Mar 14, 2013

Review: Requiem by Lauren Oliver


Title: Requiem
Author: Lauren Oliver
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publishing Date: March 5, 2013
Pages/Format: 391, Hardcover

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.


Initial Reaction of Book in One Word: WHAT

Where do I begin? This book, this series, it just...confuses me! I still can't decide if I dislike it or like it, think it's just okay, or love it. I CAN'T FIGURE IT OUT. I feel like this may be a series that's better the second time it's read. (I think I didn't love The Hunger Games trilogy the first time, but I can't remember. But the second time? I developed what I call The Hunger Games High.) Of course, there were things I didn't like in this book. And then the ending--UGH. MY GOSH. I'm going to try and keep this spoiler-free, but I know I can't do that 100%. So if there's a spoiler, it will be marked in bold.

I'll start off with the negatives. Once again (like the other books in the trilogy), there's phrase/word overusage. Specifically, "suddenly." It's gotten to the point where I cringe whenever I read it anywhere. Then there's the story itself. I'm not sure I like where/how Requiem went. For one, it's told in alternating POVs: Lena and Hana. I could really care less about Hana. Her POV, for the most part, bored me. I get that it shows what it's like to be cured, but still, I would have preferred someone else...like Alex. Which brings me to another part of the story I didn't like. (Spoilers ahead.) Alex. Alex, Alex, Alex. Sigh. At the very very end of Pandemonium, we discover that Alex is alive. Enter Requiem, and we don't get much Alex. At all. Him and Lena exchange a few words, he's in her thoughts, and that's it. Um, excuse me? Didn't she sacrifice everything for him? And now they're over? Two books in this series basically had no Alex, which drives me crazy. I want MORE. (I'll go a bit more into this when I discuss the book's ending later.)

Several things happened in Requiem, from deaths and love to mysteries and thrills. It was a big scene of cray cray. There were a bunch of new characters introduced (let it be noted that I hate Coral), some of which had points and some that just seemed to be there. Lena's changed a lot since book one. She's stronger now, and knows what it's like to feel grief and like the world is against you in every decision that you make. I can't quite remember, but I think a few little things she did annoyed me. Otherwise, she was a pretty likable and readable main character. Hana was...okay. Even though she's cured, she's not quite satisfied with life, especially when her fiance is a complete a-hole. Of course, I still love Alex and Julian. I think I'm Team Alex, even though Julian's probably gotten more page-time in the books. (Spoilers!) While Alex was all lovey-dovey in Delirium and MIA in Pandemonium, he's all standoffish in Requiem. And by that I mean he tells Lena he doesn't love her and never did. WHY? WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT? So then it would make more sense for Lena just to focus on Julian, right? WRONG. She's still indecisive. Also, aren't these books supposed to be about love, and fighting for it? I get that there's more than that, but this book lacked romance and kissing. And that sucked. As for the other characters, I really liked the relationship between Tack and Raven, even if I didn't like some of the things they did. (For more on characters, check out my spoiler-ific paragraph coming up.)

The writing wasn't bad--it was that more eloquent, serious sort of writing, which I like. But I did have some issues with it that really started to stand out by the time I reached book three. I love the idea and the concept, even if I am reminded of some other books. (Love: The Matched trilogy. No Alex: Mockingjay.) There are so many things that happened in Requiem, lots of which the other books lead up to well, and I liked that. However, there's just something MISSING, something that doesn't WOW me--but I don't know what it is. Yet, as I said earlier, I think this series could benefit from a reread. Overall, it's still good.

(Spoilers, spoilers, and more spoilers.) Cover your eyes if you don't like cursing, but what the fuck was that ending? I get that authors want to leave some things to the reader's imagination, even if I don't like it that way. However, I really don't like it when it's too open-ended. (I'm looking at you, Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy.) With this book, it was extremely open-ended. (Once again, SPOILERS. I'm going to tell you what happened in this book.) I feel like I'm missing a chapter, like my copy forgot to print it or something. It is just not enough! For one, I don't know what happened to anyone or anything. I don't know ANYTHING. Sure, I have some ideas, but I don't KNOW. Let's start with Hana. She leaves the house with her husband in it, knowing he'll die, and just walks away. That's it. What will happen to Hana? No one knows. There's also the whole scene of the Invalids breaking through the wall and entering the city. Um, Raven died. I don't really see why she died, either. One second she's helping someone, the next she's dead and in Tack's arms. That's it. And I really want to know what happens with Tack, but we'll never know (my heart broke for him). And with Raven's death being so quick, it felt meaningless and like it never happened. I didn't feel much of anything. Then there's the very end. Lena runs into Alex after saving Grace--where's the rest of her family? We don't know!--and they exchange words and a quick kiss, then go in opposite directions. He, I don't know where, her, to help break down the wall. She sees people she knows--Julian--then talks about breaking down walls. And that's it. I THINK she picks Alex. But I don't know. (He probably had, like, ten pages in the whole book.) And if she does pick him, what happens with stupid Coral? What happens to Julian? The book ends with the Invalids destroying the wall between Portland and the Wilds, and that's it. What happens to all the people? Will the world change? Oh, and what's up with Lena and her now-found and now-known mother? I don't know. I KNOW NOTHING. Absolutely, positively nothing. And that kills me. I hate not knowing, and this is not knowing of epic proportions. GIVE ME MORE. End rant. (I think. I could go on about so many things.)

