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Young Adult Book Review: Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver

Pandemonium is the highly-anticipated sequel to Delirium. I had tons of ideas of what would happen in the book, and although some things didn’t happen as I expected, Lauren Oliver more than delivered.

Young Adult Book Review: Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver

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Pandemonium by lauren oliver

Title & Author: Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver

Genre: YA – Fantasy (Dystopian)

Release Date: February 28, 2012

Series: 2nd book in a series- Delirium #2

Publisher: HarperCollins

How I Got the Book: Review copy from HarperCollins


“I’m pushing aside the memory of my nightmare,
pushing aside thoughts of Alex,
pushing aside thoughts of Hana and my old school,
like Raven taught me to do.
The old life is dead.
But the old Lena is dead too.
I buried her.
I left her beyond a fence,
behind a wall of smoke and flame.

Lauren Oliver delivers an electrifying follow-up to her acclaimed New York Times bestseller, Delirium. This riveting, brilliant novel crackles with the fire of fierce defiance, forbidden romance, and the sparks of a revolution about to ignite.”

WARNING! This review contains spoilers for Delirium!! It is otherwise spoiler free for Pandemonium! You have been warned!!

Chaos, Confusion & Pandemonium

Pandemonium picks up right where Delirium left off. Lena’s in the wilds and she’s desperately trying to cope to her new life. One of the things I loved the most about this book was the HUGE amount of growth you can see in Lena.

She’s given up so much – her family, her friends (Hana!) and Alex – and it’s shaped her in a way she can never reverse. The Lena in Delirium is naive and unsuspecting. The Lena in Pandemonium is fierce and harsh and full of raw anger and hatred.

Honestly, she kinda scared the crap out of me! The girl is a beast! But all of that is to say that her story takes interesting turns and twists because Lena is deciding how she wants to live now that she’s free of her old life.

Knowing that Alex wouldn’t even be apart of Lena’s story anymore was pretty killer (no pun intended). Even though in my review of Delirium I said that I was a tad confused by their relationship, I still liked them.

But but but but but but Julian. Wow. Yeah. Julian Fineman is the son of Thomas Fineman, the head of the DFA (this hardcore anti-deliria force). Because of the clearly marked signs saying “this is a forbidden attraction” they obviously are drawn together like to magnets.

I love where Oliver takes Lena and Julian. It’s seriously more intense and exciting than Lena and Alex’s relationship ever was in my opinion. Plus, I felt like I understood their attraction, where as with Alex it was unclear to me what he saw in Lena (lack of description, maybe?)

Oliver’s Storytelling

Pandemonium is broken into two types of chapters titled “Then” and “Now.” The story jumps from when Lena was first thrust into the Wilds with a rag-tag team of misfits and when she’s working undercover to tail Julian and find out more about the DFA. Oliver handles the shift very well, and I never felt like I was missing anything or that the jumps in time where too abrupt.

I will say though, that there are a few scenes in the book that seem to go on forever. Maybe it’s because I like the books vs. fangirling like crazy that I got a little tired of certain situations.

Also, I started thinking halfway through the book – where is this going? I had no idea what life or person Lena was moving toward becoming or what the whole point of the book was.


Oliver’s strong writing skills and deft storytelling bring readers into Lena’s new harsh, bitter reality. The exciting and intense romance in the book creates a stark contrast with the survival of the fittest environment. With a absolutely torturous cliffhanger, Pandemonium ends like it starts: with a bang.

About Lisa Parkin

I'm a hardcore lover of young adult fiction and have been reviewing books since 2011. Other interests include Downton Abbey, heat lightning storms, Harry Potter land and (begrudingly) one orange tabby.