So it took me a bit longer than usual to finish these, especially for a 300 page YA “dystopian,” which usually takes me all of 3-5 days depending on my workload. Basically, I didn’t love it, any of it, and it was hard for me to find the motivation to finish the series, but I couldn’t pin down the reason why. I liked Lena, and Hana, and Alex, and even Julian, but there wasn’t really much depth to any of them. Alex, the most complex of the characters, was also the only one who I thought was real. Lena, though understandably emotionally distraught throughout the series just bugged me sometimes, first where did she learn how to fight? Was I the only one with this question, it wasn’t like in Under the Never Sky series where Aria goes through fighting lessons, or in the Hunger Games, Divergent, or The Testing where they all had some degree of experience and training. Also, I thought when Alex revoked his feeling for her she believed him way too easily; and the whole Alex with Coral to piss Lena off because he was mad at her for being with Julian so Lena cozies up to Julian more to get back at Alex was immature. I thought the whole Lena/Julian thing was a bit inconceivable (Princess Bride quotes coming to mind anyone?) to begin with, ya you’re going to bond with someone under intense circumstances, but I felt like it was a relationship of convince if not just a rebound.
I think these problems may have something to do with me not being a YA though . . .
However, in general I felt like Pandemonium was a reversal of Delirium, Lena was Alex and Julian was Lena. And the politics never made sense to me. We get the introduction of something bigger going on with Lena’s mom being in the Crypts and whatnot, but then the DFA/government using invalids as tools never fully solidifies. In the third book, the political epiphany I was hoping for never emerged, even with the commentary from Hana. I think the main issue is how localized it all was, we know in general that there is unrest in New England, but we are only introduced to the President once, hear about the supposed state of the rest of the world, and learn that the US is basically closed off from the world, but nothing comes from it. I feel like it either should have just been focused on NE, or gone the whole nine yards and become more of a national thing.
And overall, I was just bored. I felt like the same things happened over and over again, and love as a driver could have been used so much better. It just wasn’t my cup of tea. However, as I marinated over the last couple days before I wrote this, I have decided its better than I originally gave it credit for. My problem, I think is that I was looking for a political theme as a main driver, and in the end it was a personal message about being true to yourself, not being afraid of taking chances, and putting yourself out there even if you have a chance of being hurt, or hurting others.
But I still don’t know if I’ll reread it anytime soon. I am looking forward to Oliver’s new book though, Panic, which I think it going to bring more of the action I was missing and hopefully some stronger characters who I don’t kind of hate and easily forget.
I’m going to take a short break from YA and read A Room With A View next. I saw the movie first and really enjoyed it. Not being a huge fan of most of the classics they have us read in High School I am trying to branch out and find some of the under appreciated ones, and I think this is going to be pretty enjoyable. Already I am appreciating the snarky humor and critiques of English culture and imperialism. Looking forward to reviewing it!