Tuesday, February 19

Pandemonium: Book Review and Giveaway


Lauren Oliver

HarperCollins Children's Books
February 28th 2012
Young Adult | Science Fiction
Official Blurb - 
"So what was your name before?" I say, and she freezes, her back to me. "Before you came to the Wilds, I mean."

For a moment she stands there.

Then she turns around.

"You might as well get used to it now," she says with quite intensity.

"Everything you were, the life you had, the people you knew... dust."

She shakes her head and says, a little more firmly, "There is no before. There is only now, and what comes next."

After falling in love, Lena and Alex flee their oppressive society where love is outlawed and everyone must receive the "cure" - an operation that makes them immune to the delirium of love - but Lena alone manages to find her way to a community of resistance fighters. Although she is bereft without the boy she loves, her struggles seem to be leading her toward a new love.

The way the book is formatted makes me feel like I have amnesia. Don't know myself. Where I have been or what is happening. But it is dramatic and helps build strong emotional ties.

There are a lot of deep moments. Passages that cause you to pause and reflect on the state of things and where you stand.

The first half is mildly depressing. Carving out some shell of a half-life with no real prospects or promises of a tomorrow is hard to bear.

That ending deserves a silence so profound it carries its own weight. I was shocked into total silence. My mind was empty of all thought for a few moments followed by "OH NO!!!" Then guilt deep as an endless pit. Oh how could we, Lena and I, do something so horrible. Now what? And could a hole please open up and swallow us whole? Please!!! Wowza.  

Why it didn't occur to me that up to this point we were missing one very important factor in why deliria, love, is so dangerous even deadly. All we have seen is fear versus beauty. How could they be so blind? Love is beautiful and pure. Only unrequited love isn't such a great thing. And I think we are about to understand why people would rather get their brains spliced and risk death or mental collapse. HEARTBREAK.
The book starts on the slow side but certainly makes up for it come the end. Beware if you read this book more than likely you won't be able to help but read the next. I am crossing my fingers that happiness can be found.

Spoiler Section:
I am wracked with thoughts and guilt. So very unfaithful that in six months time we, Lena and I, could be swayed from the side of our hero. Our knight who gave everything for Lena. Three words and one face can change the world.

Seriously, the whole time I kept refusing to believe it. Alex can't be dead. I was determined. Heh, it could all be a misunderstanding. It is possible. Not probable but possible. But I guess all the internal dialog about his death and others reassurances broke me down. Convinced me. I think it was in the moment when she goes ballistic on the Scavengers that I finally began to accept Alex was dead. The final nail in the coffin was when she decides to go rescue Julian because she can't bear to let one more person be taken from her. If only I could have held out a little longer I might not feel so guilty. Poor kid gave everything and by the looks of it suffered greatly. I am almost too afraid to read the next book. I don't want to face my reckoning. But I really want to know what Alex has been through. Who is he now? Did he stay faithful? did he believe someday they would be reunited?

Seriously, what is Lena going to do now? I don't even know what I want her to do. I did have a traitorous thought that it would have been so much easier if she had let Julian die. I guess that means I am swaying toward Alex. He really paid for it so shouldn't some measure of happiness be meted out?

Language: Moderate
Violence: Moderate to Heavy


US Only
Must be 13 or older

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