Stacia (the 2010 club)'s Reviews > Pandemonium

Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver
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Dec 03, 12

liked it
bookshelves: young-adult, dystopia-or-apocalyptic, science-fiction
Read in November, 2012

Sorry folks, there might be some spoiler-age for the outcome of book 1 (the previous book) in this review because I have a wee bit of an incoming rant ready to go and I don't think I can hold it back. *edit* while this review only has spoilers for book 1, you may want to avoid the comments discussion below the review if you don't want book 2 spoiled.
"I'm scared."
He barely whispers it; but I can feel his lips moving against my neck, as though the words are being spelled there.
"I know," I say. "Me too."


That, my friends, is my frustration over the *string of expletives removed* the Julian situation.

Don't get me wrong, I like Julian. I like him a lot. But...but...he's NOT ALEX. Julian is an interesting character. I liked his part of the story with Lena. But...but...he's NOT ALEX. With Alex, my heart was racing; I was freaking out over them getting caught; I was in overdrive. With Julian, I was thinking, "That's right, girl. You school this clueless mofo." Did I say that I liked Julian but that he just isn't Alex? Did I?

So here's a funny thing. Before reading Delirium, I wasn't completely sure how I was going to feel about another dystopia revolving around love choices. I was ready to start reading some "shit hitting the fan" books in this genre. Even with that, I still found Delirium entertaining. What ended up surprising me with Pandemonium, is that when I was given "more" of what I want in a dystopia (action/adventure/survival/rebellion), I found myself missing some of the magic of the first book. The "past" sections were just okay for me. Where this book really came together was in the "present," during the time Julian and Lena started leaning on one another.

I'm not sure why I didn't mention this before, but is no one else thrown off by the fact that the "book of rules and power" for the government is called The Book of Shhh? Really? I'm thinking librarians now.

If I ruled the world, my manual would be The Book of STFU and do what you're told. And our spokesperson would dress as Darth Vader.

However, giving credit where credit is due, this isn't the sappiest story in the world for it being all about the lengths which people will go to for love. Sure, there were bound to be a few swoon worthy moments (although you can't get me to swoon over eyes that are an 'ocean of swirling color' - greens and golds and purples...because I'm pretty darn sure that NO ONE on earth has eyes like that) but this was no hippie love fest. People were too busy trying to survive for there to be too much checking out the opposite sex.

Oh wait, but there was this one moment that gave me HORRIFIC flashbacks : in the pallid gray light he seems to glow slightly, like a statue carved out of white rock. He is beautiful. You wanna know a slightly embarrassing story about me? (view spoiler)

Be glad I didn't actually go looking for that picture.

Anyway, this wasn't a bad book 2. The ending actually got me to let out a little scream-yip thing. Because YES, just YES. Lena better not make me hate her in book 3. Do the right thing, Lena. Do the right thing.

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Comments (showing 1-50 of 88) (88 new)

message 1: by [deleted user] (new)

is this good?

message 2: by Mike (new)

Mike Yeah, tell us how it is.

Libbie I can't wait so see what you think about this.

Jean Valjean (OG 2010) AAAHHH you're gonna love this!!

QiJia 치쟈 Agree with Aditi!
Happy reading:D

message 6: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca Espinoza Can't wait to see what you think of this one. :0)

Stacia (the 2010 club) Okay, I think I'm the oddball. I liked book 1 better, BUT I did like this one as well even if not as much.

Seriously though, that ending! (view spoiler)

Tanja (Tanychy) St. Delphi "I like Julian. I like him a lot. But...but...he's NOT ALEX. "


Belle i agree.. she better make the right decision if she knows what's good for her.. :) haha

Stacia (the 2010 club) If she doesn't, I might have to pull an undignified internet tantrum.

Jenny Levine Yes, TRUE DAT! Julian is no Alex! Love your review! :)

message 12: by Jas (new) - added it

Jas love your review Stacia :)

message 13: by Stacia (the 2010 club) (last edited Nov 14, 2012 12:59AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Stacia (the 2010 club) That's okay. :) (view spoiler)

You do make a good point Aditi. The scene where (view spoiler)

Thanks Jenny and Jas!

