March 12, 2012

Book Review: PANDEMONIUM by Lauren Oliver

Author:  Lauren Oliver
Publisher:  HarperCollins
Category:  Young Adult Dystopian Fiction

“What does it feel like…..the deliria?”- Julian
“I can’t describe it…..”- Lena
“I want to know…..I want to know with you…”-Julian

**********SPOILER ALERT**********

Lena Haloway has escaped to the Wilds.  Alex is dead.  Last she saw him beyond the wire fence, blood was seeping through his shirt.  He was shot so she could escape. The old Lena died along with him.
In the Wilds, she learns to live with a group of Invalids who finds her almost at death’s door.  Slowly she recovers and lives with the ragtag group through hunger and more deaths.  She joins the Resistance and is given a new identity so she can infiltrate the Cured in New York City, particularly the DFA or Deliria Free America, an organization which pushes for the CURE to be administered to those who are sick and under the age of 18.  Her task is to follow Julian Fineman, son of DFA head Thomas Fineman.  Julian is in remission from cancer and is pushing for his own cure for Deliria even if it kills him. 

The big DFA rally was attacked by Scavengers (those who are uncured and wreak havoc to kill and steal) who kidnap Julian as well as Lena, who was tailing him.  Being kept in one small room for many days, an uneasy friendship blooms between them.  Julian slowly loses his prejudice and fears about the invalids.  They make an escape and spend the night at a homestead (temporary home used by Invalids in between moving) where finally, Lena and Julian give in to their growing feelings for each other.  The next day they are caught.  Julian is returned to his father while Lena is miraculously saved by a sympathizer.  She later finds out that Julian, having now refused the cure, will be put to death.  She rescues him and thinks that finally she will be happy and free.  But someone else has found her, someone she thought she had already lost, someone she has never really let go….

This is a total turn around from the first book, which I now realize, was just a set-up book, putting things in place for this one and the last. Still fluid with beautiful prose, Lauren Oliver stepped up the action in Pandemonium.

Written in alternate chapters of THEN and NOW, Then being Lena after escaping into the Wilds and Now with Lena an active part of the resistance.  I alternated between loving one more than the other.  The plot and twists are so thrilling that now I cannot wait to read the last of this trilogy. 

Here Lena is much stronger.  She has shed her old doubting self and has moved on, spurred by Alex’s sacrifice and love. I like that she now takes charge or her life and has opened herself to a new love.  Julian is not exactly naive, he was however raised by a Cured family who thrives on conformity so he believes what has been drilled into him for years.  But he was open to changing when he met Lena and saw that she wasn’t a monster he believed Invalids to be.  He is a good person who like Alex, will sacrifice everything for what he believes in.

The ending of Pandemonium stopped my heart.  I can’t tell you why but just know that if you have read Delirium, then this is what you are praying for.  This also makes me so sure that the next and last of this series will be most romantic and time freezing.  I cannot wait for REQUIEM, coming out February 2013. 

Suffice it to say, I truly and fully recommend Pandemonium.

Now available at NATIONAL BOOKSTORE branches nationwide.

“If you want something, if you take it for your own, you’ll always be taking it from someone else….and something must die so that others can live.”- Raven
“I’m less scared with you.”- Julian
“There’s a place for everything and everyone….even waste must have a place.  Otherwise it will clog and clot and rot and fester.”- Coin
“Names don’t mean a thing anymore.  The past is dead.”- Rat-man

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