Sunday, March 24, 2013

Book Review: Requiem by Lauren Oliver

Goodreads summary:

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 fiancĂ©e 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.

My review:

I quite enjoyed Requiem, but it was a bit of a letdown compared to Delirium and Pandemonium.  Both Delirium and Pandemonium were so gripping - in Delirium we fall in love with Alex and Lena and want them to be together, and in Pandemonium we're faced with rebellion, Julian, and a much tougher Lena.  Requiem didn't hold my attention as much as the other two.

What on earth was up with the romance?  Because it hardly played into the story at all.  (I can't believe I'm complaining about a lack of romance, but oh well.)  See, the point of the story is that Lena and the others are fighting for the right to love.  And yet, in Requiem, Lena hardly ever shows a good reason why/who she wants to love.

Also, Alex and Julian feel so different in this story.  They don't seem like the characters they used to be in the previous novels.  Alex seems stilted and Julian is just awkward.  It's kind of hard to see why Lena loves them.  Still, that said, I loved the other minor characters.  They play great roles.

I am happy that I liked the addition of Hana's point of view.  I wasn't sure if I'd enjoy it, but I ended up really liking her as a narrator.  She's a wonderful, strong character that I sympathized with a lot, and I think her story adds to the plot.

The writing is just as gorgeous as ever.  I am in love with Lauren Oliver's writing - it's simple, poetic, and striking.  And this is still one of my favorite dystopian worlds, despite the fact that Delirium was one of the first dystopians I ever read and I've read maaany dystopians since then.  I'm fascinated by the idea of a world where love is a disease.

Of course, I have to mention the infamous ending.  Definitely a big reason why I wasn't totally crazy about Requiem.  Honestly, it's just a terrible ending.  Nothing is resolved, and it left me with so many questions: What happens to Hana next?  What about a couple of those minor characters who, we are led to believe, get killed off?  What happens to the guy Lena doesn't choose (nooo, I'm not saying who)?  More importantly, why does Lena choose the guy she ends up choosing?  I didn't feel like there was a clear answer to that question.

So yes, I enjoyed Requiem.  I think the romance wasn't half as good as it was in the first two books, and the ending is awful, but I really did love it besides from those two issues.  It's a beautifully written dystopian, and this is still one of my favorite series.  If you loved Delirium and Pandemonium, definitely read Requiem to see how it ends.  Just be prepared - it probably won't blow you away like the first two did.

My rating:  8 out of 10 (4 stars)

~ The Bookworm


  1. I haven't read Pandemonium, so I skimmed your review. I'm sad that the ending isn't that good, I don't like endings that leave several things open. Awesome review!

    1. Thanks! :) I know what you mean about endings. Especially when it's the last book in one of your favorite series - you really need some type of closure! Hope you get to Pandemonium soon!

  2. It's god to see someone else's opinion! I just read this one but I didn't mind the ending! Yes I wished for something more closed but I liked the idea of being able to choose hoe I wanted it to end! Her writing was ao beautiful as ever but the characters did lack a little. I wasn'y Team Jullian but he was better in the second book! I did like seeing a tougher side of Alex though :). Amazing review!


    1. Thank you, Jasmine! Actually, that's quite true - I can see why you'd like being able to choose what happens in the ending. Hm, and Alex is tougher in this..I hadn't thought about that. I'll have to keep an eye out in case you post a review for this! :)