Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Me on Pandemonium
Author: Lauren Oliver
Release Date: February 28, 2012
The old Lena is dead, back with Alex in Portland, Maine behind a wall of smoke and flame. The new Lena was born in the Wilds, transformed. Now an active member of the resistance, she fights for a world in which love will no longer be considered a disease. She's still consumed with grief over Alex, but there might be someone else close to her, and she's sent from the untamed Wilds and straight into the heart of a full-scale rebellion.
Unlike the first book in the series, this alternates between different times, giving the readers different parts of Lena's life. There is "Then," her time in the Wilds right after her escape, and six months later, "Now," with Lena in New York as a member of the resistance. "Then" is Lena's hardening, maybe her trial by fire, her struggle to survive after losing Alex, and "Now" is Lena's mission, to learn about figures prominent in eradicating amor deliria nervosa. The reluctant Lena is gone, replaced by someone who knows what she is fighting for replaced by someone stronger, someone knowledgeable, someone no longer running away. Someone who has lost everything and everyone she loved and is still living her life after having her heart almost ripped straight from her chest.
Pandemonium was different for me as a reading experience. With Delirium, I felt everything Lena did, the worry, the fear, the love she had for others and didn't want to have ripped from her. It touched me on more of an emotional level than this book. This is more of a physical and psychological-hardening journey for Lena, her learning how to live on the outside, how to hide the fact that she is not cured, how to break down society from the inside.
I wonder if my expectations were too high after Delirium, that I'd hoped for a plot with less ups and downs in terms of tone and atmosphere. Perhaps it's the differences between the two books that is keeping me from enjoying the second as much as the first.
But Pandemonium was still thrilling, still secretive and dangerous, still romantic and star-crossed, still the fight of a young girl against a world that ripped her love from her arms and separated her from her mother for most of her life. Some moments didn't surprise me, some twists, but others were unexpected. I did not expect the strength of the resistance, or Lena's own new-found courage and power. There is one plot element that I was not a fan of, that I hoped would not be in this book, but it, coupled with the shocking end scene, does leave me waiting on the edge of my seat for the final book in this trilogy.
(I borrowed an advance copy from another book blogger.)