Friday, June 21, 2013

Book Review: Requiem by Lauren Oliver

by Lauren Oliver
391 pages
Publisher: HarperCollins Children's Books
Publication Date: March 5th 2013
Source: Library
Add it on 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 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 fiancee of the young mayor.

Maybe we are driven crazy by our feelings.

Maybe love is a disease, and we would be better of 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've read a lot of mixed reviews for Requiem so I really didn't know what to expect going into this book. Everyone's opinions have been so polarized that I was almost scared to open the cover and discover which category I fell into, the "I love the ending to this series" category.


Okay, so maybe no one was actually flipping the table in rage over this book, but I still feel like a lot of people have negative opinions. After reading Requiem I can see why. However, I happened to really like the way that Lauren Oliver chose to end her trilogy.

First off I have to say that I just love Lauren Oliver's writing. Its been almost a year since I read Pandemonium so I had totally forgotten how positively gorgeous and engrossing her prose is. Even if Requiem had been a crappy story (which it totally isn't) the writing alone would have kept me glued to its pages.

That being said, Requiem was anything but terrible. Sure, there were a few bumps along the way *cough* lame romantic angst *cough* but overall I really enjoyed the story and I feel like it's a solid ending to a solid trilogy.

If you've read Pandemonium then you know that Lauren Oliver wrote it in a unique sort of backwards/forwards format that was both cool and confusing. For Requiem Lauren Oliver decided to switch things up yet again by having the chapters alternate between Lena's perspective and Hana's perspective. Personally, I liked this much better than the Pandemonium approach and I ended up loving it because it allowed me to view both sides of Oliver's futuristic society: One where love is forbidden and obedience is valued above all else, and the other where the freedom to choose is worth fighting for. Reading from Hana's perspective was both enlightening and scary. I can't imagine how hard it would be to live in a world where everyone is forced to live within the confines of a dictatorship. TALK ABOUT TERRIFYING. As for Lena's perspective it was frustrating at times. After all, she spent most of the novel pining after Alex while sorta-kinda faking a relationship with Julian. This aspect of the story was definitely the biggest downside for me. However, I loved everything else that happened with Lena. Rebellion, bombings, revolution. YES.

The main complaint I've read in other reviews is that Requiem was too open ended. To be honest I kept waiting for feelings of rage and annoyance to surface due to the ending, but they never did. In fact, I felt like the ending was perfect. Sometimes a trilogy ends and you just feel empty inside (like The Hunger Games) or you're just so sad it's over (like The Lord of the Rings) but when I put down Requiem and ended my journey of reading the Delirium trilogy everything just felt right. The story felt complete and I loved that the ending wasn't definitive. In fact, I think that was part of Lauren Oliver's point to the series: Nothing is definitive. The world is changing, people are changing, and the only constant you have is yourself and how you choose to live your life.

In closing, I feel like with the Delirium trilogy Lauren Oliver has crafted three beautiful stories, each with their own distinct meaning and each worth reading in their own right. Yes, Requiem is open ended, and yes, there are a few questions that I'd love to have answered, but ultimately the story is over and I respect the ending that Lauren Oliver has written. If you haven't read this phenomenal series yet I highly recommend that you do. It is definitely one of my favorites.

Julia :)


  1. Oh, so glad to hear you enjoyed this one---I've see the unhappy reviews, too, so I've been wary of reading it! I've become increasingly bad at finishing trilogies, but this is one that I definitely wanted to see what happened next, especially after the way Pandemonium ended!

    1. You should definitely give it a read! I think it wraps up the series nicely even though it does have a bit of an ambiguous ending. Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment! :)

  2. I love Oliver's writing, too, but I've been kind of meh about reading this last book, especially considering all the meh reviews out there. However, it's nice to hear that this was a good ending for you. It gives me hope!

    1. I definitely think you should give Requiem a chance and decide for yourself how you feel about it. It seems to really be a hit or a miss depending on the reader. Thanks for commenting! :)

  3. I'm glad that you were able to enjoy this one so much, Julia! I was one of those very meh people, I actually have such mixed feelings. I still haven't written my review because of that. Nonetheless, I totally agree about Lauren Oliver's writing. It's beautiful, and I love how she's able to convey everything so wonderfully. However, I felt that the ending was too ambiguous. I understand what you meant about Lauren Oliver leaving it like that because everything's changing, but something more concrete would have helped me have closure. Just a few more pages would have been great, and it still would have illustrated her point well.

    Lovely review, Julia, thanks for sharing! <3

    -Aneeqah @ My Not So Real Life

    1. Ahhh that's a bummer that you didn't enjoy it as much as I did. Lauren Oliver's writing was definitely the highlight of the book for me! I think the ending is definitely a hit or a miss. I liked it, but I certainly understand why it just doesn't work for other readers who wanted more closure. Thanks for stopping by and commenting Aneeqah! :)


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...