Em: Requiem by Lauren Oliver – REVIEW

Requiem by Lauren Oliver
Release Date: March 5th, 2013
HarperTeen, 391 Pages
Sub-genre: Dystopian
Source: Bought for Kindle
Age Group: Young Adult
Series: Delirium #3 (The end of the trilogy)

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.

Prepare yourself for a bit of rambling and whimsical thoughts. I found it incredibly difficult to sum up this book in a review…and I can assure you, if I were to try to describe my thoughts in person, it would sound about the same.

The third and final installment in the Delirium series is my favorite of the whole trilogy. You get to witness transformations of the characters, the world they live in, their relationships, and the evolution of a revolution.

Requiem picks up where Pandemonium left off. Alex and Lena are in the thick of it and have become key members of the rebellion against the society that told them that love was a disease. A turning point for me was when Lena and other characters remarked that maybe love and emotion can drive you to do crazy things…dangerous things…but the choice of how to deal with that and how to feel should be left up to the individual.

Finally, we get to see Hana’s POV in this book where she has been “cured”, although she worries that maybe the procedure didn’t work correctly and is set to marry the new mayor who took over after his father was killed. Hana has her own internal battle to deal with, as well as external threats from her husband-to-be. She realizes that everything is not what it seems.

Everything moves steadily along at a pace that builds momentum for the rebellion, until it is time to act…at which point everything erupts into chaos and an upheaval of the city of Portland. I couldn’t believe how the story ended…some people were unhappy that there weren’t fireworks or something crazily over-the-top or final about it. I ABSOLUTELY STAND BY LAUREN OLIVER’S CHOICE IN ENDING. It was amazing. It was beautiful. It was theatrical. It was…quiet despite the noise. I was so relieved that the rebellion came in with a roar and the story went out with a whimper. I can’t explain my feelings enough to correctly convey what it was like, but it was really unlike any ending I have read before. It was like I was reading and hearing all of the explosions, screaming, and then…silence as I watched the characters take their stand and part in the revolt. The ending reminded me a bit of V for Vendetta…all of the loose ends weren’t tied up in a pretty bow, you were free to make your own interpretations and draw your own conclusions. Those loose ends make the reader sit there a bit after finishing…lost in thought…processing all of the emotions. Even now, thinking about the last few pages…I remember the deep sense of satisfaction and hope for our lovely Hana, brave Lena, devoted Alex, and the society they can help rebuild.

  • May 5, 2013 - 2:17 pm

    Shoshanah - After reading so many negative reviews about this, it is refreshing to read a positive one. Especially since you captured my feelings on the book. No, the ending didn’t tidy everything up with a pretty bow, but it just felt so hopeful. Easily my favorite of the trilogy, and now I’m just hoping the tv show lives up to the books.ReplyCancel

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