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Pandemonium

Pandemonium

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Pandemonium

evaluări:
4.5/5 (311 evaluări)
Lungime:
362 pages
5 hours
Lansat:
Feb 28, 2012
ISBN:
9780062101990
Format:
Carte

Descriere

I’m pushing aside
the memory of my nightmare,
pushing aside thoughts of Alex,
pushing aside thoughts of Hana
and my old school,
push,
push,
push,
like Raven taught me to do.
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.

Lauren Oliver delivers an electrifying follow-up to her acclaimed New York Times bestseller, Delirium. This riveting, brilliant novel crackles with the fire of fierce defiance, forbidden romance, and the sparks of a revolution about to ignite.

Lansat:
Feb 28, 2012
ISBN:
9780062101990
Format:
Carte

Despre autor

Lauren Oliver is the cofounder of media and content development company Glasstown Entertainment, where she serves as the President of Production. She is also the New York Times bestselling author of the YA novels Replica, Vanishing Girls, Panic, and the Delirium trilogy: Delirium, Pandemonium, and Requiem, which have been translated into more than thirty languages. The film rights to both Replica and Lauren's bestselling first novel, Before I Fall, were acquired by Awesomeness Films. Before I Fall was adapted into a major motion picture starring Zoey Deutch. It debuted at the Sundance Film Festival in 2017, garnering a wide release from Open Road Films that year. Oliver is a 2012 E. B. White Read-Aloud Award nominee for her middle-grade novel Liesl & Po, as well as author of the middle-grade fantasy novel The Spindlers and The Curiosity House series, co-written with H.C. Chester. She has written one novel for adults, Rooms. Oliver co-founded Glasstown Entertainment with poet and author Lexa Hillyer. Since 2010, the company has developed and sold more than fifty-five novels for adults, young adults, and middle-grade readers. Some of its recent titles include the New York Times bestseller Everless, by Sara Holland; the critically acclaimed Bonfire, authored by the actress Krysten Ritter; and The Hunger by Alma Katsu, which received multiple starred reviews and was praised by Stephen King as “disturbing, hard to put down” and “not recommended…after dark.” Oliver is a narrative consultant for Illumination Entertainment and is writing features and TV shows for a number of production companies and studios. Oliver received an academic scholarship to the University of Chicago, where she was elected Phi Beta Kappa. She received a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from New York University. www.laurenoliverbooks.com.


Legat de Pandemonium

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  • That is what hatred is. It will feed you and at the same time turn you to rot.

  • That was a half a year and a lifetime ago. For a second I feel a rush of sadness: for the horizons that vanish behind us, for the people we leave behind, the tiny-doll selves that get stored away and ultimately buried.

  • Running is a mental sport, more than anything else. You’re only as good as your training, and your training is only as good as your thinking.

  • Bram has dark hair and mocha-colored skin. He’s one of the quieter boys, one of the few who doesn’t scare me. He and Hunter are always together; in Zombieland, we would have called them Unnaturals, but here their relationship seems normal, effortless.

  • Much later, we will find out why: The resistance has stepped up its game. They grew tired of waiting, of minor pranks and protests. And so, the Incidents: explosives planted in prisons, and city halls, and government offices across the country.

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Pandemonium - Lauren Oliver

Publisher

now

Alex and I are lying together on a blanket in the backyard of 37 Brooks. The trees look larger and darker than usual. The leaves are almost black, knitted so tightly together they blot out the sky.

It probably wasn’t the best day for a picnic, Alex says, and just then I realize that yes, of course, we haven’t eaten any of the food we brought. There’s a basket at the foot of the blanket, filled with half-rotten fruit, swarmed by tiny black ants.

Why not? I say. We are staring at the web of leaves above us, thick as a wall.

Because it’s snowing. Alex laughs. And again I realize he’s right: It is snowing, thick flakes the color of ash swirling all around us. It’s freezing cold, too. My breath comes in clouds, and I press against him, trying to stay warm.

Give me your arm, I say, but Alex doesn’t respond. I try to move into the space between his arm and his chest but his body is rigid, unyielding. Alex, I say. Come on, I’m cold.

I’m cold, he parrots, from lips that barely move. They are blue, and cracked. He is staring at the leaves without blinking.

Look at me, I say, but he doesn’t turn his head, doesn’t blink, doesn’t move at all. A hysterical feeling is building inside me, a shrieking voice saying wrong, wrong, wrong, and I sit up and place my hand on Alex’s chest, as cold as ice. Alex, I say, and then, a short scream: Alex!

Lena Morgan Jones!

I snap into awareness, to a muted chorus of giggles.

Mrs. Fierstein, the twelfth-grade science teacher at Quincy Edwards High School for Girls in Brooklyn, Section 5, District 17, is glaring at me. This is the third time I’ve fallen asleep in her class this week.

Since you seem to find the Creation of the Natural Order so exhausting, she says, might I suggest a trip to the principal’s office to wake you up?

No! I burst out, louder than I intended to, provoking a new round of giggles from the other girls in my class. I’ve been enrolled at Edwards since just after winter break—only a little more than two months—and already I’ve been labeled the Number-One Weirdo. People avoid me like I have a disease—like I have the disease.

If only they knew.

This is your final warning, Miss Jones, Mrs. Fierstein says. Do you understand?

It won’t happen again, I say, trying to look obedient and contrite. I’m pushing aside the memory of my nightmare, pushing aside thoughts of Alex, pushing aside thoughts of Hana and my old school, push, push, push, like Raven taught me to do. The old life is dead.

Mrs. Fierstein gives me a final stare—meant to intimidate me, I guess—and turns back to the board, returning to her lecture on the divine energy of electrons.

The old Lena would have been terrified of a teacher like Mrs. Fierstein. She’s old, and mean, and looks like a cross between a frog and a pit bull. She’s one of those people who makes the cure seem redundant—it’s impossible to imagine that she would ever be capable of loving, even without the procedure.

But the old Lena is dead too.

I buried her.

I left her beyond a fence, behind a wall of smoke and flame.

then

In the beginning, there is fire.

Fire in my legs and lungs; fire tearing through every nerve and cell in my body. That’s how I am born again, in pain: I emerge from the suffocating heat and the darkness. I force my way through a black, wet space of strange noises and smells.

I run, and when I can no longer run, I limp, and when I can’t do that, I crawl, inch by inch, digging my fingernails into the soil, like a worm sliding across the overgrown surface of this strange new wilderness.

I bleed, too, when I am born.

I’m not sure how far I’ve traveled into the Wilds, and how long I’ve been pushing deeper and deeper into the woods, when I realize I’ve been hit. At least one regulator must have clipped me while I was climbing the fence. A bullet has skimmed me on the side, just below my armpit, and my T-shirt is wet with blood. I’m lucky, though. The wound is shallow, but seeing all the blood, the missing skin, makes everything real: this new place, this monstrous, massive growth everywhere, what has happened, what I have left.

What has been taken from me.

There is nothing in my stomach, but I throw up anyway. I cough up air and spit bile into the flat, shiny leaves on either side of me. Birds twitter above me. An animal, coming to investigate, scurries quickly back into the tangle of growth.

