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Books & Chocolate

I love to read just about anything, as long as it's fiction. I read for me - that means I read what I want, when I want. My reviews tend to mostly be based on how I'm able to personally connect with the story/characters. They are not intended to influence someone to read, or not read, a particular book. I always encourage people to take a chance and make up your own mind.


Oh, and I love chocolate.


Pandemonium - Lauren Oliver



I'm almost to the point of giving up on trilogies. Almost.


Pandemonium wasn't bad, but it could have been so much more. There was the same slow pace as was in Delirium, but again I was OK with that. I liked that Lena grew as a character and became stronger. I like that she also tried to stick to who she really was and in the end decided that she didn't escape to turn into someone else. I liked that a lot actually. I was proud of her for staying true to herself.


The story is told in alternating chapters of 'Then' and 'Now'. I liked this for some reasons (it made the pace a bit quicker, and since it's already a slow paced book that was important), yet I didn't like it for others (some of those 'Then' moments felt drawn out and unnecessary). Again, Oliver's writing is beautiful, but there were moments I wanted her to just cut it down a bit and get to it.


I'm still not sold on the way Oliver has put together this dystopian world. For me, there were inconsistencies in the wilds over what they had or could do versus what they didn't have or couldn't do. And as in the first, I felt as though this society should have the capabilities for better security measures. It's as though technology - the fastest progressing field we have - has gone nowhere, and possibly regressed. That's starting to bother me. I mean, records of dangerous invalids are kept in books? Door alarms/locks are still just numeric keypads?


I was also hoping for more explanation in this book on why love was ruled as a disease. Who spearheaded this and why? If book 3 doesn't have anything on this, I might have to give it a one rating just for that alone.


Finally, the ending. This is what has caused my huge, disappointed sigh. I suppose given how the first book ended, I should have expected some sort of shocking cliffhanger. But Oliver did EXACTLY what I feared she would. It didn't need to go there. I'm actually kind of upset that she did go there. The book has another 'shocking' cliffhanger that could have served for the foundation of book 3. It didn't need to go in that predictable and overplayed plot angle.


Since the ending might not be obvious to all, the rest of my gripe is hidden as a spoiler.


From the very beginning, I feared that Alex would survive - showing up only after Lena had grieved and allowed herself to move on. Urg. Why did Oliver have to go there? It seems to me that love triangles are becoming a crutch when an author doesn't know how to build any other tension. Or maybe they just think that's all we want to read about since it seemed so successful in other books. But the thing is, Oliver has what I feel is a much better drama unfolding - Lena's mother! She delivered Lena, she found her, yet kept her identity secret and then left without revealing herself. That is what book 3 should be following, while letting Lena and Julian fall in love. it doesn't have to be about her struggle to love two boys. What about focusing on her struggle with her love for her mother, who has left her yet again? Urg. Just - URG! Of course, in book 3 Lena will have to choose. Her first love - the one who we all thought gave his life just so she could be free? Or the boy she grew to love despite their differences? The boy who has never had anyone in his entire life stand by him? The boy who, in my opinion, is stronger because he had more to lose than Alex did by loving Lena. Now that Oliver created this mess, I really hope she doesn't take the easy why out by making one of them die. The bed has been made - now make her choose.

(show spoiler)


Of course, I have to still listen to book 3. I can't leave it incomplete. I just really hope I'm not disappointed.