Be omnivorous, don't just read one kind of book, read everything. - Richard Wagamese

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Review: Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver

Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: 320
Source: Personal Copy
Rating: 3.5/5

**contains spoilers for Delirium**


Pandemonium picks up immediately after Delirium. Lena has fled to the wilds, leaving everything behind including Alex, who is presumed dead. Delirium ends with Alex suffering multiple gunshots wounds. Lena is all alone, and has no idea where to go or what to do, following her instinct she runs until she can no longer. An unconscious Lena is found by invalids who take her under their wing. Lena is heartbroken, and filled with grief. She wonders if this is all worth it without Alex. The Invalids are resourceful, determined and they don’t allow much time for grief. Initially, Lena is given time to heal but soon she must decide if she will begin to pull her weight in the group or move on. Her old life is gone; she will never be the same. Lena questions if she’s made the correct choice.


I really struggled with this review. I had very high expectations for Pandemonium, and I didn’t enjoy it as much as I expected. The novel shifts between a “Now” and “Then” perspective which took awhile for me to get use to. The “Then” is when Lena initially entered the wilds, and the “Now” in present day. Lena and a few of the resistance members have crossed back into mainstream society. It’s not clear why they are there, or what they will be doing. I thought the first half of the book progressed very slowly, and I found myself rather uninterested. The novel does begin to pick up speed towards the middle, and the ending ends in another cliffhanger.

As Lena begins to develop romantic feeling for a new character, I really didn’t feel invested in this new love interest. I thought it was too soon, and it foreshadowed what would inevitably be uncovered. In the end, I was right. The ending really did make up for the slow beginning, but it wasn’t enough for me to give it an outstanding rating.

I really felt that “Pandemonium” suffered from middle book syndrome. Normally, this doesn’t happen to me. Overall, I enjoyed the book but wished I would have been more wrapped up in the storyline. Delirium was very fast paced for me, and I expected much the same for Pandemonium. If you loved Delirium, you will need to read Pandemonium, just be warned that the pace is much different.


  1. I guess I liked this one more than you, but I agree there is usually definitely a middle book syndrome! (my review posts tomorrow) I think I may have liked it more than you because I re-read Delirium first, and so there was a continuity for me that made the beginning much more interesting. I think if I had not re-read, I might have been confused by the now and then aspects.

  2. I am sorry that this one didn't work so well for you. I have had high expectations for this book because everyone loved the first one so much! I need to read them both and see where I fit into the equation. Very honest and forthright review today. It was much appreciated!

  3. Awww, sorry this one was a bit of a disappointment for you Jennifer! It's hard when you go in with really high expectations, inevitably you wind up disappointed. It's happened to me a bunch of times:( I loved this one though, I didn't mind the switching back and forth and as much as I didn't want to like Julian, I couldn't help it. Glad it picked up more for you at the end!

  4. Oh no! It's always so much easier to be disappointed by a book when it's a sequel following a book you really loved, and I'm so sorry that this one was like that for you. But I'm still really excited to pick this up! And I'm especially excited to see what happens in the end that redeems the beginning for you! :)

    Thanks so much for the awesome honest review, Mrs. Q! I've been reading lots of raving reviews for this, so it's always nice to read one by someone who didn't enjoy it as much. :)

  5. I haven't started this series, but it does sound like a case of sophomore slump.

  6. I am working on keeping my expections in check. I really liked Delirium.

  7. I'm sorry this didn't work for you as well as Delirium. I loved Delirium and I've really wanted to read this. I have to keep your review in mind when I finally get my hands on this.

  8. Ooooh I want to read this so bad but I plan on getting Delirium and don't want to be spoiled. I'll have to come back and read this once I buy and read the first in this series.

  9. I loved Delirium so I'm still looking forward to reading Pandemonium. I'm trying to keep my expectations in check!

  10. Oh no, middle book syndrome doesn't sound too good. I didn't dare reading your review fully, since I have yet to read Delirium (I'm so behind! *hangs head), but I'm quite excited to start the series. I think you're the first one I've seen who haven't liked the second one too. I hope it improves for you! Never fun when that happens.

  11. My heart breaks, nooo, not middle book syndrome! Why does it always strike and break my poor heart

  12. Oh man, and I read Delirium at like, break-neck speed. So Alex is really dead? I'm on the list at the library for this one, but I'm not really dying to read it.