Think, think. Alex. Think of what Alex would do.

Alex is here, right here. Imagine.

I take off my shirt, rip off the hem, and tie the cleanest bit tightly around my chest so it presses against my wound and helps stanch the bleeding. I have no idea where I am or where I’m going. My only thought is to move, keep going, deeper and deeper, away from the fences and the world of dogs and guns and—

Alex.

No. Alex is here. You have to imagine.

Step by step, fighting thorns, bees, mosquitoes; snapping back thick, broad branches; clouds of gnats, mists hovering in the air. At one point, I reach a river: I am so weak, I am nearly taken under by its current. At night, driving rain, fierce and cold: huddled between the roots of an enormous oak, while around me unseen animals scream and pant and rattle through the darkness. I’m too terrified to sleep; if I sleep, I’ll die.

I am not born all at once, the new Lena.

Step by step—and then, inch by inch.

Crawling, insides curled into dust, mouth full of the taste of smoke.

Fingernail by fingernail, like a worm.

That is how she comes into the world, the new Lena.

When I can no longer go forward, even by an inch, I lay my head on the ground and wait to die. I’m too tired to be frightened. Above me is blackness, and all around me is blackness, and the forest sounds are a symphony to sing me out of this world. I am already at my funeral. I am being lowered into a narrow, dark space, and my aunt Carol is there, and Hana, and my mother and sister and even my long-dead father. They are all watching my body descend into the grave, and they are singing.

I am in a black tunnel filled with mist, and I am not afraid.

Alex is waiting for me on the other side; Alex standing, smiling, bathed in sunlight.

Alex reaching out his arms to me, calling—

Hey. Hey.

Wake up.

Hey. Wake up. Come on, come on, come on.

The voice pulls me back from the tunnel, and for a moment I’m horribly disappointed when I open my eyes and see not Alex’s face, but some other face, sharp and unfamiliar. I can’t think; the world is all fractured. Black hair, a pointed nose, bright green eyes—pieces of a puzzle I can’t make sense of.

Come on, that’s right, stay with me. Bram, where the hell is that water?

A hand under my neck, and then, suddenly, salvation. A sensation of ice, and liquid sliding: water filling my mouth, my throat, pouring over my chin, melting away the dust, the taste of fire. First I cough, choke, almost cry. Then I swallow, gulp, suck, while the hand stays under my neck, and the voice keeps whispering encouragement. That’s right. Have as much as you need. You’re all right. You’re safe now.

Black hair, loose, a tent around me: a woman. No, a girl—a girl with a thin, tight mouth, and creases at the corners of her eyes, and hands as rough as willow, as big as baskets. I think, Thank you. I think, Mother.

You’re safe. It’s okay. You’re okay.

That’s how babies are born, after all: cradled in someone else’s arms, sucking, helpless.

After that, the fever pulls me under again. My waking moments are few, and my impressions disjointed. More hands, and more voices; I am lifted; a kaleidoscope of green above me, and fractal patterns in the sky. Later there is the smell of campfire, and something cold and wet pressed against my skin, smoke and hushed voices, searing pain in my side, then ice, relief. Softness sliding against my legs.

In between are dreams unlike any I’ve ever had before. They are full of explosions and violence: dreams of skin melting and skeletons charred to black bits.

Alex never comes to me again. He has gone ahead of me and disappeared beyond the tunnel.

Almost every time I wake she is there, the black-haired girl, urging me to drink water, or pressing a cool towel to my forehead. Her hands smell like smoke and cedar.

And beneath it all, beneath the rhythm of the waking and sleeping, the fever and the chills, is the word she repeats, again and again, so it weaves its way into my dreams, begins to push back some of the darkness there, draws me up out of the drowning: Safe. Safe. Safe. You’re safe now.

The fever breaks, finally, after I don’t know how long, and at last I float into consciousness on the back of that word, gently, softly, like riding a single wave all the way into the shore.

Before I even open my eyes, I’m conscious of plates banging together, the smell of something frying, and the murmur of voices. My first thought is that I’m at home, in Aunt Carol’s house, and she’s about to call me down for breakfast—a morning like any other.

Then the memories—the flight with Alex, the botched escape, my days and nights alone in the Wilds—come slamming back, and I snap my eyes open, trying to sit up. My body won’t obey me, though. I can’t do more than lift my head; I feel as though I’ve been encased in stone.

The black-haired girl, the one who must have found me and brought me here—wherever here is—stands in the corner, next to a large stone sink. She whips around when she hears me shift in my bed.

Easy, she says. She brings her hands out of the sink, wet to the elbow. Her face is sharp, extremely alert, like an animal’s. Her teeth are small, too small for her mouth, and slightly crooked. She crosses the room, squats next to the bed. You’ve been out for a whole day.

Where am I? I croak. My voice is a rasp, barely recognizable as my own.

Home base, she says. She is watching me closely. That’s what we call it, anyway.

No, I mean— I’m struggling to piece together what happened after I climbed the fence. All I can think of is Alex. I mean, is this the Wilds?

An expression—of suspicion, possibly—passes quickly over her face. We’re in a free zone, yes, she says carefully, then stands and without another word moves away from the bed, disappearing through a darkened doorway. From deeper inside the building I can hear voices indistinctly. I feel a brief pang of fear, wonder if I’ve been wrong to mention the Wilds, wonder if these people are safe. I’ve never heard anyone call unregulated land a free zone before.

But no. Whoever they are, they must be on my side; they saved me, have had me completely at their mercy for days.

I manage to haul myself into a half-seated position, propping my head up against the hard stone wall behind me. The whole room is stone: rough stone floors, stone walls on which, in places, a thin film of black mold is growing, an old-fashioned stone basin fitted with a rusted faucet that clearly hasn’t functioned in years. I’m lying on a hard, narrow cot, covered with ratty quilts. This, in addition to a few tin buckets in the corner underneath the defunct sink, and a single wooden chair, is the room’s only furniture. There are no windows in my room, and no lights, either—just two emergency lanterns, battery-operated, which fill the room with a weak bluish light.

On one wall is tacked a small wooden cross with the figure of a man suspended in its middle. I recognize the symbol—it’s a cross from one of the old religions, from the time before the cure, although I can’t remember which one now.

I have a sudden flashback to junior-year American history and Mrs. Dernler glaring at us from behind her enormous glasses, jabbing the open textbook with her finger, saying, "You see? You see? These old religions, stained everywhere with love. They reeked of deliria; they bled it." And of course at the time it seemed terrible, and true.

Love, the deadliest of all deadly things.

Love, it kills you.

Alex.

Both when you have it . . .

Alex.

And when you don’t.

Alex.

You were half-dead when we found you, the black-haired girl says matter-of-factly as she re-enters the room. She’s holding an earthenware bowl with both hands, carefully. More than half. We didn’t think you were going to make it. I thought we should at least try.

She gives me a doubtful look, as though she’s not sure I’ve been worth the effort, and for a moment I think of my cousin Jenny, the way she used to stand with her hands on her hips, scrutinizing me, and I have to close my eyes quickly to keep all of it from rushing back—the flood of images, memories, from a life that is now dead.

