03 December 2011

Book P(Review) AND Giveaway: Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver

One month ago I read Lauren Oliver's Delirium during the great power outage and I was surprised by how little it engaged me.  To avoid much redundancy from other posts, suffice it to say that I thought the book was derivative of other dystopian YA books I'd read.  Yesterday, however, I picked up my ARC of the sequel, pandemonium [sic], and was equally surprised by how hard I found to put it down.

Like many sequels, it picks up right in the middle of things, which I like.  And like Ally Condie's Crossed, the narrative POV switches every chapter, which I dislike.  However, instead of switching characters, it's the timeline itself that switches, so that we get chapters of Lena in the Wilds alternating with her new life in society. While I admit that it's an effective way of building narrative tension, I feel it's a pretty lazy plot device, allowing the writer to jump here & there without having to make the effort to connect the narrative dots.

Fine.  Disliking the POV and the present tense narratives are small enough quibbles.  And readers who are at all familiar with recent trends in YA books won't be surprised with the love triangle and the double-crossing and betrayals as they unfold in pandemonium.  Yes, the book is predictable in those (and a few other) regards.  And I didn't think Oliver's writing was up to par in this book compared to the first one.

That being said, the pacing and the plotting are strong in this second book and it was one I could hardly put down.  Unlike many sequels, it doesn't actually answer a lot of questions left open in book one; it seems more concerned with being its own entity.  Which I kinda dig.  I can't put my finger on why I found this one so much more compelling and readable, but I did.  So be it.  I like it, and that's enough for me.

Now, on to the giveaway part.  I have an ARC of this book, read once, that I will mail to a randomly chosen winner.  If you want to win, leave a comment on this post.  You don't have to follow me on Twitter or like me on Facebook.  I'd prefer it if you became a follower of my blog if you're not one already, but that's not required, either.  The book is published in March 2012 and I will be mailing the book out to the winner before the end of December, so the recipient will have it in hand about 3 months early.  Just leave a comment about why you'd like to read the book early--and if you have friends who might want to get their hands on an early copy, please send 'em here.

This giveaway IS open to international readers and it will close roughly around December 24, 2011 so that I will have time to contact the winner and obtain a mailing address before the year is out.  


  1. I LOVE your blog. :) It's so nice to read honest reviews.

    You really have me curious about this one, especially about how it pretty much stood on it's own. That cover alone is AWESOME :0)

  2. Ooh, I would definitely like to win this one. I do love dystopian series. I've recently read her first book, Before I Fall, and I really want to read Delirium now as well, being prepared with Pandemonium would be fantastic!

  3. What can I say? I love reading books early so I can show off to both of my book clubs with my amazing insight.....hcb

  4. Anon, while I will always welcome anonymous comments on my blog, it will make it hard for me track you down, should you be the winner. I hope consider coming back and leaving a registered comment if you'd like to win.

  5. Thanks for the giveaway. I loved the first one.

    Lizzi0915 at aol dot com

  6. This is an incredible giveaway! I loved the first book. Delirium is such a beautiful take on dystopia and love. It left me with my heart in shattered pieces on the floor. I can hardly wait to see what happens next in Lena's story!

    I'm a new follower.


  7. I'd love to be entered in your giveaway - I'm a new follower too!

    Love your blog name; I'm hosting a travel challenge if you're interested...

  8. You know me - I love giveaways! Enter me - I could use some good YA to read.... and I trust your judgement, Ms. Em. :)


  9. Enter me! Enter me!!! I will read just about anything you suggest Ms. Em... you know that. :)

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  11. OMMGGGGG!!!!!!!!!! I have been looking EVERYWHERE for this book! I emailed Lauren Oliver bt she said they were out, I emailed HarperCollins but they didn't answer, SO THANKS SO MUCH FOR THE GIVEAWAYYYY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! lol Im a new follower on ur blog and I really like how u give the perfect amount away in ur reviews and ur very detailed. N e ways, AHHH, PANDEMONIUM <3! thanks again for the giveaway!!!!!!!

  12. O by the way my blog is www.sabaawesome.blogspot.com

  13. Thank you, everybody who entered. I've just closed the contest and the winner will be announced soon.


Please, sir, may I have some more? (Comments, that is!)