Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver Review & Giveaway

It's time for Day 4 of our 1 Year Blogoversary Celebration!  Today we are celebrating the release of Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver! *throws confetti*

Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver
It's out today!
Reviewed by: AmyG (Big sis) and Baby Sister Britt
Sister's Say: Poetic, Pristine, Perfect


Pandemonium (Delirium, #2)
I’m pushing aside the memory of my nightmare,
pushing aside thoughts of Alex,
pushing aside thoughts of Hana and my old school,
like Raven taught me to do.
The old life is dead.
But the old Lena is dead too.
I buried her.
I left her beyond a fence,
behind a wall of smoke and flame.


So after I finished Pandemonium, I went straight to twitter and wrote this: NOOOOO! Don't end there!!! To which then I joked around with Brooke from Brooke Reports that my review would look like this:
No words...stunned silent...buy the book!

Of course, that can't be my review even though it accurately and precisely describes my feelings after reading the last page! So here goes with the actual review as literate as I can make it through my stunned silence.

Lauren Oliver appears again to knock our socks off with her beautiful words.  From the opening pages of the book, everything is completely sensory.  I can feel, see, taste, smell, and hear everything.  Not only from the outside, but the inside.  I know how Lena felt after leaving Alex at the gate, running for her life without him, physically and emotionally wounded.  Not from me trying to imagine it, but from Lauren actually placing me inside Lena's thoughts.  She has a way of putting you directly in her character's heads and hearts.  Her words are absolute poetry, and her ability to emotionally bind you to her characters is genius.

The story is also told in sort of a fractured timeline. Oliver jumps back and forth in time between the beginning of Lena's escape and later when she has become an established part of the resistance. For some, this jump might seem off-putting, but we loved it. It was so fascinating to see broken Lena and strong Lena, but have no idea when or how the change occurs.

Pandemonium introduces a world of new characters.    I loved all them, and the perfect, non-traditional family they created together.  Oliver weaves the back stories of these characters into the tapestry of the story and creates a beautiful masterpiece.  They are the perfect ensemble to Lena's story.  They glide along in the background adding bits and pieces here and there that give the book emotion and more beauty.  I'm so excited to see where the story leads with this cast of characters.

I know in Delirium, we all fell in love with Alex!  I am right there with all of you, I was completely infected with deliria amor nervosa from the moment I met Alex.  And, the disease has struck again, but this time with Julian.  Julian, Julian, Julian...what can I say?  He is sweet, cute and perfect!  His father is head of the campaign for the cure, so you can imagine the turmoil that Julian faces as he realizes that he might be in love.  The war raging within himself as he slowly transitions his beliefs from love being a disease to love being a gift is moving and terrifying.  I don't think anyone's words but Lauren's could have given his emotions justice.  You will love Julian.  He is in many ways completely different from Alex, but I promise you will love him all the same.

Now for the ending.  Ms. Oliver slaughtered, yes slaughtered all of our hearts with the ending of Delirium.  I must say that she does it again in Pandemonium.  She is the Queen of crazy, amazing, shocking endings!  It's brilliant though!  I definitely count this a plus in her novels.  I love the tormenting endings, it makes me angsty and crave the next book even more!

Lauren Oliver has quickly made her way into my circle of all time favorite authors.  I read her books for her beautiful words.  She could honestly write a book about rocks, and it would be utterly breathtaking.  She's a true artist when it comes to the talent of weaving words together to create something amazing!  Her writing alone should urge everyone to go read this series, but when you combine this with her heart-pounding plots, and masterful characterizations, you have a series for the ages!

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