Thank you, I say.

She shrugs, but says, You’re welcome, and seems to mean it. She draws the wooden chair to the side of the bed and sits. Her hair is long and knotted above her left ear. Behind it, she has the mark of the procedure—a three-pronged scar—just like Alex did. But she cannot be cured; she is here, on the other side of the fence: an Invalid.

I try to sit up all the way but have to lean back after only a few seconds of struggle, exhausted. I feel like a puppet halfway come to life. There’s a searing pain behind my eyes, too, and when I look down I see my skin is still crisscrossed with a web of cuts and scrapes and scratches, insect bites and scabs.

The bowl the girl is holding is full of mostly clear broth, tinged with just a bit of green. She starts to pass it to me, then hesitates. Can you hold it?

Of course I can hold it, I say, more sharply than I’d meant to. The bowl is heavier than I thought it would be. I have trouble lifting it to my mouth, but I do, finally. My throat feels as raw as sandpaper and the broth is heaven against it, and even though it has a weird mossy aftertaste, I find myself gulping and slurping down the whole bowl.

Slowly, the girl says, but I can’t stop. Suddenly hunger yawns open inside me, black and endless and all-consuming. As soon as the broth is gone I’m desperate for more, even though my stomach starts cramping right away. You’ll make yourself sick, the girl says, shaking her head, and takes the empty bowl from me.

Is there any more? I croak.

In a little while, she says.

Please. The hunger is a snake; it is lashing at the pit of my stomach, eating me from the inside out.

She sighs, stands, and disappears through the darkened doorway. I think I hear a crescendo in the hallway voices, a swelling of sound. Then, abruptly, silence. The black-haired girl returns with a second bowl of broth. I take it from her and she sits again, drawing her knees up to her chest, like a kid would. Her knees are bony and brown.

So, she says, where did you cross from? When I hesitate, she says, That’s okay. You don’t have to talk about it if you don’t want to.

No, no. It’s fine. I sip from this bowl of broth more slowly, savoring its strange, earthy quality: as though it has been stewed with stones. For all I know, it has been. Alex told me once that Invalids—the people who live in the Wilds—have learned to make do with only the barest provisions. I came over from Portland. Too soon the bowl is empty again, even though the snake in my stomach is still lashing. Where are we now?

A few miles east of Rochester, she says.

Rochester, New Hampshire? I ask.

She smirks. Yup. You must have been hoofing it. How long were you out on your own?

I don’t know. I rest my head against the wall. Rochester, New Hampshire. I must have looped around the northern border when I was lost in the Wilds: I’ve ended up sixty miles southwest of Portland. I’m exhausted again, even though I’ve been sleeping for days. I lost track of time.

Pretty ballsy of you, she says. I’m not really sure what ballsy means, but I can guess. How did you cross?

It wasn’t—it wasn’t just me, I say, and the snake lashes, seizes up. I mean, it wasn’t supposed to be just me.

You were with somebody else? She’s staring at me penetratingly again, her eyes almost as dark as her hair. A friend?

I don’t know how to correct her. My best friend. My boy-friend. My love. I’m still not totally comfortable with that word, and it seems almost sacrilegious, so instead I just nod.

What happened? she asks, a little more softly.

He—he didn’t make it. Her eyes flash with understanding when I say he: If we were coming from Portland together, from a place of segregation, we must have been more than just friends. Thankfully she doesn’t push it. We made it all the way to the border fence. But then the regulators and the guards . . . The pain in my stomach intensifies. There were too many of them.

She stands abruptly and retrieves one of the water-spotted tin buckets from the corner, places it next to the bed, and sits again.

We heard rumors, she says shortly. Stories of a big escape in Portland, lots of police involvement, a big cover-up.

So you know about it? I try once again to sit up all the way, but the cramping doubles me back against the wall. Are they saying what happened to . . . to my friend?

I ask the question even though I know. Of course I know.

I saw him standing there, covered in blood, as they descended on him, swarmed him, like the black ants in my dream.

The girl doesn’t answer, just folds her mouth into a tight line and shakes her head. She doesn’t have to say anything else—her meaning is clear. It’s written in the pity on her face.

The snake uncoils fully and begins thrashing. I close my eyes. Alex, Alex, Alex: my reason for everything, my new life, the promise of something better—gone, blown away into ash. Nothing will ever be okay again. I was hoping . . . I let out a little gasp as that terrible, lashing thing in my stomach comes riding toward my throat on a surge of sickness.

She sighs again and I hear her stand up, scrape the chair away from the bed.

I think— I can barely force the words out; I’m trying to swallow back the nausea. I think I’m going to—

And then I’m tipping over the bed, throwing up into the bucket she has placed beside me, my body gripped by waves of sickness.

I knew you would make yourself sick, the girl says, shaking her head. Then she disappears into the dark hallway. A second later, she pops her head back into the room. I’m Raven, by the way.

Lena, I say, and the word brings with it a new round of vomiting.

Lena, she repeats. She raps on the wall once with her knuckles. Welcome to the Wilds.

Then she disappears, and I am left with the bucket.

Later in the afternoon, Raven reappears, and I again try the broth. This time I sip slowly and manage to keep it down. I’m still so weak I can barely lift the bowl to my lips, and Raven has to help me. I should be embarrassed, but I can’t feel anything: Once the nausea subsides it is replaced by a numbness so complete it is like sinking under ice water.

Good, Raven says approvingly after I’ve made it through half the broth. She takes the bowl and disappears again.

Now that I’m awake, and conscious, all I want is to sleep again. At least when I’m sleeping I can dream myself back to Alex, can dream myself into a different world. Here, in this world, I have nothing: no family, no home, no place to go. Alex is gone. By now even my identity will have been Invalidated.

I can’t even cry. My insides have been turned to dust. I think over and over of that final moment, when I turned and saw him standing behind that wall of smoke. In my head I try and reach back, through the fence, past the smoke; I try and grab his hand and pull.

Alex, come back.

There is nothing to do but sink. The hours close around me, encase me completely.

A bit later I hear scuffling footsteps, and then echoes of laughter and conversation. This, at least, gives me something to focus on. I try to differentiate the voices, take a guess at how many speakers there are, but the best I can do is separate out a few low tones (men, boys) and some high-pitched giggling, the occasional burst of laughter. Once I hear Raven cry out, All right, all right, but for the most part, the voices are waves of sound, tones only, like a distant song.

Of course it makes sense that girls and boys would be sharing a house in the Wilds—that’s the whole point, after all: freedom to choose, freedom to be around one another, freedom to look and touch and love one another—but the idea is very different from the reality, and I can’t help but start to panic a little.

Alex is the only boy I’ve ever known or really spoken to. I don’t like to think of all those male strangers, just on the other side of the stone wall, with their baritone voices and their snorts of laughter. Before I met Alex, I lived almost eighteen years believing fully in the system, believing 100 percent that love was a disease, that we must protect ourselves, that girls and boys must stay rigorously separate to prevent contagion. Looks, glances, touches, hugs—all of it carried the risk of contamination. And even though being with Alex changed me, you don’t shake loose the fear all at once. You can’t.

