Pandemonium – Lauren Oliver

Tadah! It’s sequel time!

If you haven’t read Delirium (the first book), you should probably do that before reading this review. There will be tons of spoilers in this review, btw, because… well…

It’s hard to talk about the book without giving away spoilers because it’s:

1. Really predictable. I mean, even I guessed the twists.

2. A really simple plot. Trying to summarise the plot without spoilers would be so short.

But let’s try it anyway.

Spoiler Free Summary:

Lena goes to the Wilds and meets some random people, including Raven who is cool and stuff. Then she goes undercover as part of the rebellion against the government, and meets Julian, the son of the… Mayor? I can’t remember. It’s been a while.

If you don’t want any more spoilers you should probably skip to the Overall at the end, just to find out the rating.

SPOILER-FEST SUMMARY

Lena falls in love with Julian. Yep, it’s another love triangle (even if one point is presumably dead). Then they get kidnapped by some evil people, and fall really really in love, Julian decides he doesn’t want to get cured, and yay it’s all happy again. Until…. DUN DUN DUN! Alex is alive, and walks in on Lena and Julian making out. Also there’s some stuff about Lena’s mother and yeah.

Cons

The Name

It didn’t help that I read this after Beautiful Darkness. (Well, 100 or so pages of Beautiful Darkness before I had to return it to the Library. Life is busy, it leaves hardly any time for books.) So every time I read “Lena” I couldn’t help thinking of Beautiful Creatures. People really like to call their characters Lena/Lina in books. Lena in Delirium, Lena in Beautiful Creatures, Lina in Between Shades of Gray, Lina in City of Ember… There are probably more.

The Plot

Was SO predictable. I knew what was going to happen at every single point. Nothing ever surprised me, not even the big “twist” at the end.

The Characters

Have no personality. I thought about this, trying to find a defining trait for Lena, or any trait at all, but seriously. She is so bland. I guess I didn’t notice because her descriptions are pretty and stuff, but when it comes down to it, she has no personality. Neither does Julian. I think I remember Alex having a personality, but I’m not too sure. He definitely has more of one than Julian.

The Romance

Yes, it was kind of sweet, a lot better than hush, hush, but was more like insta-love than anything else. They fell in love in like… a week? Two? Something ridiculous like that, even Lena was still really hung up over her last boyfriend DYING. You know, the “love of her life” GETTING SHOT. But no, she just falls for this other random guy with no personality.

Character Development

I hope they explain how Lena knows how to fight and how to shoot a gun. It was cool to see her become stronger, but it came out of nowhere. I don’t remember Raven ever giving her lessons on how to use a handgun.

Julian’s Eyes

Julian’s eyes are described like water, they reflect the colours they see. I’ve never met anyone who’s eyes are like that, but I guess it might be possible. But at some point his eyes are described as blue, gold and purple, all at the same time. What. No. Eyes don’t come in that colour. Just, no.

Pros

The Writing Style

Is still gorgeous. Lauren Oliver has beautiful imagery in her descriptions. I feel like sometimes the action can be very bland in comparison, but she really has a skill for description. Though the time spent on description really does slow down the book a lot. The majority of it seems like description.

No Book Flinging

I realised that I put a lot in the Cons, but I did not hate the book. On the contrary, it was pretty good. It was just so “meh” that I don’t know what else to say. This entire book screams “meh”. Well no, that’s kind of an oxymoron. It sighs “meh”, I guess.

Quotes

  • “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.”

Overall

I seriously don’t know how to rate this. On one hand, the writing style is so beautiful. On the other, the plot was predictable, and the characters were boring. It feels far too harsh to rate it the same has Nevermore.

3 shuriken stars. Or maybe 2 1/2 shuriken stars. You choose.

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One response to this post.

  1. […] you don’t mind a spoiler, or want to know how your take on the book compares check out Discombobulated Books.  Over all I give Lauren Oliver a thumbs up on this book and I am excited to read the next in the […]

    Reply

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