Category Archives: Lauren Oliver

Review: Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver

Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver
Publisher: Harper Teen
Release date: March 6, 2012
Source: Around the World Tours
Published format: Hardcover, 375 pages
Series: Delirium #2
Purchase: Book Depository

Summary from Goodreads:
Lauren Oliver captivated readers with Delirium, the first book in a thrilling dystopian trilogy in which Lena Haloway dared to fall in love with Alex and escape the cure, the government-mandated procedure that renders a person immune to the disease of love. Lena and Alex staked their lives on leaving their oppressive society, but only Lena broke free.

Pandemonium continues Lena’s gripping story. After escaping from Portland, Maine, Lena makes it to the Wilds and becomes part of an Invalid community, where she transforms herself into a warrior for the resistance. A future without Alex is unimaginable, but Lena pushes forward and fights, both for him and for a world in which love is no longer considered a disease. Swept up in a volatile mix of revolutionaries and counterinsurgents, Lena struggles to survive—and wonders if she may be falling in love again.

Full of danger, forbidden romance, and exquisite writing, Lauren Oliver’s sequel to Delirium races forward at a breathtaking pace and is sure to appeal to fans who crave the high-stakes action of The Hunger Games and the bittersweet love story of Romeo & Juliet.

For the most part I was just a tiny bit mixed on Delirium. The beginning did not work for me, but I stuck through it and finished an explosive second half that made up for the first half. So when I started this I had hopes that the problem wouldn’t be repeated. It was, just slightly different.
The pacing started out very good, and I was really liking how there were two timelines, one in the now, and the one that was then, detailing what happens to Lena after she escapes alone to the Wilds. The “then” segments are what got me, right around a third of the way through. Lena was stuck in a situation, and it got dragged out over those chapters for another third of the book, and just slowed the pacing down. The last third picked up again, and also threw a few curveballs Lena’s way, ones that I didn’t see coming, except for one.
On Alex and the summary’s hint of falling in love again, I won’t say anything. I can’t really without spoiling anything for you guys, and I definitely don’t want to spoil this for anyone. So you’ll just have to wait until you get your hands on a copy. The “Invalids” she meeds up with in the Wilds though I can talk about. The leader was Raven, as well as Tack, and others included a little girl named Blue, and someone named Hunter, though his name is not indicative of talent in hunting. They were all pretty close, and took care of each other, and welcomed Lena into their community. I liked reading about them.
Overall I did enjoy this, slightly more than I did Delirium. The pacing as I said still got to me, but I still enjoyed the story itself, and the action and tension present here and there throughout the book. If you loved Delirium, make sure you don’t miss this sequel.

Review: Liesl & Po by Lauren Oliver

Liesl & Po by Lauren Oliver
Publisher: HarperCollins
Release date: October 4, 2011
Source: Publisher
Format: ARC paperback, 307
Series: N/A
Purchase: Book Depository

Summary from Goodreads:
Liesl lives in a tiny attic bedroom, locked away by her cruel stepmother. Her only friends are the shadows and the mice—until one night a ghost appears from the darkness. It is Po, who comes from the Other Side. Both Liesl and Po are lonely, but together they are less alone.
 
That same night, an alchemist’s apprentice, Will, bungles an important delivery. He accidentally switches a box containing the most powerful magic in the world with one containing something decidedly less remarkable.
 
Will’s mistake has tremendous consequences for Liesl and Po, and it draws the three of them together on an extraordinary journey.
 
From New York Times bestselling author Lauren Oliver comes a luminous and magnificent novel that glows with rare magic, ghostly wonders, and a true friendship that lights even the darkest of places.

I am absolutely blown away by this book. This is one of the most magical books I’ve read, the kind of book you search for among the vast amount of ordinary books. Truly a gem. There wasn’t a single thing I didn’t like about this book.
The cast of characters in this book is like no other. We have Liesl, who is so strong despite suffering the loss of her dad; Po and Bundle, the ghosts who don’t quite know what they used to be, but like Liesl’s drawings and so are drawn to the living world. Liesl’s evil stepmother, wow she’s absolutely evil. Will, who watches a girl in a window from the street everynight, and his master the Alchemist, a grouchy old man who answers to the Lady Premiere, who is not what she seems. Their strands of the story are all woven together magically. And I absolutely loved that the story is told from every viewpoint, so you know exactly what any character is thinking at any given time, and know the motivations behind their actions.
This book makes you feel as well. The grief Liesl feels, but also the excitement at escaping the attic and beginning the journey to give her father rest. Near the end when everything’s coming to a head you definitely feel the tension, and I for one had trouble putting it down at this point, needing to see what happened next.  And the interior art, while not finalized in the ARC, was beautiful. They were mostly rough sketches, but honestly, I loved them. They definitely added to the atmosphere of the story, and I’d almost prefer and hope that the final versions look almost exactly like what is in the ARC.
All in all, this is a Lauren Oliver book you do not want to miss. Even if you’re not a fan of fantasy, I would still recommend this. I’m definitely hoping that she writes more middle-grade books in the future, because of all three of Lauren’s books, this is definitely my favorite. I will be buying a finished copy to reread and cherish for years to come.

Review: Delirium by Lauren Oliver

Delirium by Lauren Oliver
Publisher: Harper Teen
Release Date: February 1, 2011
Source: Bought
Rating: 4/5 stars – Really really liked it.
Challenge: 350+ page challenge
Cover comments: I had been hoping this wouldn’t be the final cover when I saw it on ARCs other bloggers had received. I like it more now than I did at the beginning, but I’m still not super crazy about it.

Summary from Good Reads:
Before scientists found the cure, people thought love was a good thing. They didn’t understand that once love — the deliria — blooms in your blood, there is no escaping its hold. Things are different now. Scientists are able to eradicate love, and the governments demands that all citizens receive the cure upon turning eighteen. Lena Holoway has always looked forward to the day when she’ll be cured. A life without love is a life without pain: safe, measured, predictable, and happy.

But with ninety-five days left until her treatment, Lena does the unthinkable: She falls in love.

My thoughts on Delirium:
I started this and actually had a hard time progressing at first. I felt distanced from the characters, I couldn’t connect to them. Even though Lena and her friend Hana aren’t cured yet, with Lena it almost seems like she already is. But once she meets Alex, she wakes up. And shortly thereafter, nearly a third of the way through, it was like the story woke up from a deep slumber.

Once Lena learned the truth about who Alex is and where he came from, she becomes more alive than she’d been for the first part of the book. And it’s from here on out that I was gripped by the journey these characters go on. Throughout their romance, Lena learns some shocking and hard truths from Alex, one that hits especially close to home for her near the end. She comes upon a turning point in her life, where she has to make a decision, and there’s no going back. And hearing Alex talk about the Wilds, the way the author wrote that made me see it in my mind so well that I actually wanted to live that life. I love it when authors can make me want what I’m reading about.

Hana was an awesome friend for Lena to have. First, pushing Lena to try to actually live, which brings about the situation where Lena and Alex meet. And then always covering for Lena when she spends her days with Alex. I’m definitely looking forward to seeing more of her in the next installment.

The ending blew me away. The only thing I can say about it is that I hope my worst fears will not be realized in the sequel, Pandemonium.