Pandemonium

Warning:  Read Delirium by Lauren Oliver before proceeding!!!

Yesterday was, in a word, wretched.  My students (and teachers) are so ready for Spring Break that I think all of us have mentally checked out.  Add to that a shocking and upsetting announcement at yesterday afternoon’s faculty meeting, and I was ready to go home and pull the covers over my head until summer.  The only thing that saved yesterday from being a complete wash was finishing Pandemonium, the second book in Lauren Oliver’s amazing Delirium series.  For a little while, I was able to escape into someone else’s problems (and Lena has problems that make mine pale in comparison).  I finished the book last night at around 7:00, and I spent what was left of my evening thinking about what happened and how it could impact Lena’s life in the next book.  So thank you to Lauren Oliver, who helped me to escape for a while.  Isn’t that what the best books do?

Pandemonium is told in two different time periods: “now” and “then.” “Then” is what happened immediately after the events of Delirium. “Now” is, of course, what Lena is currently going through. It’s kind of cool to see how the events of the past impact Lena’s present.

After escaping into the Wilds–without her beloved Alex–Lena is near death. Her salvation comes in the form of a group of people who will grow to be her new “family.” They will help her heal, force her to move on, and show her how to survive in these new and frightening circumstances. But Lena can never forget what–or who–brought her to this point, and she’ll soon have the opportunity to fight back against the corrupt system that believes love, or amor deliria nervosa, is a disease that must be eradicated at any cost.

As Lena battles against the system she once believed in wholeheartedly, she finds herself entangled in a plot that has the power to change everything.  She’s forced to unite with an enemy to survive, and her relationship with that “enemy” becomes very complicated.  If she’s friends–or possibly more–with someone she’s sworn to hate, what will her friends and allies think?  What will society think?  What would Alex think?

Lena is more confused than ever.  She doesn’t know who to trust or what anyone’s true agenda is, but she is sure of one thing.  She will fight for those she loves.  It might mean certain death.  It might mean losing the friends who’ve helped her survive.  It might throw the country–and her own life–into complete turmoil.  But Lena will do what she must.  Even if it kills her.  Maybe love is a disease.  If it is, Lena wants no part of the “cure.”  Find out just how far Lena is willing to go–and what the fallout will be–when you read Pandemonium, the gripping sequel to Lauren Oliver’s Delirium.

I am fully aware that I haven’t come close to capturing how great Pandemonium is.  I tried my best not to give too much away, especially for those who have not read Delirium yet.  (I’m not sure I’ve succeeded there either.)  Pandemonium is a great addition to the wealth of young adult dystopian literature out there, and I eagerly anticipate the third book in this trilogy, Requiem, due out in February of 2013.  There’s also a short story that gives readers a view of Hana’s experiences in Delirium.  It is, naturally, titled Hana, and is available as an eBook.

For now, dear readers, I will leave you.  I am preparing myself for an epic night for anyone who treasures young adult fiction–especially dystopian fiction.  That’s right.  I will be at the midnight premiere of The Hunger Games.  I’ve been looking forward to this for a while, and, if the early reviews are any indication, I will be one very happy movie-goer.  Have an awesome day, and “may the odds be ever in your favor.”

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