Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver
I didn't have high hopes for this book after reading Delirium, but I wanted it to be better. I knew a couple people who had read the series in full and they all raved about it, and the idea behind it is a good one, like I said in my review of the original book. Sadly though, I liked this book even less.
This book has two time lines: Then and Now. Then takes place right after Lena escapes from the city and makes it into the Wilds. It follows her through the first few months as she is getting used to this new lifestyle and a life without Alex. During this time, the Scavengers are making it harder for the "good" Invalids to live their lives.
Now takes place 6 months later, when she is living in New York with 2 other Invalids, Raven and Tack. They are pretending to be a family who is pro-Cure and pro-DFA (Deliria Free America). Lena attends a rally for the DFA and is taken captive by Scavengers along with Julian Fineman, the son of the mayor. Through a course of events, the 2 escape capture and fall in love. They are eventually "captured" again, but Lena is taken captive by someone on the inside and makes it back to Raven and Tack.
It is at this point that Lena learns that Raven and Tack were behind the abduction, that they paid off the Scavengers, who also work for the "Zombies," it just depends on who is willing to pay more. This sends Lena into a tailspin. When Lena and Julian were taken captive the second time, Julian was given the option to be Cured or to be put to death, and Julian chose death. Lena decides to leave the group because she doesn't want to become Raven.
Before Lena can leave for good though, she has to at least see Julian one more time, maybe save him. She finds where he is being held and is about to watch him die, when Raven breaks into the hospital room where he is being put down and kills Julian's father. The three of them make a break for it and are now back in the Wilds. Julian asks Lena if she will ever leave him, she tells him of course, and then a mystery voice from behind says "Don't believe her." Re-enter Alex.
Raven: Raven is the person who finds Lena after she escapes from the city. Lena is on her death bed, and Raven saves her. Raven is quippy and kind of a bad ass; she also has major trust issues, as anyone growing up in this dystopia would.
Blue: One of the youngest in the group. Raven found her when she was just a week or so old. She dies about halfway through, but I have a soft spot for her.
Tack: One of the nicest people that Lena meets in this book. We don't get much of his back story. Raven and him pretend to be married while living in New York and acting as Lena's guardians.
Julian Fineman: Son of the mayor, Thomas Fineman, and leader of the Youth division of the DFA. He is kidnapped along with Lena, and although he is weary of being around her once he learns she isn't really cured, he helps her escape and saves her life. For a rich boy, he's kinda a bad ass when you give him the chance.
Thomas Fineman: Stereotypical jerk politician who is willing to kill his son to keep his appearance. Actually, that's probably worse than the stereotypical jerk politician, he's a little more evil.
What I Liked
-The ending. I had a strong hunch that Alex was alive for two reasons. One, we never saw proof that he was dead. If Pretty Little Liars has taught me anything, if you don't see a body, they aren't dead. Two, it is common for YA novels to have a love-triangle and it would have been silly of Oliver to introduce a third person for Lena to fall in love with in the last book.
What I Didn't Like
-I hated how it went back and forth between Then and Now. It made it hard for me to enjoy either storyline because once I'd start getting into it, it would switch and I'd have to remember what was going on and get back into a groove, and then it would change again.
-Lena annoyed me. She was so whiny and annoying and all "I can't like Julian, I love Alex." And when she was living in the Wilds, she hated it. I mean, be glad that you're not Cured and actually living. Alex told you it wasn't going to be easy.
I'm only reading the last book in the series because it's the last one and it's short, and I'm not a quitter this close to the end. But really, I wouldn't advise people to read it.
Pages: 375 (paperback)
Books in Series: 3 primary, 4 novellas
Genre(s): Dystopia, Young Adult, Romance
Would I Recommend It: Unless you're given it for free, don't waste your time and money.