Monday, April 07, 2014

Review: Requiem by Lauren Oliver

Title: Requiem
Author: Lauren Oliver
Publihser: HarperCollins Children's Books
Release date: March 5th 2013
Pages: 391
Genre: Young Adult dystopian
Source: Bought
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They have tried to squeeze us out, to stamp us into the past. But we are still here. And there are more of us every day.
Now an active member of the resistance, Lena has been transformed. The nascent rebellion that was under way in Pandemonium has ignited into an all-out revolution in Requiem, and Lena is at the center of the fight.
After rescuing Julian from a death sentence, Lena and her friends fled to the Wilds. But the Wilds are no longer a safe haven—pockets of rebellion have opened throughout the country, and the government cannot deny the existence of Invalids. Regulators now infiltrate the borderlands to stamp out the rebels, and as Lena navigates the increasingly dangerous terrain, her best friend, Hana, lives a safe, loveless life in Portland as the fiancée of the young mayor.
Maybe we are driven crazy by our feelings. Maybe love is a disease, and we would be better off without it. But we have chosen a different road. And in the end, that is the point of escaping the cure: We are free to choose. We are even free to choose the wrong thing.
My rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Delirium is one of my favorite dystopian series, so of course I was both excited and scared to see how it would end. And like many other readers, I was satisfied with the novel as a whole, but really disappointed by the ending.

The pacing is fast like in Pandemonium, keeping me riveted throughout the novel. I really liked seeing what life is like for Lena in the Wilds, and the hardships of the life she has chosen are even more obvious in this book than in Pandemonium. I enjoyed the plot, but I wasn't always satisfied with Lena's character: I think Requiem undid some of the character growth Lena had experienced in Pandemonium, and she frustrated me especially in regards to the romance.

Even more so than Lena's, I loved Hana's chapters. It was fascinating to see what life is like on the other side, seeing Hana struggle with combing her own identity with what the cure has turned her into. Even though her life is filled with a lot less danger and violence than Lena's, of course, it still has plenty of drama and threats. I really enjoyed seeing how this dystopian world works through Hana's eyes, and I like how it shifted the focus towards Hana's and Lena's friendship, or what it has turned into.

One thing I didn't love is the love triangle. I thought Lauren Oliver might escape the stereotypical love triangle with her superb writing and character development, but that wasn't really the case. I don't want to spoil anything, so I'm just going to say I found the romance predictable and underwhelming.

And of course, the ending. The ending is what brought down the rating to three stars, really. I know a lot of people are disappointed by the open-ness of the ending and by how you don't know what happens to any of the characters. To me, that part wasn't even so bad: I don't usually mind open endings where you are left to decide what you think will happen to the characters. What frustrated me is that we don't get to see anything about the effect of the fighting and the revolution: we don't find out it anything changes, or if the revolution in Portland has any effect on the rest of the country. That made all of the fighting and all of the violence seem really meaningless, since we don't get to know enough about the greater cause.

Even if I'm disappointed by the outcome of Requiem, I'm still a huge fan of the Delirium trilogy. With an intriguing premise and beautiful writing, Delirium is one of my favorite series, even if I would have liked to see further development of the story towards the end.


  1. Oh no! I have to start this series, but a lackluster ending is such a bummer. I'm glad you still like the series, I am eager to start it this year. But I totally know that feeling of disappointment when you want the ending to be a certain way or fuller, and it's not. Great review!!

  2. You summed up exactly why I was so disappointed in the ending. Love the series, but like you, I wish we could have seen the effect of the revolution on everything.


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