about Lena's survival and her new family. Raven, Tack, Sarah, Blue, Hunter. I think it would have been awesome to have part of this book told in Raven's perspective or in Julian's.

I'm having a hard time writing this review, because I have so much I want to say, just havin' a hard time sayin' it. I remember when I read reviews of Delirium that said it reminded them of the Hunger Games, and I though "no way." But I see Pandemonium as being  more closer to the Hunger Games. It also reminds me of Crossed by Ally Condie, similar stories and similar worlds. Katniss, Cassia, and Lena have to make two ultimate choices: who they are going to be and who they are going to be with. Lena never thought she would have to live without Alex, the boy who made her choose to live in the Wilds, leaving behind her family and her way of life.

Then, Lena falls in love again. In New York. A new city, a new family, a new identity, a new mission. And a new boy. Julian. He is the son of Thomas Fineman who runs the DFA (Deliria Free America) and wants his son to get the cure ASAP. His other son, unheard of and unknown, died as a resister of the cure. Julian, by circumstances outside of his control, is going to be like his brother. Is going to refuse the cure. After he meets and falls in love with Lena (while they are with the Scavengers).

All I have to say about Julian is that he is not like Alex, Lena's first love. But it is easy to see how Lena and Julian end up falling in love. Part of me wants to scream at her, "No, don't be in love with him. Don't forget your on opposite sides!" But Lena has been through enough to make her own choices. She rescues him from death with Raven's help. Raven, who is courageous and bold, Lena's role model and mentor. She has a lot of good wisdom, especially about life and choices.

As for the ending, DON'T READ THIS IF YOU HAVEN'T READ THE BOOK, I didn't want a love triangle. When I read the last word I thought, "No, no, Lena's been through enough." We all saw Alex die so Lena could live free. I couldn't believe that he had come back on the last page. My final thought is that it's not meant to be that way, it's not right. Lena, poor and broken Lena, her heart should not have to choose.

Some quotes from Pandemonium:

“Grief is like sinking, like being buried. I am in water the tawny color of kicked-up dirt. Every breath is full of choking. There is nothing to hold on to, no sides, no way to claw myself up. There is nothing to do but let go.
Let go. Feel the weight all around you, feel the squeezing of your lungs, the slow, low pressure. Let yourself go deeper. There is nothing but bottom. There is nothing but the taste of metal, and the echoes of old things, and the days that look like darkness.”

“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.
And some of them- the best ones- are doors.”

“We can never understand. We can only try, fumbling our way through the tunneled places, reaching for light.”  
“People themselves are full of tunnels: winding, dark spaces and caverns; impossible to know all the places inside of them. Impossible even to imagine.” 

 “In a world without love, this is what people are too each other: values, benefits, and liabilities, numbers, and data. We weigh, and the soul is ground to dust.” 

“Through wind, and tempest, storm, and rain; The calm shall be buried inside of me; A warm stone, heavy and dry; The root, the source, a weapon against pain” 

“If you’re smart, you care. And if you care, you love. That's the thing: We didn't really care. A world without love is also a world without stakes.”

Quotes are from GoodReads, where there are ever more quotes , and where this review is also posted.

Other covers:

Pandemonium (Delirium, #2)            Pandemonium (Delirium, #2)
(Personally I REALLY liked these two covers, almost more than the one up top even though it is gorgeous)