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I Belong

Review: Requiem by Lauren Oliver


AuthorLauren Oliver

Genre: YA Science Fiction

Series: Delirium (Book 3)

Publication Date: March 5, 2013

FormatHardcover, 432 Pages

ISBN-10: 0062014536 (HarperTeen)

ISBN-13: 978-0062014535 (HarperTeen)

Reviewed by: Michelle


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.

Quick & Dirty: A series ending that left me wanting much more than what was written.

Opening Sentence: I’ve started dreaming of Portland again.

Excerpt: Yes

The Review:

The last installment in Lauren Oliver’s Delirium trilogy is Requiem. After the cliffhanger from Pandemonium, I would have probably died waiting a year to read this book. Luckily, I read the series after the release of Requiem. I don’t know how many fans did it, but I’m just glad I didn’t have to endure the wait.

But I think my expectations were set really high for this book. Delirium introduced me to a wonderful and unique story that I fell in love with. Pandemonium brought me to the point of intense infatuation. But with Requiem, I loved it until I didn’t. I will try my best to keep this review spoiler free, but there maybe a moment or two that it will be impossible to do so while proving a point. Also, if you’re reading this review, I’m going to assume that you have read Pandemonium and know what has happened so far.

Told in a dual point-of-view storyline, Requiem follows the lives of Lena and Hana. Lena is in the Wilds, after a surviving captivity in the tunnels. She is learning to live in a different and altered version of the Wilds. Lena’s outlook is different, a little more jaded, and definitely numb. Julian shows his affections for Lena, but she doesn’t know what her heart wants. Alex coming back to the picture has changed everything for the better and worse. Hana on the other hand, is cured, about to be married, and living the life that her mother wanted for her. Hana’s life isn’t all that was promised. She still finds herself questioning things, and with the upcoming nuptials to her husband, she must make sure to keep these emotions in check.

Lena changes a lot in Requiem. There are choices that Lena must make, that will change her future. There’s a large love triangle that sticks out and I wish it was handled differently. There is so much pain all around, for the characters and the reader, that I wish it wasn’t so angsty. There is also Lena’s new outlook about the Wilds. She doesn’t seem to appreciate it now as she did then. I think the fantasized version of her freedom and escape has been broken into this harsh reality that she’s not so sure of. I feel bad for her most of the time. It’s like she had doubts and second guesses on her life. I didn’t connect with her in Requiem. I didn’t think she made the choices I would have made or done things that I would have. Where I previously thought she was unique and fierce is now muddled through my emotions of longing. She blends into the scenes, and it broke my heart.

I appreciated Hana’s point of view, but often found myself wondering why it was in the book. I assume that Oliver wanted the reader to see the other side of the symbolic fence. Hana’s life was perfect on paper, but on the inside it was anything but. But what I loved most about Hana was her determination. It was refreshing to see true rebellion, to do something dangerous and against society, to help someone she cared for. Hana definitely put herself into danger, another thing I didn’t expect.

Oliver brings a lot of death, decay, and demise in Requiem. Where Delirium was perfect and untouched, and Pandemonium was eye opening and honest, Requiem brings a darker side to the story. I expected teenage angst and romantic drama, but it was much more than that. The story talks about the harsh realities of the Wilds and not the previously thought impression that it was about living life in a freeing way.

Oliver writes about the negative effects in this romanticized way that flows like poetry. She makes it easy to accept what is happening in Lena’s world, all with a swift breeze. The direction that Requiem took was drastic, at least for me. I thought that the plot devices were a little predictable and the scenarios drastic. In the end, I was a little confused at the events that took place. I wanted more and felt cheated of an ending. It wasn’t what I expected, given my feelings for the previous two books. The ending was bold enough, but left me without resolutions.

Notable Scene:

Raven starts walking again. “Go on,” she calls back over her shoulder. “You should help Julian pack up the tents.”

I look over my shoulder. Julian already has half the tents dismantled. As I watch, he collapses yet another one, and it shrinks into nothing, like a mushroom sprouting in reverse.

“He’s got it under control,” I say. “He doesn’t need me.” I move to follow her.

“Trust me” –Raven whirls around, her black hair fanning behind her– “he needs you.”

For a second we just stand there, looking at each other. Something flashes in Raven’s eyes, an expression I can’t quite decipher. A warning, maybe.

Then she quirks her lips into a smile. “I’m still in charge, you know,” she says. “You have to listen to me.”

So I turn around and go back down the hill, toward the camp, toward Julian, who needs me.

Delirium Series:

1. Delirium

2. Pandemonium

3. Requiem

FTC Advisory: HarperTeen provided me with a copy of Requiem. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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