The book flips back and forth between moments after Lena escapes and the life she builds for herself in the Wilds. While her new pals help bring her back to life after Alex, she finds they may be hiding some secrets, and the guy she is supposed to following as her mission from the resistance may turn out to be more trouble than she expected. And just when life finally seems to be better, it turns a lot worse.
Lauren Oliver once again uses beautiful language to describe Lena’s world, nothing short of poetic and lovely and “aw sheesh, why couldn’t I have written that?” But she does change the format. Each chapter is marked with Then and Now to distinguish between the past and present stories. Eventually the two stories merge and the action continues.
Lena grows a lot in this book to become a tougher and more mature person, though her love-interests were a bit predictable. Regardless, I still wanted to bang my kindle on the lip of my paint bucket when I finished—talk about a cliffhanger ending!
In the first handful of pages, Lena has a flashback, triggered by seeing a crucifix, to when her teacher said “These old religions, stained everywhere with love. They reeked of deliria; they bled it.”
I loved that. For God so loved the world He gave His son to die. Blood was shed because of love. I’m a sucker for when theology (or any sort of –ology, really . . .) is woven into a story, especially with such seamlessness that it adds to the plot. Well done, Oliver.
While locked in a cell with the uncured Julian, Lena thinks through the first part of Psalm 23 as revenge for a mini fight between them. In Delirium, Hana listens to forbidden music, relishing the outlawed lyrics. (The Psalms are lyrics written thousands of years ago and were put to music, although the music has been lost.) Now, Lena is the one letting forbidden lyrics run through her mind. She has truly changed since Delirium.
You may not like Pandemonium if you were so enthralled with Delirium any diversion would be heart-breaking or if you hate predictable endings. But this book is well worth the read if you are craving more beautiful prose, want to see Lena grow, and can withstand a massive cliffhanger. (But, lucky you, the third-book is already out.)
Talk to your teens/parents:
Are you rooting for Alex or Julian? Why?
If you were forced to live in the Wilds, which character would you be the most like?
Read my review of Delirium here.
- Review: Where is #God in #Delirium by Lauren Oliver? (abbyjreed.com)
- Delirium Stories: Hana, Annabel, and Raven by Lauren Oliver (heatherlo.wordpress.com)
- Big Changes For Delirium In The TV Adaptation (deliriumfandom.net)