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.