I close my eyes, breathe deeply, again try and force myself down through layers of consciousness, to let myself be carried away by sleep.

All right, Blue. Out of here. Bedtime.

I snap my eyes open. A girl, probably six or seven, has been standing in the doorway, watching me. She’s thin and very tan, wearing dirty jean shorts and a cotton sweater about fourteen sizes too big for her—so big it is slipping off her shoulders, showing shoulder blades as peaked as bird wings. Her hair is dirty blond, falling almost all the way to her waist, and she isn’t wearing any shoes. Raven is trying to maneuver around her, carrying a plate.

I’m not tired, the girl says, keeping her eyes locked on me. She hops around from foot to foot but won’t come any farther into the room. Her eyes are a startling shade of blue, a vivid sky color.

No arguing, Raven says, bumping Blue playfully with her hip as she passes. Out.

But—

What’s rule number one, Blue? Raven’s voice turns sterner.

Blue brings her thumb to her mouth, rips at her thumbnail. Listen to Raven, she mumbles.

"Always listen to Raven. And Raven says bedtime. Now. Go."

Blue shoots me a last, regretful look and then scurries away.

Raven sighs, rolls her eyes, and pulls the chair up to the bed. Sorry, she says. Everyone is dying to see the new girl.

Who’s everyone? I say. My throat is dry. I haven’t been able to stand and make it over to the basin, and it’s clear that the pipes don’t work anyway. There wouldn’t be any plumbing in the Wilds. All those networks—the water, the electricity—were bombed out years ago, during the blitz. I mean, how many of you are there?

Raven shrugs. Oh, you know, it changes. People go in and out, pass between homesteads. Probably twenty or so, right now, but in June we’ve had as many as forty floaters, and in the winter we close up this homestead completely.

I nod, even though her talk of homesteads and floaters confuses me. Alex told me the barest little bit about the Wilds, and of course we crossed once together successfully: the first and only time I’d ever been in unregulated land before our big escape.

Before my big escape.

I dig my fingernails into my palms.

Are you okay? Raven’s peering at me closely.

I could use some water, I say.

Here, she says. Take this. She passes me the plate she’s been holding: two small round patties, like pancakes but darker and grainier, are sitting at its center. She removes a dented tin soup can from a shelf in the corner, uses it as a ladle to scoop a bit of water from one of the buckets under the sink, and carries it back to me. I can only hope that bucket doesn’t do double duty as a vomit basin.

Hard to find glass around here, she says when I raise my eyebrows at the soup can, and then adds, Bombs. She says it as though she’s in a grocery store and saying Grapefruit, as though it’s the most everyday thing in the world. She sits again, braiding a bit of hair between her long brown fingers absentmindedly.

I lift the soup can to my lips. Its edges are jagged, and I have to sip carefully.

You learn to make do out here, Raven says with a kind of pride. We can build out of nothing—out of scraps and trash and bones. You’ll see.

I stare at the plate in my lap. I’m hungry, but the words trash and bones make me nervous about eating.

Raven must understand what I’m thinking, because she laughs. Don’t worry, she says. It’s nothing gross. Some nuts, a bit of flour, some oil. It’s not the best thing you’ll ever eat in your life, but it will keep your strength up. We’re running low on supplies; we haven’t had a delivery in a week. The escape really screwed us, you know.

My escape?

She nods. They’ve had the borders running live in all the cities for a hundred miles for the past week, doubled security at the fences. I open my mouth to apologize, but she cuts me off. It’s all right. They do this every time there’s a breach. They always get worried there’ll be some mass uprising and people will rush the Wilds. In a few days they’ll get lazy again, and then we’ll get our supplies. And in the meantime . . . She jerks her chin toward the plate. Nuts.

I take a nibble of the pancake. It’s not bad, actually: toasty and crunchy and just a little bit greasy, leaving a sheen of oil on my fingertips. It’s a lot better than the broth, and I say so to Raven.

She beams at me. Yeah, Roach is the resident cook. He can make a good meal out of anything. Well, he can make an edible meal out of anything.

Roach? Is that his real name?

Raven finishes a braid, flicks it over her shoulder, starts on another one. As real as any name, she says. Roach has been in the Wilds his whole life. Originally comes from one of the homesteads farther south, close to Delaware. Someone down there must have named him. By the time he got up here, he was Roach.

What about Blue? I ask. I make it through the whole first pancake without feeling queasy, then set the plate on the floor next to the bed. I don’t want to push my luck.

Raven hesitates for just a fraction of a second. She was born right here, at the homestead.

So you named her for her eyes, I say.

Raven stands abruptly, and turns away before saying, Uh-huh. She goes to the shelves by the sink and clicks off one of the battery-operated lanterns, so the room sinks even further into darkness.

How about you? I ask her.

She points to her hair. Raven. She smiles. Not the most original.

No, I mean—were you born here? In the Wilds?

The

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  • (5/5)
    Book has a strange story but one that intrigues and keeps you interested. It's based in Portland, Oregon where at age 18 everyone gets the cure. It is believed that Love is a disease and is bad so at age 18 the cure is given which takes away all the feeling from a person. It's a police and if you break the rules you are executed or put somewhere you'll never get out of.

