Seriously. I don't even know where to start. The end of Delirium made me sob. And I mean sob. Pandemonium on the other hand made me walk around like a zombie, book clasped to my chest at 3 in the morning. This book kept me up until all hours of the night and has me checking the days on my calendar until Requiem.
My heart actually ached the entire time I was reading this book. It's almost completely focused on Lena, and though I missed Alex like crazy, it was nice to get to know her a little better. She's come so far and been through so much. In Delirium she came out of her shell. She learned to look past the rules and she fell in love. In Pandemonium we get to see her grow as a character. She becomes a lot more brave and a lot more independent. It made her not only someone you could cheer for but someone you could be proud of.
Lauren Oliver is an extremely talented writer and she has a special skills for never giving you a straight answer. This book kept me guessing and it was filled with twists, just like Delirium. The expression "its like the rug has been pulled out from beneath your feet" is the perfect example of how this book can make you feel. In addition it will also illicit a lot of strong emotional reactions. Both positive and negative. More than a few times, while reading it, the people around me caught me arguing with the book or mumbling to the characters.
The one thing that kept me from enjoying it as much as the first book was the non-linear timeline. The chapters alternated from past to present and I would have preferred a similar setup to Delirium, where the story unravels in a more natural fashion. However, this could totally be attributed to my own impatience and my desire to want to know what on earth is happening to all the characters.
I think it goes without saying at this point that Lauren Oliver has a way with words. She writes beautifully and is able to break your heart a little more each time. This is without a doubt a sequel that's as good as the first and a series that everyone needs to read.
This and other reviews at Christa's Hooked on Books (http://christashookedonbooks.blogspot.com)