Source: Bought myself
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Author: Lauren Oliver
Reviewed by: Amy Bookworm | Holly Peckitt (our other post is here)
Recommended For: Anyone :)
The book starts with a Lena whose been in the Wilds, we quickly meet Raven. How did you feel about the way that she met Raven? It was a bit dramatic….
It was dramatic but the wilds are like that! I’m so glad that Raven chooses to save Lena but as we can see, Raven is a big softie inside. It was a great way to be introduced to her… Of course, with Lena in a difficult situation when they meet it’s hard to describe Raven at first & say we meet her XD So, later finding out about this hard exterior she has & which all need in the Wilds- including Lena is… interesting! Dramatic is one word but it’s so much more XD I think most readers will like the character of Raven; her & Lena are such different people. Raven could be like a substitute Mother; it partly seems that way! Lena learns from Raven…
She learnt so much from Raven. And you could see that whilst they did argue and clearly had their moments of anger, she has so much respect for Raven and obviously looks up to her.
Surviving in the wild is hard, it also seems like a disaster then when Lena is in the wilds she experiences less love; it’s a harsh reality & I miss the family relationships. The friendships just seem so fragile, can you agree with that?
I couldn’t agree more with that. Whilst Lena made the choice that she made, it kind of feels like although she is letting people in, she doesn’t form friendships like the one which she had with Hana. I really missed the relationship between them that was there in Delirium.
I definitely concur! She’s forced to form friendships; she can’t rely on her own, none in the wild can- it’s like a pack :P So, it’s very different. Even with Raven, who does become like a friend, it’s still like a co-worker kind of relationship. They give & get, would these two girls have naturally been friends otherwise? Obviously, I think not! Lena also definitely misses family, esp Grace (who I adore also!) so when she’s back in US you kinda wish it was nearer Portland; things have changed but how much? :P
Also, the way she meets Julian (maybe I’m getting ahead!) is very different to Alex. It’s less wild and impulsive; which is such a contrast to how she meets Raven, hehe.
The Way that Julian met Lena was completely different. Lena was thrown into a situation from which there was no escaping.
Maybe it’s more similar to the Wilds than I was thinking. I will always think the one between Alex & her was… wild. It was; you just wouldn’t expect to fall in love that way when love is forbidden.
When Lena arrives at the “settlement” of sorts where Raven and some of the other Invalids live, you see a very different version of the Wilds to the camp which Alex took Lena to. It was clear that it was also very different to how Lena had imagined. What did you think of this?
I think the Wilds that Lena fell in love with, the one Alex showed her, is the one that readers would also fall in love with. It seems like a haven of sorts, an escape into a land of freedom where they can live happily and be in love. Then whilst Lena was living with Raven and the rest of the invalids at that camp, the bombing takes place and there is this constant sense of trying to get food and water; just to keep living. Lena sees that the Wilds aren’t how she saw them with Alex and there is this incredible atmosphere that symbolises the fact that this is the start of a brooding war.
It’s a bit like Lena was innocent & tricked; Alex could’ve made it clearer not all the Wilds was like that. I don’t know how she didn’t end up nearer to the Portland camp but it appears that way. Obviously, there is a time gap. Honestly, it’s so hard for her dealing with this reality. It’s not as idealistic; there’s love & freedom (both good) but there’s lack of privacy, violence, fear & so much more stuff. Would it be worth it? I don’t know but Lena later thinks it is!
Exactly! She was expecting to walk into a paradise where they’d be safe and could be in love, but that’s like the tip of the iceberg. She is dragged into a world where everything isn’t so perfect and that’s really unfortunate. She trusted Alex and he never mentioned the fact that America was still bombing the wilds.
Was Lena’s involvement in the DFA (Delirium Free America) confusing for you (at least at first)? But really, hiding amongst the enemy, in plain sight, has been known to make sense!
Honestly, it confused me so much! I was just reading and thinking “What on Earth is going on here?” Lauren Oliver was so vague at first I found, because it wasn’t at all clear what was going on. Hiding amongst the enemy does make sense, it’s rather logical but you’d think given that she broke all the rules and went into the Wilds, maybe she’d be recognised for that. It isn’t suggested but surely there is high security in situations like this in Amor Deliria Nervosa - free-America. Maybe she’d be on some sort of “wanted list”. Going and being involved with the DFA at first appears to be a dangerous move.
The ambiguity, in a way, is clever. It’s not all realistic but it’s not Portland & by the size of the resistance added to the fact maybe they think she’s dead there is a chance they just stopped looking for her...there’s so many similar cases they must move on at some point, mustn’t they? She did fear at first going back to non-Wild areas which I understand… we later find out why the resistance were taking this risk. Are the DFA all they’re cracked up to be, innocent? Readers will find out :P
What did you think of how Raven was sort of whilst she’s clearly ran away for the sake of love, she appears to be very cold and unloving at times?
It’s not just Raven who is that way… *coughs* Umm, anyway, it’s natural? Bitter when we assume she’s lost it? We discover she does love someone in the Wilds but really, it’s toughened her up & I think it’s realistic. People react differently, even with love (as all things), she’s complex & I mostly understand why she’s like that. She has the freedom to love all things & there’s definitely things she doesn’t love which I wouldn’t. I think love & the Wilds has taken her toll, she sees herself as a boss & often takes others burdens & hardships on her own shoulders. Wouldn’t that make anyone a bit “cold”? I never see her as a whole “unloving”, she’s a brillant person & in her own way, shows she cares. It’s actions she uses to display love & how she feels she gets it back, I think. I love all the characters, they’re dynamic & come alive from the page but Raven, I have a soft spot for that woman!
