“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. In this electrifying follow-up to her acclaimed New York Times bestseller Delirium, Lauren Oliver sets Lena on a dangerous course that hurtles through the unregulated Wilds and into the heart of a growing resistance movement. This riveting, brilliant novel crackles with the fire of fierce defiance, forbidden romance, and the sparks of a revolution about to ignite.“
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The second book in the Delirium trilogy, Pandemonium, by Lauren Oliver, is just as intense as the first. It begins right where the first book ended and it is just as shocking to read as it was the first time. Lena has escaped the city to the freedom of ‘The Wilds’, only she has left more than just the old Lena behind. Just a short time ago she was planning a future as a law-abiding citizen, cured of love, living the way she was told to, but Alex opened the curtains to a new life and her dreams of the future shifted dramatically. Now Lena must not only live without the structure of the world as she knew it, but without Alex. Brokenhearted, alone and in an entirely new world, Lena forges a place for herself in The Wilds. She must fight for survival while fighting for the right to love and live freely.
The structure in this book is slightly different, as it switches between “Then” and “Now”. “Then” being flashbacks to Lena’s escape and the loss of Alex and “Now” being after Lena has settled into The Wilds and joined the Resistance. Lena has evolved from the naive, young girl, newly in love with Alex, to the tough, rugged fighter in the resistance. Even after losing the love the resistance is fighting so hard to legalize, Lena knows the fight is worth it. She is proof that it is better to have loved and to lost than to have never loved at all.
Pandemonium isn’t nearly as addictive as it’s prequel, Delirium, but is just as important to the overall plot of the series. Starting off with tragedy is always a harder hook than starting with hope, but Lauren Oliver does it well. Although you won’t be as excited, you’ll be healing from heartache just like Lena, and it is harder to hold on to hope, you won’t be able to stop yourself from needing answers. I love the unique take on a dystopian society, the stunning world building and the depth of the characters in the Delirium series.
If you enjoy dystopian, post-apocalyptic, young adult or romance, this is a series you should definitely read.