    Boys and Girls under 18 do not mix or talk to each other. Once you are tested before you take the cure you are assigned a pair- your marriage partner. The main character Anna is almost at the age to take the cure but just as it's getting close her whole world explodes. Pandemonium follows our history but in a version where Love is a disease. It's an interesting view of our society with a different set of rules.
  • (5/5)
    This is such a great book backed with lots of action and emotion. Most middle books of a trilogy just brings the reader along to the next point with not much happening. This book did not feel like a middle book. Yes, it brought the story along, but it really felt like an extension to book one. Lena is now in the wilds and is with a group where she works closely with Raven and Tack while she grieves for Alex who she saw on the ground in a pool of blood. Lena does a lot of things by emotion but also because she feels it's the right thing to do. Fantastic trilogy that I will be sad when it's done. Definitely worth the read! Great as an audiobook. I found myself sitting in my car not wanting to stop listening.
  • (3/5)
    [Cross-posted to Knite Writes]A lot more stuff happened in this novel than in its prequel, and for that, I was thankful. A lot of new characters were introduced, and all of them were fairly interesting. Lena was more active in this book, which made her a better protagonist. The freaky, Nazi-reminiscent way the people rallied, brainwashed, behind false ideals made the society seem a lot more realistic than it was in Delirium. We get a better glimpse of the way the government controls the masses and what their plans are for the future.While this totalitarian US is still a bit unrealistic–I mean, how does the US seal its borders and become completely self-sufficient without any serious economic repercussions?–and the whole “love is a disease” thing remains far-fetched, the issues with the premise this time around were less tangible. I didn’t feel them as much because the book’s plot was more interesting. The action distracted me from the flaws.I’m hoping to see a completely independent Lena in the final book of this trilogy. In Delirium, she was a brainwashed fool who only slowly came around to realize the truth about her society. In this book, she was able and willing to work with the resistance to gradually destabilize and take the down the government–only problem was, she spent the entire novel being manipulated by the resistance and almost ended up costing Julian his life. In Requiem, I want to see Lena take charge. I can only hope the sudden reappearance of Alex doesn’t make for a book full of love-triangle teen-angst whining. That would totally ruin it for me…
  • (3/5)
    Book Nook — Young Adult book reviewsPandemonium and I have a rocky relationship. It took me like two days to get through 150 pages. Finally, about halfway through the book, things started to pick up, and at least become more interesting, but at the end of the day, I'm still not crazy about the book.The story switches between two different time periods: "then" (immediately after book two) and "now" (a few months later). At first I didn't really like all the jumping back and forth, but I quickly grew accustomed to it. It is interesting to be able to compare and contrast Lena from then and Lena now, and see how she grows and changes.I have two big problems with Pandemonium. My first problem is that I feel like nothing happens until the last 50 pages. The first part of the book is just a bunch of travelling, waiting, meeting a few new people, more travelling, clawing through the Wilds, waiting in some sort of underground holding cell, more waiting, a bit of talking... You get the picture. To be blunt: it was boring.And my next big problem is Julian. The author didn't make me fall in love with him. Somehow Lena did, but I didn't. And honestly, I don't even know why Lena thinks she loves Julian. If you ask me, she only "loves" him due to 1) a lack of options and 2) she so desperately misses Alex and wants that emotional closeness that she's clinging onto the first new guy her age that comes along. I feel like there wasn't even a falling in love phase; Lena just woke up one day and decided she loved Julian. They had like 5 half-mumbled conversations throughout the whole book and suddenly they're in love? Okay, they saved each others' lives once.. but there wasn't that sweet, passionate, slow-brewing romance that we had in Delirium. In Delirium, Lena and Alex had 'moments'. They had cute scenes where they fell in love. They shared poetry, adventure, stories, memories. With Julian, I felt like Lena just shared two nights with him in a prison cell and one night in a bed and then suddenly they were head over heels for each other... Where did that come from?Pandemonium does end on a huge cliffhanger, but it didn't totally wow me for the sole reason that I saw it coming. It is pretty easy to guess what happens. Although I am really curious to see how the story progresses, I was missing that big *BANG* of an ending because I wasn't shocked or shaken.Ultimately, Pandemonium felt very much like that second-book-in-a-trilogy filler book. It was all about biding time until we can wrap things up in book three. To be fair, the last quarter of Pandemonium was entertaining—it wasn't boring like the first half was. My main problem with the book is just that I got zero passion from Lena's relationship with Julian, and that was the biggest part of the book.
  • (3/5)
    Originally posted at The Wandering Fangirl.I loved Delirium, so I was definitely looking forward to Pandemonium, even keeping in mind that sophomore novels can never live up to that wonderful rush of the first novel. Pandemonium tries hard to kick things up a notch, but ultimately it seems to fall a tiny bit short. Only a tiny bit! Lena's story is still engaging, and it's nice to follow her again. The one thing that knocked the fourth star off this review, however, was the new love interest and that cliffhanger. Why, Lauren Oliver? WHY?
  • (4/5)
    The very first page of Pandemonium hooked me, and I didn’t put it down again until I had finished reading. In this book Lauren Oliver’s writing is tight, to the point, and strangely compelling. It’s really hard to tell yourself you will stop reading after this chapter, this page, and before you know it you’re reading the last page with bated breath. Reading Pandemonium is an emotion ride: it’s full of the anger, determination, ferocity and grief that Lena feels, so different from the naivety and romance of Delirium. Lena surprised me in this book. In Delirium she behaved erratically, placed too much trust in Alex from the offset and was constantly worrying about her deteriorating relationship with Hana. In Pandemonium Lena is grieving. For the life, the friends, and the boy she left behind. The book is written in a THEN and NOW format, with the chapters alternating between THEN (right after Delirium ended) and NOW (about six months down the track). The format brings out Lena’s character: we can see how strong she is now and see her journey to become that way as well. I loved this book (even with that cliffhanger that will ensure that I pine for Requiem for ages before I get my hands on it), and recommend the Delirium trilogy for everyone who likes a dystopian young adult novel. You can read more of my reviews at Speculating on SpecFic.
  • (4/5)
    Better than the first in a lot of ways, and a little bit worse in others.

    But you can build a future out of anything. A scrap, a flicker. The desire to go forward, slowly, one foot at a time. You can build an airy city out of ruins.
    I originally rated this 5 stars after finishing it, but upon reflection, it really was more of a 4 star read for me.

    But it was still awesome!

    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 days that look like darkness.
    Honestly, this felt like a different series a little bit. Part of that was definitely the lack of chapter epigraphs (which I briefly mourned) and definitely the fact that the only character shared throughout was the Lena herself (and she made a bit point about that) and definitely the fact that the chapters alternated between past and present - "now" and "then".

    This installment actually made me cry a lot. It was intense and hard-hitting with more tangible stakes and consequences. Raven was an excellent addition and the Invalid band she travels with were great, though Tack deserved a little more page time to really earn his place at the end.

    While Alex in the first book was a bit of a stalker and Julian in this book was a voyeur, I actually genuinely liked him. He was sweet and complex, and I'm also just absolute trash for the trope when two people have to sleep in close quarters together when they aren't (yet) in a relationship. I don't know why, but it just sustains me like no other.

    That said, I did not like the pacing or how the very ending was handled. It was a little bit of a deus ex machina and didn't feel entirely earned. Some elements of the entire novel felt a little too Divergent-ish.

    This is what hatred is. It will feed you and at the same time turn you to rot.
  • (4/5)
    The second book in the Delirium series and just as rewarding as the first. The book delves into the resistance which Lena ends up joining after she escapes into the Wilds; without Alex and severely injured. This book Lauren Oliver goes back and forth, titled Then and Now. The Then chapters starting with Lena first escaping into the Wilds and the Now chapters starting with Lena at a rally to stop the Deliria and she's there for the resistance. In this book we meet Julian the son of the head of the organization 'Deliria Free Association'. Lena is also still mourning the loss of Alex who was shot while they were trying to get into the Wilds at the end of Delirium. Lena and Julian get captured, later finding out they were captured by the resistance, and during their captivity Lena starts to fall in love with him. With Pandemonium we are introduced into the world with love and, along with Lena, see that the Wilds are not as amazing as we thought. With the Wilds, the world without love, comes the ability to choose, to have free will. Lena learns that "love is the deadliest of all deadly things. It kills you when you have it. And when you don't." Maybe love is deadly but it doesn't mean it's not worth fighting for. Pandemonium explores two different worlds one without love and one with, and in those worlds we see different kinds of people and how they go about to achieve what they think is right.

