Rating: 4/5 stars.
Pandemonium, the second book in the Delirium series, delineates Lena’s fight to free herself from a society in which love is illegal and passion is proscribed. She meets new friends, new foes, and in the process paves the path to meeting her new, stronger self.
There is no doubt that Lauren Oliver has a lovely way with words. Her writing is controlled, yet beautiful – it’s not over the top or overbearing, and effectively conveys Lena’s emotions and describes the setting so that readers can practically see it themselves. Here’s one quote that I liked:
“There’s a place for everything and everyone, you know. That is the mistake they make above. They think that only certain people have a place. Only certain kinds of people belong. The rest is waste. But even waste must have place. Otherwise it will clog and clot, and rot and fester.”
I enjoyed Lena’s character development throughout the novel too. Sometimes in the second book of the series a character’s growth can stagnate, but Lena’s disillusionment with her surroundings and her old society forced her to toughen up. How she had to bury her old self and find herself anew amidst the flames of her past and present provided for great internal conflict and even greater empathy.
And, of course, the romance was wonderful. I squealed once while reading the book, if that is any indication.
Overall, a solid, well-written second book of a series. While I predicted some of the plot twists (including the huge shocker at the ending), some of them still came as a surprise to me. In the end, though, while Pandemonium and the Delirium series may not have the most realistic dystopian plot line (trust me, prom was yesterday) they still serve as great getaways from the real world. Recommended, especially if you enjoyed the first book in the series.