Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Review: Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver (ARC)


Title: Pandemonium 
Series: Delirium Series
Book #: Two
Author: Lauren Oliver
Published: 2012
Source: Around the World ARC Tours
My Rating:  


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.(taken from goodreads.com)

I usually dread writing negative reviews, but this time I'm ready to rant. Get ready for a review packed with sarcasm and quite a few spoilers. Upon finishing Pandemonium, I was just so, so disappointed. This series possessed such an incredible amount of potential. I've recommended Delirium to anyone who would listen to my over-the-top praise. Now, I'm not sure I want to recommend it anymore. The sequel crushed all my soaring hopes for this seemingly captivating series. I'm probably being too harsh, but I need to let off some steam, so bear with me as I vent.

WHY? WHY? Why is it that almost every young adult author feels the need to throw a wrench in their protagonists' love life by adding a ridiculous, over dramatic love triangle? It makes me want to pull my hair out and throw the book across my room. I loved the purity and intimacy of Alex and Lena's relationship in the first book. They shared a bond that appeared to be unbreakable and exclusive. Apparently, I was dead wrong, because as soon as Lena was separated from the "love of her life," she found a new boy toy. WHY?? *bangs head on desk repeatedly*What happened to undying love? 

Another aspect of Pandemonium that annoyed me was the alternation between "now" and "then." Instead of a story with a beginning, a middle, and an end, this novel switches back and forth between Lena's past after her botched attempt to escape with Alex and her current life as a part of the resistance. Instead of adding originality to the story, the constant change confused and annoyed me.

Everything in this sequel is different from the first book- the writing style, the flow, and most importantly, the characters. I barely even recognize Lena. While some may approve of her apparent personality make-over, I couldn't stand it. What happened to the relatable, beautiful, FAITHFUL girl I used to love? Because I can't stand this hardened shell that's taken her place. She's snappy and cold, and I often balked at her decisions (especially in her romantic life). 

Unlike when I read Delirium, I found myself accurately predicting almost every plot twist. I would even go as far as to say that I found the plot line monotonous after reading so many dystopian novels. I mean, who hasn't heard the premise of a girl on the run from a corrupt society? 

Now, before you swear to avoid reading Pandemonium at all costs, take into account that most other reviewers haven't agreed with me. I've seen numerous reviews filled with praise for this installment in the Delirium trilogy. Tragically, I cannot bring myself to agree with them. I'm not even sure if I'll pick up the third book, I'm so disappointed in this one. I hope you guys enjoy it as much as I wanted to. If you didn't... well then, join the club.