In the end (is it the end? I know nothing, after all), I guess this is a good series. It definitely has its ups and downs, but I like it. However, be warned: this is a book/series whose ending will go in the book of Endings That Will Kill You. Maybe it's all the hype and knowing that some things were going to happen, but this series was kind of disappointing and frustrating. (Will I ever know where I stand with it? Probably not!) I'd love to know what YOU think of this book and series, so tell me in the comments! (I will admit that this book/series is still on my mind sometimes, and that it made me lose much sleep staying up verrry late, sometimes on school nights.) I'm not sure that I caught the amor deliria nervosa, but I may have caught something. I hate saying goodbye to a series, but--Farewell, Delirium trilogy! (I'm looking forward to the show!)

Did I like it? Yes?
Did I love it? I'm not sure.
Would I reread it? Yes. Here's why: Some books are better the second time they're read, and I think that might be the case with this series.
Would I purchase it? Already have it.
Would I recommend it? I think others will like this more than I do--but be prepared for what is, in my opinion, an unsatisfactory ending.

13 comments:

  1. All in all I was highly disapointed with this one. Reuqiem wasn't a bad book, if it had been not been the last one and another one was due out next year i think i would have had better feelings about this one. But alas, Requiem was the end and I felt it didn't do the series justice. I was dispointed with the way Lauren Oliver chose to end things which so many of my beloved characters.
    I've read so many reviews were people just like this one even less than I did.

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  2. looking at other people's reviews, i'm glad to see i am not the only one who had a total wtf! moment at the end! i felt like so much was left open and unsaid! did she choose alex? i don't know...i guess so? did the invalids win? i don't know! ugh...i'm so frustrated.

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  3. I know right?! I just read requiem and the ending was so unclear. I wanted poor Julien to find someone else that he loves as well since Lena chose Alex. I love alex and was on team alex ever since i read the first book!!!
    WTF? I wanted more to the series! There should definitely be a fourth book.
    When I read the ending of Requiem, I was like 'Huh?...That's it???'

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  4. Oh my god!!! Thank you for writing in the ending. I downloaded the book and I got to the ending and I was like, "Huh?!?!? Did I download a dud copy???"

    What a terrible ending! I felt no closure!!!

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  5. I feel like the ending ruined the whole trilogy for me. Seriously, why did I read the series? I have no clue what happens. When I buy a book, I'm paying for a story, not half of it. Seriously, I'm so disappointed.

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  6. I had no problem with the ending. I think it couldve had more but it was fine the way it is. Im glad that lena and alex are back together but i am counfused why alex was so mean to lena. I thought he was cured but idk, sooo confused about that part. Someone plz explain!!!

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  7. Their should be a book 4

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    Replies
    1. I hear you, sister.

      I hated the ending. I'd waited a whole book to hear about Alex again but what did i get? Nothing. I think their longest conversation (when they're deliberately talking to each other) was before they got ambushed by the bear.

      I'm praying soooo hard that Lauren Oliver will do a short book that just ties up all the loose ends. That way people who want to hear a more complete ending can read the sequel and people who prefer to imagine it don't have to.

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    2. Im totaly with u!! Honestly i think i would have been satisfies with a really dull ending that andwers all my questions than this that just leaves u hanging!!

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  8. The books ending was one that gave me a lot of mixed feelings. I feel like you basically read my mind! I love Alex and Lena together so much, but it drives me crazy how stupid Lena is throughout the trilogy, particularly in Requiem. Alex had just finished telling her that the thought of seeing her again was the only thing keeping him going when he was in the crypts when he told he never loved her. And she believed him! Seriously stupid! Also I reallllly loved Tack and wish I knew for sure if he died or not. I'm pretty sure he did, but the uncertainty is killing me slowly inside! I kind of saw Ravens' death coming so it wasn't too upsetting to me, except for the way she died was lame! As for Julian, if he could juat not exist that would be great! He added so much conflict and ate up all the pages that Alex was supposed to be on. It was also clear Lena never loved him as much as Alex. Also Lena and his relationship came a little bit out of the blue, and they never kissed nearly as much as Alex and Lena did. So much of what I loved about Delirium was just gone in the other two books. I literally had to force my way throught the last two books! Like everyone else has said I would really have liked at least an epilogue, but Lauren left it so open, she could wrote a whole other book! So yeah that's all my feels spewed into a jumble of words. Sorry if that was all over the place or hard to follow!

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  9. I loved the way the book ended. She is saying how that is the amazing thing about life not knowing, not being like someone who is cured who knows how most of their days are goung to be like. I loved that. The only thing I didnt like was how Alex told her that he was lying the whole time n that he still loved her. I felt like that was too quick as if it wasnt that important. He was just like I love u b shes like oh I love u to n they kiss n thats it. I felt like that was a really imporrant aspect that shouldve been longer but other than that I really liked it. I like the idea that if you want to know how tomorrow is going to be like than ur just as worse as the cured who get cured to know what tomorrow n the rest of their lives are going to be like

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  10. Here's what I thought. I LOVED Delirium, and after the ending I was so upset, I lay there crying and eventually fell asleep. Pandemonium: I hated Lena/Julian. Too soon and not enough proof Alex was dead and I'm sick of love triangles so I was pretty irritated by it.
    Requiem: I hated the whole book. I didn't care about Hana, I hated the way Lena treated Julian and I thought she was a bitch and I found the whole to-ing and fro-ing between Julian and Alex when we all knew exactly who Lena was going to choose. And then the ending. It was SO anti-climactic and there was no passion and the loose ends weren't tied up. It was just all wrong. I was really disappointed in this trilogy - it started so well!

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  11. My biggest question will always be on....Tack.....what happens to him!!!!! ...... and so many other characters who are just breaking a wall in the end....and I don't think I am sure lena chooses Alex. .......and what about lena's family? Rachel!!
    This was the lamest end to an amazing series

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