Pandemonium (Delirium)

Lauren Oliver
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. In this electrifying follow-up to her acclaimed New York Times bestseller Delirium, Lauren Oliver sets Lena on a dangerous course that hurtles through the unregulated Wilds and into the heart of a growing resistance movement. This riveting, brilliant novel crackles with the fire of fierce defiance, forbidden romance, and the sparks of a revolution about to ignite.


Reviewed: 2014-05-24

As with Lauren Oliver's other books, Pandemonium is emotionally rich and evocatively written, surpassing in quality and sincerity more popular YA novels, including the successful but at times confusing The Hunger Games. Lena's struggle to forget her lover, and her surprise to meet others sympathetic to her plight, tells a story that would be wrenching in any setting, but the futuristic surroundings here serve to alienate readers and characters alike from anything familiar. Alone with Lena, then, the reader discovers that love, so forbidden in the Delirium series, is the only familiar thing to find. That Lena struggles primarily on her own to find acceptance from strangers and a path from grief speaks volumes to her quality, and to her value outside of her relationships with men. The upside-down world that Oliver has created is more believable, more honest, and more valuable to readers than a dozen books that share its dystopian setting. There are lines to read aloud and enough of the intensely personal in Lena's struggles that the empathetic reader may also want to keep a little of it to himself. Incredible.

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