    4/5
  • (4/5)
    I was right to switch to reading from audiobook - the teen angst, predictable as it is, slides by much more easily. I enjoyed the double storylines, one for Lena's introduction to the wilds and the second her first mission for the resistance. I've got the 3rd book in hand thanks to my generous YA distopia loving co-worker.
  • (5/5)
    So many sequels are hard to read because there's no action, it's just the author's way of bridging the gap between the beginning and the conclusion. This is not the case with Oliver's second book in the Delirium series.[Potential Spoilers:] Delirium ends with Lena making her escape into the Wilds, seeing Alex getting shot by guards. Pandemonium's beginning is a little confusing - we're abruptly shifted into the "Now," with Lena being a student in a high school classroom. The next chapter is a "Then," and starts with her rebirth after her escape. I usually don't look at chapter headings, so it took me awhile to realize the book was jumping back and forth between "Now," with Lena infiltrating the system, and "Then," as she adjusts to leaving her old life behind. It's easy to slip into this mindset though, and the two stories run parallel to each other nicely. There is a lot of suspense, but while her first book was more beautiful, Pandemonium is grittier and rougher, as Lena adjusts to life without rules. The ending is absolutely incredible, exactly what I had hoped would happen since the end of the last book, and it will be nearly impossible to wait for Requiem.
  • (1/5)

    I didnt think that Delerium was all that spectacular but i thought it was a nice diversion. A kind of "fluff" book, and it had some concepts that were nicely intriguing. But this book blew me away with how incredibly horrible it was. I found the writing boring and repetitive. I had to constantly stop myself from skipping passages but the writing just dragged.


    Alot of people have mentioned how much they disliked the addition of julian and the love triangle. I wont say that i loved it, but i thought it was acceptable. This book, along with its predecessor has not struck far from the usual mold of YA stories. So of course theres going to be a love triangle. I would have like Julian to have had a little more personality. Something that made him special other than he's famous and had a bad childhood. There was nothing in his character that drew me in to him.


    The thing that really got to me was the description of how people lived in The Wilds. I mean really? People have been living out there for two generations right? (the purges happend when Lenas mother was a baby) and the best that they have figured out is how to make rabbit snares (and it seems only a few of them know this) and how to use tin cans as cups!? the explanation is that its hard to find glass out in the wilds? oh come on! No one has thought to carve things? Or tanning? Lenas always remarking on how cold it always is, every ones cold, in over sized, worn clothing, cast off from the cities. If your catching rabbits and deer, you have hides. Some one would have muddled through this somewhere in the last 30 or so years i would think.
    Many times, descriptions of things were just off as if the author had never done such things or even researched it or thought it all the way through. Little things that just really irked me through out the whole book. Like when they go to fetch water Lena notices a "skim" of bugs floating on the top of the water they've just taken from the river. This is after they WADED into the river (that has already been described and clear and beautiful) to where the rivers running so fast that she has trouble standing up. Ok you might get a bug or two sure, i'll accept that... but a whole "skim" of bugs? ya, no.


    The author also failed to portray almost any real emotional responses throughout the whole book. We have some crying over Blue. But Lena and Julian both kill someone and they dont spend a minute afterwards thinking about it. Am i supposed to think that the incident with the rabbit early in the book prepared Lena mentally for what it would feel like to take another humans life? really? When she finds out she was set up by the resistance she just shrugs it off with an "i forgive you" attitude? an incident that ended with her being kidnapped, witnessing someone else being brutally beaten at the hands of the kidnappers, killing people, and seemingly being arrested by the police?


    I dont expect much from this kind of book, i read them purely for the fluff value of them, quick, enjoyable, fluff. They dont have to be exceptional for me to still enjoy them. This though, wasnt even good fluff. Horrible.



  • (5/5)
    I'm incredibly shocked at how much I loved Pandemonium. This is coming from a person who very much disliked Delirium. Book number two completely blows the first one out of the water. This is how a sequel is done! Lena is incredibly strong this time around. She's a little wishy-washy at times, true, but if you compare her character before and after, this Lena is much more relatable. I actually like her. This may also be because I didn't like Alex (Yes, I said it!) and I got to read her character without all the lovesickness. We do have a whole new cast of characters and I'm happy to say I pretty much enjoyed them all. Especially Julian. Julian is the son of the founder of the DFA or Deliria-Free America. (You can imagine the trouble Lena gets into with him, seeing as she's in the resistance.) His character surprised me. Seeing as how I didn't like Alex, I was sure I wasn't going to like Julian. But no, I really, really, like him. He's like a cute puppy that has been kicked. You can't help but want to cuddle him and make sure nothing bad ever happens to him again. I wish I could say more about him, but almost everything involving his character would be spoiling you on what's to come. I did find the chapters to be a tad confusing. They switch between "Now" and "Then" telling about the Lena now and the Lena that was surviving in the Wilds. It does make the flow information weird. As long as you read the chapter headings you shouldn't get too confused. All in all, I wasn't too fond of the chapters being set up like that. I would almost say that the "Then" chapters weren't needed. Sure, a few things needed to be explained, but the "Now" chapters were so much more interesting! I found the curse words to be a little misplaced. They popped up randomly and I pretty much cringed every time I saw one. Not that there are lots of them, in fact there are very few, but they are so out of place that it throws you off what you were reading about. Many times I stopped and thought, "Was this really needed?" Being that the book is mostly tame (very tame, I should say) having these curse words appear just didn't mesh. The story was awesome and kept me at the edge of my seat. There's a lot of survival battles and death compared to the previous book- which is a good thing. We do get a major cliffhanger. By major, I mean wet your pants major, CPR major, and allover, oh no she didn't major. Do not, I repeat, do not flip to the last page unless you wish to be spoiled. I made that mistake and felt like beating my head against the wall. Now, if only Requiem wasn't a year away...
  • (4/5)
    The second in the Delirium, Lena is alone in the wilds and is saved by member of the Resistance. The novel is divided into 'then' and 'now' chapter, alternating between Lena's life in the Wilds and life as an undercover operative in the city. Lena is sent to guard Julain, the son of the leader of the DFA (Deliria free America). Eventually they fall in love ...but there is a huge cliff hanger at the end!!
  • (4/5)
    I enjoyed this book more than I did Delirium. I think it's because of Lena's inner turmoil. I also loved how the chapters went back and forth from her time in the wilds to her time now. Each time something in the present happened, she was able to relate to something she encountered with her makeshift family in the wilds.

    The characters in the sequel are a little more harsh. But I think that's because not all of them came from cookie cutter families. Julian reminded me so much of Lena while she was still in Portland. The difference in him though is that he did break rules before. He just didn't get caught. The story of Julian's brother and Blue had me almost in tears. So emotional.

    There were a few things that bothered me. Although it's the same narrator in both books, she pronounced Hanna's name different. It's a little thing, but it was enough to bug me. I also had the ending predicted by the middle of the book.

