March 12, 2012

Teen Book Review: Pandemonium and an Interview with Best Selling Author Lauren Oliver

I've already posted a review of the incredible Pandemonium sequel to the amazing Delirium, but now that I was able to have Lauren stop by for an interview I just have to post it again.

Pandemonium (Delirium, #2)

Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver
Published by Harpercollins February 28 2012
Reviewed from ARC provided by publisher

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 left her beyond a fence,

behind a wall of smoke and flame.

My thoughts:

  It's not often that I like a sequel as much as the first in the series, but Pandemonium is exceptional.  It was more than I hoped it would be. Lena is now in the Wilds....grieving for her loss and trying to survive. We meet a few new characters in this book and out of them all, Raven is my favourite. She's hardened by the life she has been forced to lead, but I really felt she took on a wonderful maternal role in the story and finally Lena had a woman she could connect with even if it wasn't her 'real' mother. I'm not sure how I feel about Julian yet. I need more time to process his role in Lena's life, and I'm not ready to let go of Alex. There were shocking moments in the book that I could not have predicted and of course the last page left me gasping.... (don't read ahead though!!!) 

I've had my copy since Sept, but I waited to read it. I have to admit that I was hesitant to because I loved Delirium so very much. Today was the day I planned to read it with my tea and blanket in my favourite reading chair. I opened the pages and disappeared happy to be within Lena's story. Not her world. Her world scares me I guess as it would anyone, but I felt comforted and settled between the lines of her story like I was visiting a friend. I love Lauren Oliver's writing style. She has a gift with words and I often end up reading paragraphs out loud so I can get the full impact of their meaning. 

"Grief is like sinking, like being buried. I am in water the tawny color of kicked up dirt. Every breath is full of choking. There is nothing to hold on to, no sides, no way to to claw myself up. There is nothing to do but let go."

"That is what hatred is. It will feed you and at the same time turn you to rot. It is hard and deep and angular, a system of blockades. It is everything and total."

I could almost quote the whole book because it is page after page of masterful and vivid writing. I was sad when it ended, and I can not wait for more. Highly Recommended. 

I am so unbelievably excited to be able include the interview with Lauren below. Thanks Lauren XO.

1. Do you write for yourself, for others, to tell the story? Where does your inspiration come from?
I think it’s all three, really. I definitely have to write, for myself, for my sanity, and usually once I have an idea for a book, I can’t stop writing. But I do think, to some extent, about the audience, about trying to connect with an experience that’s somewhat universal.

2. Do you see parts of yourself in Lena? In your other characters?
I think you have to project yourself into all of your major characters—and even some of your minor ones! I’m usually some kind of amalgam of a few characters. In this case, if you took Lena—some of her fears, some of her thoughtfulness, and her ultimately strong center—and smushed it together with some of Hana’s characteristics—her height, her brazen attitude, her desire for fun—you’d get me.

3. Who is an author that impacts you? 
Neil Gaiman! I adore his books.

4. I adored Raven, despite her flaws. Who is your favourite character from  Pandemonium and why?
I loved Raven too. She might be my favorite. I felt for her so badly—she was so hard, because she’d had to become that way. But underneath her many layers, she has been heartbroken, and she has experienced deep loss and sadness. 
(I (Jen) removed question 5 because I thought it might be too spoilery):)
6. Favourite Disney Movie?
The Little Mermaid!
7. Is it true that you put Ketchup on nearly everything?
Yes! Here are some of my favorite things to put ketchup on: toast, pasta, eggs, and any kind of vegetable.

8. Do you have any other books planned in the next year?
I’m working on editing Requiem, the third book in the Delirium series, right now, which will publish in spring 2013. And this fall, I have a book for younger readers (8-12) publishing in the US. It’s called THE SPINDLERS, and it tells the story of a girl, Liza, who must journey into the underworld to rescue her brother’s soul from spider-people. It’s cool and creepy and I’m excited about it!
I for one can not wait for Requiem and The Spindlers sounds fabulous!!

Reviews for Lauren's other books can be found here:   Delirium  and Liesl & Po

I buried her.


  1. I have my copy of Pandemonium too, just waiting until I have a free weekend to get through it. This has made me so excited!

  2. Great interview! Thanks for the giveaway!