February 28th, 2012
After surviving the events of Delirium, Lena is thrust into the Wilds. Alternating between her beginnings in the Wilds and her current ventures as a part of the Resistance, it's easy to see that Lena has been shattered, pieced together again, and rebuilt into a young woman that is slowly finding her strength and her purpose in a very hectic society. But nothing is easy, nothing is what it seems, and not everyone can be trusted in Lena's world.
If you thought Delirium ripped your heart out and stomped on it by the time you reached the breathtaking conclusion, just wait until you read Pandemonium. The pacing starts with an excited rush, and that tension never quite dissipates. Instead, the tension lingers, building and receding until the exhilarating conclusion finally arrives. My eyes were locked onto that final page, and I was silently cursing the fact that I don't have the third novel, Requiem. Pandemonium is chaotic and compelling. You'll never want to tear your eyes away once you begin reading.
Highlights: Pandemonium pulled me in and twisted my emotions around as I followed Lena through her dangerous journey. Lena's world is more fully discovered and developed. Alternating chapters (Now and Then) provided a full view of Lena - Seeing her in both ways was fascinating: from a broken and fragile girl to a strong, determined young woman. All in all, a strong sequel.
Lowlights: Too short of story (especially for Lauren Oliver), so sometimes things felt like they were happening too fast. I was able to figure out all of the surprises before they happened1. I wasn't fond of the romantic relationship Lena begins to build - I somewhat grew to like him, but not enough to believe in their relationship.
1 Very few books surprise me. But, most "surprises" (like the ending) still made an emotional impact on me.