Review: Pandemonium (Delirium #2) by Lauren Oliver
Author: Lauren Oliver
Series: Delirium #2
Publication Date: February 28, 2012
Format/Source: Hardback/Borrowed from Library
Age Group/Genre: Young Adult/Science Fiction, Dystopian
I’m pushing aside the memory of my nightmare,
pushing aside thoughts of Alex,
pushing aside thoughts of Hana and my old school,
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. (From Goodreads)
I read Delirium a couple months ago for my book club, and while I didn’t love it, I did enjoy it. And then the book really stayed with me, and by the time I wrote my review of it, I really liked it a lot, and I absolutely loved Lauren Oliver’s writing. And it was always there, in the back of my mind for some reason. So I decided to go out and get Pandemonium from my library so that I could read some more of Oliver’s fantastic writing, and I was not disappointed at all!
Clever Writing Worthy of Another Look…
Pandemonium starts off pretty soon after Delirium ends, but it is also told in two different time periods, “Then” and “Now”, with “Then” being right after Delirium takes place, and “Now” being several months later. I thought this was a really clever decision on Oliver’s part, because it seemed to make things more suspenseful while also explaining all that happened to Lena since the end of Delirium. This setup actually kind of reminded me of one of my favorite movies, Memento.
Parts of Pandemonium also really reminded me of 1984 by George Orwell. There were scenes that described a mob mentality also depicted by Orwell, an all-seeing eye is mentioned in Delirium and Pandemonium and is reminiscent of the all-seeing TV screens in 1984, and in Pandemonium, like in 1984, certain events are “systematically expunged from public records”.
I really feel like Oliver is one of those authors (along with the likes of John Green) whose works will be analyzed for symbolism and what they can tell us about our own society, as well as what we should avoid in the future. Her books are literary, posing as non-literary works, just like those of J.K. Rowling.
And I couldn’t have a review of a book by Lauren Oliver without listing some of my favorite quotes:
Disclaimer: I borrowed a copy of this book from my library. I was in no way compensated for this review.