Maree Haha, undignified internet tantrum. I think you're safe, Stacia (sorry Aditi).

message 15: by Dija (new) - rated it 2 stars

Dija Well said, Stacia. Though I'm not sure Lena even knows what the right thing is.

Libbie We disagree on a lot of books, but we're on the same page with this one. I was Ranty McRanterson when I finished book 2...almost to the point of throwing things. (view spoiler)

Now firmly with you in the Lena better not make me hate her in book 3.

message 17: by D.G. (new) - rated it 2 stars

D.G. LOL, Stacia. Great review.

I loved the first book and I HATED this one. I liked Julian well enough but thought their relationship was very contrived. (view spoiler) If that would have happened to me, I'd be having nightmares 20 years later. But no...Lena can get over it pretty quickly!!

Amanda (.---.--.-...-) I'm with you, Stacia, Lena better not piss me off in book 3. How can she not choose Alex? (view spoiler)

message 19: by Dd (last edited Nov 14, 2012 09:01AM) (new)

Dd Fab review,Stacia.I'll pass this book.:)

message 20: by Brigid (new)

Brigid Okay, and this is going to make me a horrible person, but I put this book down after two pages. (I bought the hardcover, so no sales were lost. :-P) I was just so ... I dunno. Turned off by the dream sequence in the first chapter, with the whole "Oh wait, it was just a dream, now I've made a fool of myself for sleeping in class..." It just felt so ... amateur. It's like one of those writing cliches that they warn newbie writers away from. I mentioned that to a friend, and she said, "Well, Lauren Oliver can get away with it. She's an amazing writer." And yes, she's definitely an amazing writer. But I just couldn't get past the dream sequence, because it feels like such a shortcut, and I didn't want to discover other shortcuts in the book. Am I making any sense?

Maree I have to say, that totally makes sense to me. I just read the book Breadcrumbs which totally started out for me as a 'Look, I can write!' moment for the author, with kind of purple-ish prose. I thought it was amateur hour, and was sure that it was the author's first book (it wasn't). Totally what newbie writers are warned away from. But it's really true that if you're an established writer, you can get away with it. I don't know why. But, things become cliches for a reason. It worked in the past before it got old. So now, it's just readers being too smart? I don't know.

But I did get past it, for both Breadcrumbs and this book. This book was all right - when I read it, I had just finished the second book of the Matched series and found it lacking, so in comparison, this was much better. But still not fantastic. But if you can get past the first part, I'd say it's still worth a read. Especially if you're looking to see what happens in the rest of the series.

message 22: by Stacia (the 2010 club) (last edited Nov 14, 2012 02:13PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Stacia (the 2010 club) I could see why this one would be a big step up after reading book 2 of Matched. That was one slow book.

Brigid, you're not horrible. There's nothing wrong with putting down a book if you're not feeling it.

Btw, I completely agree with the comments above. Lena probably doesn't know down from up at this point.

message 23: by Laraine (new) - added it

Laraine I'm holding off reading this book until book 3 comes out! :))

message 24: by ♥Rachel♥ (new)

♥Rachel♥ I'm doing the same as Laraine.

Stacia (the 2010 club) That's not a bad idea.

Jen (The Starry-Eyed Revue) "If I ruled the world, my manual would be The Book of STFU and do what you're told. And our spokesperson would dress as Darth Vader." YOU MADE ME SHOOT TEA OUT OF MY NOSE, Stacia! But I should know better than to even PICK UP my drink when I'm reading one of your reviews.

Also, Lena had better do the right thing. Also, also...I don't really want to read from Hana's POV in Requiem. Just get this sh!t figured out with Lena so I can go to my happy place. I don't want to read about how horrible Hana's life of luxury is...she chose that damn life...sorta.

Charlie Why did Lena let herself forget Alex???? Whyyyyy? Maybe she didn't forget him but she was trying to and that's wrong. I remembered my colourful reaction after I finished reading this book. I don't care if there's an unwritten rule about not forming teams on love triangles but, heck, I'm team Alex all the way!

Stacia (the 2010 club) Lena, Lena, Lena. She hurt my head.

Someday I will write the book of STFU And Do What You're Told. Just for fun. And Darth Vader will be on the cover.

