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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.
Hoo boy. Delirium is one of my favorite dystopians thus far. I'm fascinated with the idea of love as a disease and Lauren Oliver's exploration of the mindset that created the "deliria". Not only is the set up a great hook, but Oliver's writing is impeccable and draws you in to her story. Pandemonium, though not giving me quite the same feelings Delirium did, is, in my opinion, at least as good if not better. This is because we get to explore Lena's broken life. She is in mourning. Not just for Alex, but for the comfortable life and people she left behind to get to the Wilds. But Lena has to embrace the life she has been thrust into or die.
Many people have disliked, and will dislike, the switch between "Then" and "Now" in Pandemonium. I found it to be a very effective and fascinating set up, though. First, we see the contrast between the lives of those in the Wilds and the citizens of New York. We also see the contrast between Lena as she was immediately after escaping into the Wilds and when she is living in New York. Lena left her home with Alex to lean upon, making the decision easier--though not easy in any way--and cushioning any kind of blow. But when she decides to help the rebellion, she doesn't have anyone to fall back on. She is making decisions free of outside influence and with the knowledge of what the consequences could be. That made me admire her more than I did at any point in Delirium.
So for that ending. Honestly, I expected it. But even though I expected it, I still gasped when it actually happened. I read the last twenty pages with bated breath, knowing it was coming, and yet I cried a little. I also loved it. To me, it almost felt like the right thing to happen. I don't know what's going to come of it, and I REALLY don't know how I'm supposed to wait any amount of time for Requiem, but I will. And I'm sorry for this entire paragraph to those who haven't read the book.
Risk a paper cut? Y'all. Honestly, there's not much more I can say past, "READ IT." I've read a lot of dystopians in the past could of years, and none have gripped me like these have. Nor have I read a second book in a trilogy in a long time that is the equal of its predecessor. Pandemonium is that, if Delirium's better.