I became a fan of Lauren Oliver with her last book Before I Fall. She provides a new perspective on time honored themes. If you enjoyed Before I Fa..Show More »ll, I would recommend spending a credit on this book. It is well written and narrated. This is not a romance novel in my opinion, but more a commentary on the power of society and the things that can happen when we grant
our leaders too much authority. It illustrates how we can lose what is really important. It has a similar feel to Unwind by Neal Shusterman or Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin. It could even be compared to Suzanne Collins Mockinjay series--though it is not action packed as that series but does make a similar statement about society. It is Lauren Oliver's twist on what could have happened had our society proceeded with the 'frontal lobotomy' mentality we once had.
As an editor at Audible there are a couple awesome perks of my job. One of the best ones is that occasionally I can get my hands on the pre-pub galley..Show More » of a book before it hits the shelves of any bookstore . And sometimes there is a book I’m simply DYING to get my hands on as soon as possible, like Pandemonium. I read this book way before the audio recording was even ready – devouring it over a weekend, ignoring all but the most critical commitments. This is one of those series that crosses formats for me. I love it so much that I read it (twice) and am now listening to it too. If there was a movie I’d probably line up with girls half my age and squeal until being let into the theater. A lot of YA titles work like this – they are so readily consumable and the stories are so fast-paced that you just get swept along and want to experience the story over and over and in different ways.
Not everyone is going to love this book (and series) the way I do. I know it’s not for everyone, but it totally worked for me. Lauren Oliver has come up with a decidedly compelling dystopian concept: Love is illegal and surgically removed from everyone at the age of 18. Her heroine is perhaps less unique: Lena originally believes in the strict society and all of its rules, but as she falls in love she turns against them. But don’t dismiss this as a teenage first-love sob-fest – though Delirium could be accurately described this way. Pandemonium breaks the grand tradition of sophomore trilogy slumps. It is more mature and action packed than its predecessor and it appeals to my grown-up brain as well. Oliver explores other types of love in book two, notably parental love, in a way she hadn’t before. The characters in this book aren’t just rebelling against this society so they can make out in public – it’s so they have the freedom to love their children as well. There’s something really interesting and chilling about this.
Oh, and before I forget,Sarah Drew is one of my all-time favorite narrators. She captures the teenage psyche in a way that in the same instant reminds you why you never want to go back, while making you not want to put the book down.
This is an amazing ending to one of my all-time favorite YA series! I am so blown away right now by this story and by Sarah Drew’s brilliant performan..Show More »ce.
After the huge cliff-hanger from Pandemonium I knew this was going to be an extremely emotional book. It did not disappoint. The suffering, loss, determination and struggles of the main characters was gut-wrenching. I was pleased that Lauren Oliver choose to write about all aspects of love and the many shapes and forms it takes in our lives. (not just the romantic type)
Like many other reviewers this book left me wanting more. However, I was not entirely disappointed by the ending. It felt real and true to the characters that Ms. Oliver leaves room for interpretation. Not all endings need to be handed over on a silver platter I guess.
However, my own secret wish is that this is not the end of the Delirium Trilogy. It’s just too painful to let go of these characters for now.
There’s only one way to survive in this world: build walls. Everyone is doing it. Inside the Delirium free cities, they build walls to keep the diseas..Show More »e out. Outside the cities, they build walls to keep the hurt out. Stuck out in the wilds, torn between the two boys who have each stolen a piece of her heart, Lena learns this skill quickly. But is it all worth it? Is life really any better under the guise of ‘freedom’ and how far is she willing to go to fight for what she believes in, if it means tearing down the very walls that protect her?
I cannot fully explain how Lauren Oliver’s writing skills have awed me. Every word, every sentence, every paragraph has been painstakingly selected to provide maximum emotional impact. Her descriptions catapult you into the wilds, until you can actually feel the bite of the cold and see the rays of glittering sunshine piercing the trees.
Lena’s character development was heart-wrenching in this installment. The intensity of her emotional state was further heightened by Hana’s point of view. From the beginning, I loved the character of Hana, but her journey has been more of a ‘character change’ rather than ‘character development’, in keeping with the storyline. I loved the diverging and converging storylines of the two best friend’s and felt that the ending tied up things nicely between them. It was also a wonderful reminder, in the midst of the love triangle, that there are other types of ‘deliria’ than just the romantic kind.
The resolution of the love triangle was not what I expected. In many ways, the entire ending left many things up in the air. At first, I was in two minds about this, but when I considered the purpose of the storyline, I concluded that it just wouldn't have been as effective with a more cut and dried approach. The entire series is about love and life and neither of those things is ever perfectly resolved or completed. I believe Ms Oliver wanted us to think about the issues she raised in her series long past the final page and in that mission, she has succeeded.
There were many times in this novel, when I began to question which side I was on, and whether the freedom to choose and to love really was something worth fighting for when it came at such a cost. This ability to make the reader feel and think is one of the rarest skills among good writers, especially when that writer makes you question the very premises she has established in the first series. I loved that we got to see things unfold from both sides of the wall. I also particularly enjoyed the parental themes, which included Raven’s wonderful character, and the effect she had on Lena.
Overall, this is one of the most thought provoking, well-written series I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading. Now to search for more Lauren Oliver masterpieces…