Friday, April 6, 2012

15. Pandemonium

Book #15: Pandemonium
Author: Lauren Oliver
Published: February 28, 2012
375 pages
5 gold stars

(summary from Goodreads)

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.

We first met Lena in Delirium, in a world where is a disease and at the age of 18, everyone gets the cure for it. Lena is on the edge of getting her cure when she meets Alex. Well, you can guess what happens. Pandemonium picks up right where Delirium left off. Lena has escaped the city and is now in the Wilds, running and trying to start a new life. There she meets other Uncured and learns to survive without her family and truly learns just how strong she really is.

Lena is the perfect herione. She picks herself up, after so much tragedy and pain, and starts a new. With the help of Raven, she becomes whole again and ready to fight back.

The novel takes place in two tenses: Before and After. It flips back and forth with each chapter, showing us who Lena was when she crossed the fence, and who she became. At first I thought this might be confusing, but Oliver skipped back and forth like a rock over water. The transitions were smooth and each chapter connected perfectly even though they took place months apart from each other. While one advanced, so did the other, and it just made me keep reading. Oliver has a way with words. Her prose and descriptions capture me and force me to re-read them over and over because they are just so beautiful. The way shows Lena's life is true and heartbreaking. We watch as Lena learns to love again, learns to open herself back up to life and living. This is what she has to do to keep going. That's the way of life, even if that's not what we want from this character, it's what she needs, it's what everyone needs.

Beautiful, heartbreaking and intriguing, Pandemonium is a great addition to the ever growing world of dystopian thrillers.

"I wonder if this is how people always get close: they heal each other's wounds; they repair the broken skin."

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