Delirium was a slow burning sort of book but Pandemonium grabbed me right from the first page and took off from there. It's much more character driven and I liked the inclusion of more unique people to read about. Lena's not the sad and frightened girl anymore. She's grown into herself and fighting for what she believes in. We get to see more of the Wilds and other cities, and the comparisons between the two can be harsh. Oliver's writing is once again beautiful and she near killed me with another craazy cliffhanger! All in all an amazing, pulse pounding sequel. Loved it!
I had read quite a few reviews for Pandemonium. A lot loved it, some didn't, and I was hesitant to read it just like I was about Delirium. I loved Delirium but I had to warm up to it first. But with Pandemonium, luckily, the story has already been established; we know how Delirium ended, where Lena was headed, and what she had to do. So in short, I loved it!
After the brutal end to Delirium, I was curious to how Pandemonium would breach the subject and how Lena would continue on. The story gets told in alternating chapters: before, when she was still frightened and new to the world she was now a part of, and after, when she has accepted her circumstances and is ready to fight. The blurb has got it right: the old Lena is gone, and this new Lena is fierce. I know some people weren't crazy about the changing chapters but I really liked them. They gave good contrast to how much Lena had changed, how her priorities were different, and what she was feeling, before and after her whole life changed.
Pandemonium introduces us to a whole host of new characters. The group of people that gradually becomes Lena's family were all different and unique, though only three of them are distinct in my mind. There was a particular scene that pretty much tore my heart out and stomped on it. In a place where everyone has learned to push down their feelings and be strong, it was a pretty powerful moment of vulnerability.
Then we have Julian. Lena finds herself in a distressing situation with Julian and is forced into close quarters with him. It's inevitable that they get to know each other and Julian, having not yet received his cure and thinking Lena is cured, is pretty enamored/wary of her. I'm still not sure how I feel about Julian. He is a nice guy, and he genuinely cares for Lena. It would be unfair if she were to close herself off to the possibility of loving someone again, buuuut *shrugs*. I think Lena needs a stronger personality that I just haven't seen yet.
And just when the book was coming to an end, I'm thinking "huh, maybe it'll end well!" BUT NO. Lauren Oliver does it again. This cliffhanger... *flails* probably worse than Delirium's. It had me sitting there with my mouth hanging open. It completely turns everything upside down and then, of course, I questioned a lot of what I'd already read because, well, if you've read it you know! There was also another shocking reveal, but it was so shortlived and we only realize the significance until after the fact. Both of these instances have me dyingggg for the third book!
Review from my blog: http://allofeverythingforyou.blogspot.ca/2012/04/review-pandemonium-by-lauren-oliver.html