Charlie I am amused with everyone's reaction (and I agree with you guys!). The part where she was sort of comparing the two was a big no. I was telling myself that she's just trying to remember Alex despite having a bad feeling about it.

Julian was okay. He was sweet. He was caring but he feels/acts like a child. Yes, because of his ignorance about the Deliria but there's also something about the way he acts around. It maybe I'm just biased. I think I am.

Lena needs to sort out her priorities. I feel bad because Alex sacrificed because of her and she had a hard time admitting her feelings for him before. After 6 sad and weary months, she met Julian and everything happened so fast; feelings and shits. It killed me.

K. Done ranting. This happens when this book is brought up. Haha! Good thing I found this on my feed when Jen commented.

message 30: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca Espinoza Stacia (the hype killer) wrote: "Lena, Lena, Lena. She hurt my head.

Someday I will write the book of STFU And Do What You're Told. Just for fun. And Darth Vader will be on the cover."

I will read that book and buy many copies of it like Mel Gibson does with Catcher in the Rye in that movie Conspiracy Theory. :0)

message 31: by Richa (new)

Richa Lol!! Great review, Stacia! :)

Stacia (the 2010 club) Thanks Richa. :) Charlie, your rant amused me.

Charlie Lena should stick with Alex. Julian can be ours. Haha!

message 34: by Shuma (new)

Shuma OMG Alex Is Alive? Have Not Read Pandemonium Yet

Stacia (the 2010 club) I tried to avoid spoilers in my review but I guess the talk of who she'd pick in the comments went there. Sorry you had it spoiled. I hate when that happens. Thanks for letting me know though so I can note in the review not to read the comments.

message 36: by Shuma (new)

Shuma No I Want To Know Because If He Is Not Alive I Think I Will Die

Stacia (the 2010 club) Oh, well, then I don't feel so bad now. :p

I was hoping myself that he wasn't dead.

Jean Valjean (OG 2010) I'm definitely still hoping for that happy ending with Alex. I didnt feel like (view spoiler)

Stacia (the 2010 club) Exactly. The chemistry itself wasn't at the same level. I don't dislike Julian at all, but I don't like him for Lena.

Jean Valjean (OG 2010) Exactly! I mean, I'm glad he had his come to Jesus moment, but (view spoiler)

When are you gonna read Requiem? I'm reading the Madman's Daughter with Isa right now, but I'm gonna pick it up as soon as we finish. Btw, sorry for abusing the spoiler tag. Better safe than sorry!

Stacia (the 2010 club) Maybe this weekend? I'm debating if I want to read Requiem or Through the Ever Night first. I'm sort of anxious to see what happens in TtEN.

message 42: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca Espinoza Is Requiem out?!

Stacia (the 2010 club) It comes out Tuesday, I think? I need to go check. I have an ARC.

message 44: by Stacia (the 2010 club) (last edited Jan 04, 2013 03:47PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Stacia (the 2010 club) Just checked. It's March 5. Okay, then I'm definitely reading the TtEN first, since that comes out Tuesday.

Jean Valjean (OG 2010) We'll buddy read BYT one day! hahaha. I know your buddy reads are pretty full this month so just hmu when you're ready. I don't realpy have any books I necessarily need to read asap.

Stacia (the 2010 club) I can do it closer to the end of the month. That's one series that I'd really like to get back to.

Jean Valjean (OG 2010) Sounds like a plan! Just let me know. The semester is just beginning so I'm not really all that busy right now. My schedule is pretty open.

Charlie Meghann (reading impulsively) wrote: "I'm definitely still hoping for that happy ending with Alex. I didnt feel like [spoilers removed]"

I have to agree with this.

Stacia - ahh, I'm so jealous you have an ARC. Can't wait for Requiem.

Stacia (the 2010 club) I'm looking forward to it. As long as things go the way I need them to - else I'll have to hurt someone. O.o

Shannon Warner Ugh! I totally agree about the Julien/Alex predicament. Julien is a likeable enough character...but he's not Alex! I wasn't ready to give up on Alex so easily, but Lena sure was. I just hope the third book isn't all about how first loves don't always last and how we can love more than one person blah blah blah.

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