Do you find it easy to empathize with Lena? Do you like her, or rather, her actions?
I found it very easy to empathise with Lena the majority of the time. There were times where I couldn’t as much, because for example, I, along with the majority of the people who’ve read this book, don’t know what it’s like the escape the rules of the society and then return under a new identity. (Oh, I do, don’t you know? :P Such a rebel me, jk XD) Haha! That was certainly a time when I couldn’t relate to her at all.
(for more on this see our post at Holly’s blog on ‘Our response to Love in Delirium & Pandemonium’
As an overall reaction, what emotion did you experience during read? (I know that’s hard to say, you can GIF me if you like!)
Oh…… I don’t think a Gif could summarise the emotions I experienced in this book.I’d need about 20 gifs... (I love GIFS too much, I’m sorry XD I find I use them better than words & summarizing in a GIF is just… humorous?) It was a situation of anger at her for falling for Julian (I really didn’t want her to) and just pure, pure confusion. When I read the final few chapters, I was so puzzled and a little angry at Raven for the whole scenario that she put Lena in. But overall I was kind of just like ASDFGHJKL….. I was so happy and wanted so much more!
Oh, ASDFGHJKL also works well, like a GIF XD At the end I definitely needed Requiem so badly XD I think overall I’d used the word intrigued. I was gripped to it & sure, it may have been confusing but I was IN LOVE. It’s the best book in the series for me XD I love Julian too. He made the book… Book boyfriends always do :P But mainly this:
(after holding your breath for the entire book, LOL, I found a way for a book to actually kill you XD)
I think that this is the best way of describing it. The girl whose furthest to the right is the best way of describing my face when I finished the book hehehe!
See? GIFs can summarize :P Readers, you heard right. We both think this is an accurate representation XD
Found a Gif! This just seemed perfect in my eyes
:L Perhaps that also XD
The description in this book (as it was in Delirium) is just phenomenal. How do you think Oliver manages to somehow create a detailed, lyrical book with her distinctive writing style but still, for the most part, have action & such… drama! We’ve heard some people not like the description as much. What do you think? Do you think it’s effective? :L
I think it’s a bonus feature to just have such entrancing writing skills when there’s enough action to move the story on as well. Obviously, if it compromised the plot and drama then it would be a problem but most of the time I definitely don’t think it does & as long as this is true, it’s great. No complaints, for sure. I think the drama would definitely be effected if it was too descriptive because it would appear as gentler - that’s not what you need in such a tense dystopian novel.
I do think it’s really suitable as well for a book about love; it’s like in poetry certain structures, styles & techniques are used… an example being rhyming couplets. Her style is the perfect one for a book mostly about love & describing that love, it’s in such an artistic way that you really get the pictures she writes about; maybe she describes it as a knife but it’s much more than that, of course. It’s Lauren Oliver!
I agree with you. I’m someone who reads books and just tries to remember what I’ve read, but there were so many beautiful passages throughout Pandemonium; and Delirium for that matter, that just made me add little post-it notes to the book. I personally often then go either find the quotes on Goodreads or add them myself, it takes time out of reading but for books like this, it’s worth it.
It’s definitely made me excited to read Requiem and also to read more of Lauren Oliver’s books - just in the hope that they’re just as fantastic in a different way to this trilogy has been.I haven’t read anything else by Lauren Oliver (have you?) but I feel it must be better in this book & suit it! Wouldn’t it work as well in others? I have my doubts, actually ;P
No I’ve not read anything else by Lauren Oliver, I guess I’ve always been a bit weary about her books. It took me quite a while to persuade myself to read Delirium. It might not be as effective in other books as it has here. In a trilogy, there is so much that needs to be described and covered, because she has essentially created a whole new country - that takes a lot of work! Whereas in books like Panic - which is a Hunger Games-style-challenge, and Before I Fall which is someone who gets the chance to relive her last day alive - I don’t think it would have the same impact as it has in these books.
I can imagine it having a negative effect on Panic, but obviously don’t know but Before I Fall may work better. Anyway, I’m sure you’ll enjoy Requiem as I still did although I’d say Pandemonium just that extra star worth, a 5* marvellouisty. The reasons it wasn’t quite as amazing I believe aren’t anything to do with the writing style, it still has the potential to blow the reader away. Who knows though? That’s just my opinion that Pandemonium is 5*, one more than Requiem. You might like Requiem more, or just as much! I hope you LOVE, LOVE, LOVE <3
Actually, thinking about it - it could work quite well in Before I Fall. You never know. I reckon I’ll enjoy Requiem. I’ve loved Delirium and Pandemonium both so much and so I can’t wait for Requiem. I think overall I’ve loved the first two books equally if not Delirium a little more than Pandemonium (Whereas I thought that Delirium was 4* as well, not 5*) and I hope I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE too!
:D Thanks for reviewing Pandemonium with me, Holly. I enjoyed the discussion for your blog also (:
(Psst...Really liked it!... well, we both did!)
Hope you all enjoyed reading this as well!
Bye for now! Happy reading :)