    Even with all that, I'm anxious to see what happens in Requiem.
  • (5/5)
    Well, Oliver did it again. Another amazing story. I am so upset that we have to wait until 2013 for the next book. Oh, geez, what will happen?
  • (4/5)
    The book picks up Lena's story after she has escaped to the Wilds on her own after Alex is shot at the crossing. The chapters alternate between "then" and "now". Lena is rescued by a group of Invalids who are also part of the resistance. There is a kidnapping, a new love interest, a possible encounter with her mother, and several fights to survive. I'm not quite sure how much time elapsed between the "then" and "now" sections, enough for Lena to go undercover in New York under an assumed identity. Shorter than the first installment. The last pages of the book brought on a twist, although one I thought would be coming. Still, I'll pick up the next installment when it is released...mostly because the cliffhanger got me again, and I want to see how Lena handles it.
  • (4/5)
    As soon as I read the last of Lauren Oliver’s Delirium, I knew I’d be buying the next in the series. The cliffhanger-esque ending of that book left many a reader gasping and clutching at the pages, asking Why why why it had to be that way. So, yes, I had high hopes for this book. Often, when hopes are so high, they get dashed. Thankfully that was not the case in this instance and Pandemonium delivered a punch that, while it isn’t quite as breath-stealing as the first in the series, definitely got my attention.I admit that initially I was a little put off by the format. The chapters alternate from “now” to “then”, and I really expected it to be choppy and vile. Ms. Oliver, though, pulled it off without a hitch and I feel like the story flowed well enough forward that the pauses to shift back to the past did not leave it feeling disjointed at all.I did miss some of the characters from Delirium, and I didn’t really bond so much with some of the new ones introduced in Pandemonium, but I’m fairly certain that was by design and not because they’re badly written characters. Quite the opposite in fact – everyone introduced to the reader seemed well thought out and placed intentionally.There -are- a few little things in Pandemonium that I feel were thrown in there just because they could be thrown in. Also, the story itself felt a bit less substantial than Delirium. There was just as much world building and we do get to see why things are happening the way they’re happening, but it just wasn’t portrayed in as succinct (and yet perfectly detailed) a way as the first book. In that respect, this book definitely has a middle-of-the-series funk to it. It’s not overwhelming, though, and certainly shouldn’t cause anyone to not read through. And really, despite that, I thoroughly enjoyed reading about the time between the end of Delirium and the “now” of Pandemonium. Lena’s life went from innocent and mostly carefree to epic and hard, and she GREW from it. She developed, learned, fought, feared, loved, and became a deep character with many layers.Now – the ending. Hmm. I have so many mixed emotions about how this book ended. In one way, you’re surprised – but it’s also kind of expected. It really kind of boggled my mind that it ended the way it did.Pandemonium is a beautiful story that explores the growth of self through trial and heartache and introduces the reader to the flux of emotions that can happen with all of the relationships in a person’s life.I’ll definitely be reading Requiem, the third in the series.
  • (4/5)
    I KNEW it!!!

    That's all I have to say about the ending of this book. In a good way. It's one of those endings that has you saying "No way!" while at the same time you were secretly hoping for it to happen the whole time.

    This second book in the series started off slow for me. In terms of plot, things move a little slowly in the first half while we find out what happened to Lena in the time after she escapes Portland. We learn more about the "Invalids" and how they live. There is more world-building. All of this is interesting and necessary but the book really gets going in the second half which has a lot more action.

    In terms of character, we see a lot of Lena's progression from soft, sheltered, whiny girl to hard, competant, strong and smart. She still has an emotional vulnerability that draws the reader in without being too angsty. I loved Julian! It was refreshing for me to see a male character who is vulnerable and emotional while still remaining masculine. He really became a favorite of mine.

