Review: Pandemonium (Delirium #2) by Lauren Oliver

Title:  Pandemonium
Author:  Lauren Oliver
Series:  Delirium #2
Publisher:  HarperTeen
Publication Date:  February 28, 2012
Pages:  375
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)

*Warning:  This is the second book in a series.  While I really don’t like spoilers, you might find some slight Book 1 spoilers in this review.*
The Story Stays With You…

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:

“Droplets, droplets:  We are all identical drips and drops of people, hovering, waiting to be tipped, waiting for someone to show us the way, to pour us down a path.”

“The world is bifurcated now, folded cleanly in half like the pitched steep sides of a tent:  the Valids and the Invalids live on different planes, in different dimensions.”

“It occurs to me, then, that people themselves are full of tunnels:  winding, dark spaces and caverns; impossible to know all the places inside of them.  Impossible even to imagine.”

“…I get the creeping feeling that someone is watching me, that all the doors are mouths, ready to open and scream out my presence.”

I also really loved some of the new characters in this book, especially Raven and Julian.  They were extremely complex, and I loved how Oliver showed that even each side in this war (or what is becoming a war) has its own faults and flaws, and that nothing is perfect.  I also feel like in Pandemonium Oliver has written some of the best romance scenes that I have ever read, and I’m pretty harsh when it comes to romance scenes.

My rating of Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver:

5 huge stars.  With more action, compelling characters, and beautiful prose, Pandemonium has solidified Lauren Oliver as one of my favorite authors.  I can’t wait to get my hands on the rest of her books, especially the third book in this series, Requiem.
Find it:  Goodreads │ Amazon │ HarperTeen
You may also enjoy:  UgliesThe Line

My review of Delirium by Lauren Oliver

Disclaimer:  I borrowed a copy of this book from my library.  I was in no way compensated for this review.


  1. Bengal Reads

    July 17, 2012 at 1:26 pm

    Ah this is such a great review! I really want to read Pandemonium and have ever since it came out… it's on my shelf along with Delirium and I have yet to get to either :/ I need to quit slacking lol… Pandemonium sounds good I love Romantic scenes, action, and suspense! I'll be moving this up on my TBR list also! Thank you for sharing your thoughts on Pandemonium! Isn't the cover for Requim just beautiful??

    Have a wonderful day!

    1. Andrea @ The Overstuffed Bookcase

      July 18, 2012 at 3:10 am

      Aww, thanks, Kayla! I'm pretty proud of this review myself! ;) Yes, you should totally read Delirium and Pandemonium when you get a chance! And yeah, I love all the covers for these books!

  2. Lauren@ The Housework Can Wait

    July 17, 2012 at 1:28 pm

    I also really loved Pandemonium, and I loved Julian. I know a lot of people didn't like it (especially the ending), which I think just comes down to a personality thing, because as you've said, it's really hard to fault Oliver's writing. But since I loved Julian so much (and kind of saw the end coming), I thought this was a fabulous book. Can't wait for Requiem. Great review!

    1. Andrea @ The Overstuffed Bookcase

      July 18, 2012 at 3:11 am

      Thanks! I really loved Julian more than Alex, I think! I know a lot of people would totally disagree with me there, but I just really did! I didn't love the ending myself, but I kind of saw it coming, too. I'll be very interested to see what happens in Requiem! Thanks so much for stopping by!

  3. fakesteph

    July 17, 2012 at 7:07 pm

    I got this from the library, but didn't have time to read it and now I'm disappointed that I didn't. I know you and so many people have loved it!

    1. Andrea @ The Overstuffed Bookcase

      July 18, 2012 at 3:27 am

      I really think I enjoyed it more than I enjoyed Delirium. And I did really enjoy Delirium. But this one, I don't know why but I just loved it even more! You should definitely pick it up!

  4. Jen Ryland/YA Romantics

    July 18, 2012 at 9:14 pm

    I am SO dying for book three. I think I liked Delirium more, but I am a HUGE fan of Lauren Oliver's amazing writing. I have The Spindlers and want to read Liesl and Po too!

    1. Andrea @ The Overstuffed Bookcase

      July 18, 2012 at 11:04 pm

      Yes, I really want to read her MG books! They look and sound so good!

  5. Jen Ryland/YA Romantics

    July 18, 2012 at 9:14 pm

    And I agree with you. I have to be Team Julian. He just intrigues me more…

    1. Andrea @ The Overstuffed Bookcase

      July 18, 2012 at 11:05 pm

      Yeah. I liked Alex, but I'm totally Team Julian! ;)

  6. Bittner

    July 20, 2012 at 2:55 am

    I loved your review Andrea! I'm so glad that you ended up liking this one so much. I just checked online and it looks like the Moore Public Library has the audio version so I plan on checking it out tomorrow so I can listen to it in my car.

    1. Andrea @ The Overstuffed Bookcase

      July 21, 2012 at 8:15 pm

      Yeah, you should definitely check it out! I liked it more than Delirium! I'll be interested to see what you think of it!

  7. Krystianna (Downright Dystopian)

    August 6, 2012 at 6:24 pm

    Awesome review! I bought this one way back when it came out and I still haven't read it. I'm glad to hear that you rated it 5 stars. I guess I'm going to have to read it soon!

    1. Andrea @ The Overstuffed Bookcase

      August 8, 2012 at 3:26 am

      Thanks! I really enjoyed it more than Delirium. I just think Lauren Oliver is a fantastic writer and I can't wait to read more of her books!

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