Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver

Book: Pandemonium (Delirium #2) by Lauren Oliver, HarperTeen, February 28 2012

Genre/Format: Young Adult, Own hardcover, 375 pages

Rating: 5 / 5 Stars

More Info: Goodreads | Amazon

I waited so long for this book! I adored Delirium, and have been pining for the sequel for over a year. The last pages of Delirium left me feeling like I’d been punched in the gut, and it was hard to imagine the direction the sequel would take.  Pandemonium is a new beginning with a new setting and group of characters, and even the main character Lena has grown into a different person.  So even though the story picks up shortly after the events of Delirium, in a lot of ways it’s like it’s starting over.  I couldn’t imagine how I’d enjoy the book without some of the pivotal characters from Delirium. But I was happily surprised to find myself quickly caught up in this wild sequel.

The story alternates a “Then” and “Now” timeline taking us from Lena’s time entering the Wilds and transitioning to current day in New York where she is an undercover resistance operative.  The jumping timeline is a little jarring at first – maybe because there are so many changes to get used to. It is a lot to digest. My curiosity of seeing the “Wilds” as compared to Portland, Maine was satisfied and brought a lot of interesting information about the “uncured.” The New York setting is also an exciting backdrop with familiar landmarks and dangerous situations.

I liked Lena’s new independence now that she’s out of her aunt’s control. The changes in Lena are striking and even though past events haunt her, her strength and resolve carry her through. The Wilds are quite a wake-up call for Lena, and she doesn’t have a lot of time to feel sorry for herself. She has to pull her weight and take charge, even though she’s still heartbroken from leaving her loved ones behind. New characters are also introduced and help move the story in new interesting directions. (How vague is that? This review is tough!)

Pandemonium is a dark and gritty middle installment to the trilogy. Where Delirium was more romantic, Pandemonium is more about the action and rebellion. The book felt like a necessary and natural progression from Delirium. It answers a lot of questions hanging from the first book and sets up the final installment in true Lauren Oliver fashion: with a shocking cliffhanger. I didn’t finish the book feeling like I’d been punched in the gut this time, maybe more like I’d been slapped, and there may have been some cringing and eye-rolling. Regardless, the wait for the final book, Requiem, will be unbearable. I hear that Requiem will be told with two points of view, Lena and another female character. Can’t wait! In the meantime, Lauren Oliver fans, watch for her new middle grade book coming out in September called The Spindlers.


17 thoughts on “Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver

  1. Tiffany says:

    Delirium was one of my favorite books of last year so I really need to read Pandemonium soon. I’m glad to hear Pandemonium is just as good as Delirium. I’ve heard a few things about Pandemonium so I’m a little nervous about what’s to come but I’m still excited to read it. Fantastic review 🙂

    1. Lucy says:

      I was nervous to read it, Tiffany, because of the spoilers I’d read. It’s really different, but I hope you end up liking it too.

  2. VeganYANerds says:

    I’ve been putting off reading Pandemonium because I read that it’s different and that there’s another cliffhanger but you’ve made me want to read it right now! Plus Lauren will be here next week for a signing, yay! Great review 🙂

    1. Lucy says:

      I wish I was strong enough to hold out on reading this book until closer to Requiem’s release. The cliffhanger is not as bad as in Delirium, but still a painful one. So exciting that you get to meet Lauren Oliver. I saw she was heading to Australia- can’t wait to hear all about it!

  3. MTG Reviews says:

    According to Lauren, Requiem *might* also be told from ____’s point of view… do you wanna know? ;)~ I know!

    Great review!

    1. Lucy says:

      I do wanna know! There are only 3 people it could be, and any of them would be OK I guess. Not sure how it’s going to work, but it should be interesting.

      1. MTG Reviews says:

        WARNING FOR A SPOILER: (Do not read if you don’t want to be spoiled!) But according to Lauren, Requiem will also be told from the point of view of a certain person who recently had a short novella written for them. 😉

  4. Kelsey says:

    I bought this a few weeks ago for my Kobo, but still need to read it. Now I want to read it even more! But have to get a pile of Library books out of the way first.

    1. Lucy says:

      I hear you, Kelsey. I keep renewing my library books, and soon they will be maxed out. But I couldn’t wait on this one any longer. Looking forward to seeing what you think of Pandemonium!

  5. Elizabeth says:

    I plan on getting into this series at some point, but I have heard so much about cliffhanger endings that I may just wait until Requiem comes out and read them all at once. I guess we’ll see if I can hold out that long!

  6. Candice says:

    A slap in the face is EXACTLY what I felt at the end of Pandemonium! Thanks for putting it into words. I didn’t feel nearly as affected at the end of it as I did Delirium, but it was still so good! Great review Lucy!

  7. BermudaOnion says:

    Holy cow, you’ve made this sound like a must read. I don’t think I have this or Delirium.

  8. bookgoonie says:

    I read Delirium and Matched close together. I fell harder for Matched. But you’ve got me interested in the rebellion. I think the rebellion better suits me over trying to buy into why a government would exterminate people’s capacity to love.

    1. Lucy says:

      What did you think of Crossed? I liked Matched fine, but the sequel was really hard for me to get through. You may prefer Pandemonium over Delirium with the focus on the rebellion – hope you like it if you get a chance to read it.

  9. Just finished Pandemonium, it took awhile for me to get into it, but really picked up towards the middle of the book. Can’t wait to read the last one!

    1. Lucy says:

      It does take some time to find it’s stride. Those cliffhangers really make me want the last book too!

  10. […] the ending of this series is one I was particularly anxious about. As you recall with Delirium, and Pandemonium as well to a lesser extent, Lauren Oliver does not shy away from shock value and controversial […]

Leave a Reply

(Enter your URL then click here to include a link to one of your blog posts.)

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.