1 Apr 2013

Requiem by Lauren Oliver

Title: Requiem
Series: Delirium Trilogy
Placement in Series: Book 3/3
Author: Lauren Oliver
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.

Requiem is told from both Lena’s and Hana’s points of view. The two girls live side by side in a world that divides them until, at last, their stories converge.

I first read Delirium back in January 2012, when I was going through my 'what to read after The Hunger Games' kick (all right, I admit I'm still on a dystopian/post-apocalyptic kick, one that I'm not sure will end!) and it quickly became one of my favourite series. I had high expectations for Requiem, especially considering how much I loved Pandemonium (my first review on this blog!) and the direction it seemed to be taking the series. While I was on hiatus from here, I read a lot of reviews and opinions on the final book in this trilogy, and it seemed people were either disappointed with the ending, or they loved it. I, personally, loved it to the core. Below I have written why, but proceed with caution: if you have yet to read Requiem, there are some (major) spoilers below.

What I liked about Requiem:
As in the previous novels, Lauren Oliver's writing remained poetic and perfectly descriptive. I was there with Lena and with Hana in every moment. I understood them both, even though my feelings toward Hana are not the greatest (although I came around in the end).

I also liked that half of the book was written from Hana's perspective. After reading Hana's short story, it was pretty much necessary. It was certainly something that I, as a reader, wanted. Hana intrigued me, and it was important for me to see how Hana had changed (and not changed) after she received the Cure. I am glad she redeemed herself after what she did in the Hana short story (which, by the way, if you have not read before reading Requiem, I think you should).

What I did not like about Requiem:
There was very little that left me dissatisfied when it came to this book. There is a small part of me that wishes there were a few more loose ends tied up by the end of Requiem, but at the same time...

What I loved about Requiem:
Basically everything, but the ending was my favourite. Lauren Oliver had a lot of expectations to live up, and it is certainly not possible for her to end this series in a way that will satisfy every reader, but I was definitely one of the satisfied ones.

I loved how there were loose ends. I loved that I was left with questions. What happens to Portland after? And the rest of the world seeming infected with Deliria? And what about Hana? Where does she go? Does she survive and does she ever meet up with Lena? I like to imagine that she did. I like to imagine that they find each other in the future, while the world is being rebuilt, and that they are still a part of each other's lives. I like to imagine that, if their friendship is not rekindled, they at least are near each other and can exist for each other, especially considering how important they were to eachother before everything that happened happened.

And what of Lena's relationship with Julian and Alex? Who, ultimately, did she choose? There were strong reasons for her to choose Alex. There were strong reasons for her to choose Julian. However, I think if she did choose by the end of Requiem, it would have been too soon. So many characters in YA seem to make rushed decisions (which is understandable considering they are teenagers; however, Lena has grown up a lot since Delirium, and it is no longer in her best interest to make such hurried decisions). The way I see it, she waited a while longer to make her decision, perhaps until things were a little less hectic. After all, she has a lot of other things to worry about. Like repairing the relationship with her mother, mourning Raven, and helping rebuild (at least) Portland.

But again, these are all questions I was fine with having been left unanswered. If they all had been, the ending would have been too rushed. Like author John Green said: "Books belong to their readers", and in this case, I am very glad to have been able to make my own theories. There are some books that need loose ends like these tied, but Requiem is not one of them.

Requiem rating: 5/5
Series rating: 4.5/5

And you? How did you feel about Requiem? Agree with my review? Disagree?
Discuss in the comments!


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