Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver is a book I've been dying to read for such a long time! Since that shocking ending to Delirium, in fact. Before THAT ending, I could see in my head how the rest of the series might play out, but then everything changed. I was heartbroken and absolutely bereft at the changes that happened at the end of Delirium, but then I also kind of loved how Pandemonium started off with this fresh start.
This story is told in two parts. Then and Now, which, at the beginning, was difficult to get my head around. It took me awhile to find my place with this disjointed-feeling narrative, but soon I found myself really loving the huge jumps between time periods and also unravelling the mysteries and all the questions that begin building up of what occurs between Then and Now.
Lena was all ready to leave her home and the oppressive society that she grew up in and live her life happy and free to love Alex. But in Pandemonium during the Then, Lena is at the start of her journey in the Wilds without Alex. Without anybody, grieving for the boy she loved and lost and wondering where to go, what to do.
When Lena recieves medical help from a group of members who belong to the Resistance, her path seems pretty clear. Lena really does her best to remain strong, to live with the pain of Alex's memory, but also to move on and to fight for the things that she believes in. During the Then, we are able to see a wider, more detailed description of what it is like to live in The Wilds and the hard work and difficulties that come with it. We meet a bunch of wonderful new characters and we can really see how Lena has grown through her heartache.
I won't give you too much more detail into this book, as I loved not knowing very much about it before I picked it up myself. But there is much to love with this book. It's a lot darker in tone than Delirium - Lena goes through some difficult times and emotions. There is a lot more violence and death and hard realities to be faced, but there is also the sweet beginnings of new love and the hopefulness of better things to come.
This is an amazing, action-filled sequel fit to burst with emotion and surprises! I really recommend it!