    I started off thinking I was going to rate this about a 3 but after finishing I give this a solid 4 stars. I'm very much looking forward to the third book in the trilogy!
  • (4/5)
    Spoilers for Pandemonium. Up until the end of the book, I really liked it. I thought it was better than Delirium, which I'd reread before reading this one, because I love Oliver's writing. I liked the alternating chapters, giving us the past and the present storylines. I liked the new characters, the way Lena had changed and grown, as well as her inner struggles. I was excited for the third book, and then I finished Pandemonium. I don't know why authors think that people want love triangles, I don't know why people in general want them! Most of the time I don't. And then this book, which was so good, ended in such a cliched and predictable manner that I nearly threw it on the floor in disgust. Of course he isn't dead, I suppose we're meant to believe that through the whole novel, but I was honestly hoping she'd avoid going that route, that Oliver wouldn't drag us through the crap that is a love triangle. Sometimes it's done well, but it rarely is. I am reluctant to continue reading this series because I don't want to have to deal with the stupid love triangle. I probably will, because Oliver's writing is too good to pass up, but I'm just so utterly disappointed that she had to take the love triangle's way out of this book. I could've given this book five stars, but it's only 3.5 because of the god damned love triangle. There are plenty of other ways to create conflict, Pandemonium is full of them. Relying on a love triangle is just so disappointing. Ugh, and I was so excited for this book, too. All I can do is hope that third book is good, but it's not a lot of hope I have going on.
  • (4/5)
    In the sequel to Delirium, Lena is stronger than ever before, and ready to start loving again.Lena has spent several months in the Wilds. Months learning how to grow stronger and how to survive. And now she is ready to walk among the "Zombies" once again. On a special mission, Lena has to keep tabs on a pro-Cure group that is fighting to have the Cure required starting at a younger age. This organization is not the only thing that catches Lena's eye, she also can't seem to stay away from the founder's son, Julian.Hm. I wanted to like this book. I wanted to love this book. But....I don't. Like Delirium, there isn't a lot of action but a lot happens. Lena grows into her own person and soon she is ready to infiltrate New York under a new guise. The story is told from the past and the present until the past meets up with the present. This allows the reader to watch Lena's transformation.I was disappointed that none of the characters from Delirium were present in this book, I really wanted to see Lena's reaction to them after she discovered the true meaning of love. The characters that we are introduced to are just as strong and interesting though. We first meet the ever strong Raven who really pushes Lena to be all that she can be-and more. Their interactions were interesting and endearing; I think Raven was my favorite secondary character in this book. She is so head strong but also so vulnerable with the most heart-wrenching story.Now.....I have to address something that I wish I could ignore. Julian. He is the poster child for the pro-Cure group Lena is trying to destroy from the inside. As fate would have it, they fall in love and their relationship starts to mirror that of Alex and Lena. Now because I know and love Alex I cannot accept the possibility of another boy who can hold a light to him. Because Alex and perfect. And the story seems to hint at a future love triangle which...I could definitely do without. So that's really all I have to say. It's upsetting to write about.The writing is akin to poetry. Oliver describes everything beautifully and romantically. Lena's first person point of view helps show her progression into a strong and independent woman who is taking the role of her first love.Pandemonium is not what I was expecting but Oliver never fails to create a beautiful story. I am curious to see how this will all end.
  • (5/5)
    This was pretty different than Delirium and took absolutely no breaks. Every single chapter left me on the edge and all I could do was keep reading. The ending was also a huge surprise and after this I can not wait until the third book. If you're a fan of the first, you won't be disappointed.
  • (4/5)
    Pandemonium is a beautifully crafted novel from Lauren Oliver. Oliver has this way of writing that is poetic but there is no unnecessary dialog. Everything she writes has purpose and focus and it is pure joy to read any of Lauren Oliver’s novels, regardless of content. Pandemonium is the sequel to Delirium and in this dystopian society, Oliver gives us a world in which love has been declared a disease and everyone must take the cure for (which is a high tech-lobotomy like procedure) but at the end of Delirium we watch Lena crawl over the fence and loose the one boy who ever met anything to her. The boy who gave her the disease, the boy who gave her Delirium. The novel opens just as the last one ends and Oliver does this wonderful thing where she switches between two timelines and does so seamlessly! Better than seamlessly actually. There are some wonderful moments where Oliver’s stories overlap and dovetail wonderfully to each other. Her ability to float so flawlessly between two timelines had me in awe of her writing skills. That is probably one of the best features of this novel. Lauren Oliver’s story is beautiful and entertaining. And I can’t explain it... I wish I could but Delirium just didn’t “do” it for me and I so, So, SO wanted it too. Yes, it was enjoyable and yes it was easy to read and yes it was fun and fast but it won’t be one of those books that will go on my top ten list of books, (as Before I Fall has) or even on my top Twenty Five or Fifty! It’s not one of those books I will read and re-read. And Pandemonium was the same for me. I just don’t understand it. I wanted to connect with the story soooo badly but for me I was missing that connection to the novel. And that is the only thing that keeps this novel from being a five star rating as far as I am concerned. I understand that my lack of connection with this book is unfounded. I struggle to understand it myself. Still, I love-LOVE reading Lauren Oliver. She could write about a wet paper bag and I would read it because she is the most talented writer in the Young Adult genre as far as I am concerned. So I encourage everyone to read this novel! I think everyone can take something away from this novel. I can’t wait to read the next novel in this series from Oliver, as this one ended in a cliff hanger. Lauren Oliver is never a disappointment.
  • (3/5)
    I'm not quite sure how I feel about this book yet. It's definitely a disappointment from the first. I am disappointed in Lena's character change. Yeah, yeah she grows and is reborn in the wild but what happened to her sense of right and wrong and love for Alex. The character that was developed during Delirium would have gone after Alex. Her quick growing relationship with Julian is a bit much. I like that she does end up part of the resistance and the way the book was structured. I just wish that the book went into a little more detail about that process. I had a lot of expectations for this book. Oliver needed to open up this world a little more. She does it to an extent but adding Alex's, Julian's and her mother's or Raven's voice would of been excellent. I'll read the last book because I can't stop in the middle of a series but I just wish that one author out there would not add a love triangle and really create characters that are true to themselves and the people that they supposedly love.
  • (3/5)
    Following on the heels on Lana’s escape into the Wilds at the end of Delirium we learn what happened to her in that new world. She’s still struggling to change the whole way she thinks about her civilization. Some of the things she’s been told her entire life are deeply ingrained in her psyche and that doesn’t disappear overnight. We meet a new cast of characters as Lana is integrated into a society of Invalids and learns how to survive in that new world. I was less impressed by Oliver’s second installment of the Delirium trilogy. I really liked some of the elements, learning about the people who lived underground, etc., but other aspects fell flat. **SPOILERS** Discovering Alex was still alive at the end of the book made the whole thing feel a lot like a Hunger Games knock off. He is now the scarred boy who sacrifices himself to save a girl and then is angry with her when they’re reunited; it felt like a weaker version of Katniss and Peeta’s story. I still enjoyed parts of it, but I wasn’t a big fan of the Julian and Lana love story. It felt like a retelling of Delirium only this time Lana took on the same role Alex had in the first book. It was she who had to tell Julian that she was an Invalid. She had to open his eyes to the “real world” and then she had to save him from getting the cure/being executed. It was almost the exact same story in so many ways. **SPOILERS OVER** BOTTOM LINE: Though this one was a bit disappointing, I have high hopes for the final book in the trilogy, Requiem, out in March. I think that Oliver has the opportunity to wrap up the series in a powerful way and I hope she doesn’t just fall back on the forced love triangle to fuel the bulk of the story.  
  • (5/5)
    I added exclamation points because I can't even stress how much I love this book. This is one of only two instances in which I loved the sequel more than the first book.I loved the fact that we get to explore the wilds in the book and see what life's like outside of the fence. Lena meets some interesting characters, and of course gets herself in a sticky situation. I fell in love with Julian,a boy who plays a bit part in Pandemonium.The end was a major cliffhanger, even if I saw it coming. I can't wait till Requiem so that I can see what happens. Amazing novel!
  • (5/5)
    I loved the 'then' and 'now' idea- it fit really well. Really exciting, although the big dilemma to come in 'Requiem' was predictable. Still love it though!
  • (4/5)
    I’m pushing aside the memory of my nightmare, pushing aside thoughts of Alex, pushing aside thoughts of Hana and my old school, push, push, push, like Raven taught me to do.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.Review:Lena's life after arriving in the wilds are composed of two parts: "now" and "then". "Now", readers meet a new Lena. A stronger person than she was before, because of what happened while trying to escape, and what happens "then".This story is so fast paced and action-packed, there is never a dull moment. I have this thing that I do when reading: I always try to figure out the ending as early as possible. If you pay attention early on, it is definitely easy to figure out how the story will end. However, Lauren Oliver does an amazing job making the in-between moments just an important and enjoyable as the beginning and the ending. Just as many unanswered questions from Delirium were finally being answered, more questions are raised, and it just makes next year when the final installment to the delirium trilogy seem that much further away. Loved: The last scene. I tried to turn the page of my nook book, because there had to be more, when I reached the Acknowledgments page. The cliff-hanger is pleasurably painful. You accept that the book is over, because you know the next one will hopefully answer all your burning questions.Disliked: The lack of Hana in the novel. She is mentioned one or twice, but isn't present, which suck because we just gotten to know her a little bit better from reading Hana (Oliver's novella).So many questions. But you'll definitely love this one. I think I actually love this one better than Delirium because Lena is more like Katniss from the Hunger Games, whereas in Delirium I think she was like Bella from Twilight.
  • (4/5)
    This is a sequel to Delirium, which I believe I reviewed a few years ago. I came away from Delirium feeling "meh" about the whole thing, because I didn't buy the premise (love being eradicated as a disease). The reason I read the sequel is because: a) Delirium ends on an enormous cliffhanger, and b) my sister-in-law had a copy and offered to lend it to me.On the whole, I found the sequel more compelling and interesting than the first book, because the main character struggles to survive the reality of living in the wild, apart from civilization. It's dangerous, and people die -- and we see this happen in the novel. I did guess the main twist early on, but that didn't lessen the intrigue, and it's a solid sequel... until the ending. The ending is a complete eye roll moment, not that we didn't see it coming far, far off...If you enjoyed Delirium, it's worth your while to continue onto the sequel. Don't expect any major surprises -- but go along for the ride and enjoy yourself along the way.
  • (2/5)
    I didn't think this was nearly as good as the first one. Now I don't really care whether I read the next book because I no longer care about the characters. I couldn't relate to any of the new characters, and Lena just got on my nerves.
  • (4/5)
    Excellent sequel, with an ending that makes you desperate for the third book.