Saturday, 9 March 2013

Review: Requiem by Lauren Oliver


Title: Requiem (Delirium #3)
Author: Lauren Oliver
Genre: Young Adult Dystopia
Goodreads


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.

I can't begin to say how hard it is to write this review. I was so terrified to read this book - I didn't want to say goodbye to these amazing characters I've known and loved since the beginning. Now, after reading Requiem, I can honestly say that I'm glad I did, but at the same time I'm not. Requiem is heartbreaking. Really and truly heartbreaking. I had issues with the ending, of course, just like everyone else did. It didn't give me the closure I expected for the series. But this book is just so beautifully written, the ending especially, that I didn't let the loose strings bother me too much.

In Requiem, things get a lot more uncomfortable in the Wilds, as well as dangerous. Lena has to deal with the fact that Alex is back, but very different from the boy she used to know. Julian is there too, and Lena's heart is torn. On top of that, regulators are beginning to infiltrate the Wilds - the one place that Lena always thought she was safe. She knows that it's time to make a stand and fight for what she deserves.

It's amazing how different Lena is from the girl we first met in Delirium. She's so tough now, so much stronger, so much braver. Even Alex realized how much she's changed. Lena has hardened everything about her; her heart most of all. But the reappearance of Alex threatens to crumble her wall. Lena's a lot wiser too, and we see her in a few vulnerable moments that make her seem more human, and make her more relatable. The emotional as well as physical challenges Lena faces in this book are overwhelming, and I just don't know how she does it, how she manages to keep going despite everything. Lena really is one of the strongest YA heroines ever, and I was sorry to have to say goodbye to her in this book.

I liked Julian a lot more in Requiem. He desperately wants to do his part for the Invalids, and fight for a place beside them, beside Lena. I found myself feeling so sorry for him every time he opened himself up to Lena and she couldn't seem to do the same for him. My heart broke for Julian when he told Lena he loves her, and she couldn't say it back. Julian shows a lot of courage in this book, embracing his new life with a steely determination. He volunteers for a lot of dangerous jobs, because he feels he has to earn his place in the Wilds. Julian finds it hard to fit in with the Invalids, since they don't trust him, but he manages to win them over.

And now we come to Alex. The main reason I was looking forward to this book so much. I have to say I was disappointed in the Alex I saw in Requiem. He's changed so much, completely closing himself off to Lena. I missed the old Alex so much - the funny, witty, and loving Alex. Instead he's been replaced by an unfeeling shadow of himself. I did see glimpses of the old Alex as the novel progressed, but he's changed forever and nothing can erase what he's been through since he sacrificed himself for Lena back at Portland, at the end of Delirium.

It was hard to say goodbye to the other members of the Wilds, too. Raven, Tack, Hunter, Bram... They're all such amazing characters. After reading the short story Raven, I was so totally rooting for Raven and Tack. They're so perfect for each other. Raven has a lot of responsibility on her shoulders in this book, even more that she normally does. I liked how Tack did whatever he could to lessen her burden, and his concern for her is so sweet. Hunter and Bram are the same, and Hunter's still very supportive of Lena. I wish we could have gotten to know them better in this series.

Requiem is written in both Lena's and Hana's points of view, with alternating chapters. I have to say I didn't enjoy Hana's chapters much. I despise her. If you've read the short story Hana, you'll understand. I recommend reading that before reading this book. But even if you haven't, it's all revealed in Requiem anyway. But on top of hating Hana, I just found her boring. She's cured now, and all set on marrying Fred Hargrove, the new mayor. But something's gone wrong, and she still has dreams, still feels emotions like guilt. She was really nice to Grace, Lena's cousin, in this book, and even helped Lena when they finally met each other again. With the seemingly unfinished ending of this book, I have no idea what happened to Hana, but honestly, I don't care. Even though I admired some of her actions in this book, I can't bring myself to like her at all.

There's so much action in this book, so much suspense. I finished this in a day, since I couldn't handle not knowing what was going to happen. The Cured have started attacking, and the Invalids have to make a stand. Lena finds out just how many Invalids there are, hiding right under the nose of the Cured. Many lives are lost, many are sacrificed. Some of them broke my heart completely.

The ending, even though I wasn't satisfied with it (it's the only reason I gave this book 4 stars instead of 5), was brilliant. Those last couple of pages were so uplifting, and so emotional. It's a beautiful end, but it feels like there should be something coming after it. A novella, maybe, to tie the loose ends together. But no, it's all left to our imagination. It drives me crazy, not knowing what happens after the end of Requiem! But I understand why Lauren Oliver wrote it that way, and I respect her for deciding to end it like that. This series is truly epic, and I can't believe it's actually over. I loved this book, loved the characters, and the intense but emotional storyline. 

Rating: 4/5

5 comments:

  1. My thoughts exactly!

    Gah, Requiem is definitely hard to read! I just don't want it to end, but at the same time I can't put it down. I read it in a day too, because I was so terrified I just had to keep going to see what happens next, and the next, and the next.

    Love your review! :)

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    1. It's awesome that we had the same reactions while reading it :D
      And thank you!

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  2. I totally agree with you about the end. I just wanted a bit more. And overall in the book, I just wanted a bit more Alex! But as you said, it is still a fantastic series.

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  3. Alex killed me in this book - it was so hard to read about him, because my heart just went out to him. I HATE what happened to him. And like you said, I missed the old Alex too. I think that was probably the worst part for me.

    Julian finally grew on me, but he still isn't my FAVOURITE. But he just changed so much an d really did so well on his own! Overall, I just loved this book so much.

    Thanks for sharing your review!

    Brenna from Esther's Ever After

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    1. I just want to point out how I feel EXACTLY the same!
      Ugh, that vague ending though? KILLING me!

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