Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Requiem by Lauren Oliver

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.
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.
~Goodreads
Publisher: HarperTeen
Number of Pages: 391
Type: Hardcover

Reviewed by Rachel, age 17

Reading one of Lauren Oliver’s books is a lesson in writing. I love every detail. I feel full—full of words, full of thoughts, full of feelings, after reading her books. Oliver’s writing always inspires my own creative thoughts, which I love. And now I must digest.

I did wait a day before writing this review. There was so much to think about!

I’m going to go backwards and talk about the ending first. If I’m to be honest, even if an author perfectly executes an ending to their story, I’ll most likely hate it anyways, because who wants a trilogy to end? You’re so connected to the characters and the world that it’s hard to say goodbye.

For Requiem, I have to remember that the trilogy is a portion of larger story. Oliver is telling only Lena’s role in the story, and Lena’s story is given to us in three parts: beginning (Delirium), transformation (Pandemonium) and action (Requiem). We just don’t get the fourth part: resolution. So although Requiem is very open-ended, the reader is given enough information to infer how Lena and the other main characters’ lives play out after the final pages. Having said that, I don’t believe Oliver did her love triangle justice. In that way, the ending was too abrupt and there were too many loose ends to be tied up. You know whom Lena will choose, but what about the other poor boy?

I did not appreciate nor enjoy that part of the novel.

But, I loved everything else!

One thing Lauren Oliver does an amazing job with is making her words ring true. Lena and her friends are traveling through the wilderness on bare minimum supplies and resources. Do you think they smell great? No. And Lena makes sure to mention that. Her experience in the Wilds is stark and ugly—and in that way, also beautiful. I love that Oliver doesn’t sugarcoat the reality of Lena’s situation! Even her physical appearance changes to thin, wiry and strong.

Another aspect that makes this trilogy so unique—besides the premise of a world that sees love as a disease—is that rarely in a book/trilogy/series do you see the main character’s complete transformation. Usually, they are already hardwired a certain way, and only through flashbacks or mentions to their past can you try to unravel how they got that way. Not for Lena. You see her as a scared, follower of society, to a girl learning to be tough and instinctive, and finally to a leader and a warrior. It was an amazing experience to undergo all the changes with her!

Oliver quotes this change beautifully in the beginning of Pandemonium, where Lena feels born again as a new person of the Wilds, instead of the society:

"But the old Lena is dead too. 
I buried her. 
I left her behind a fence, behind a wall of smoke and flame. 
~
In the beginning, there is fire. 
Fire in my legs and lungs; fire tearing through every nerve and cell in my body. That's how I am born again. " 

Lastly, you can expect Requiem to be much more suspenseful than the first two books. Requiem alternates points of view between Lena and her best friend Hana. At first, I didn’t think I’d like the added point of view, but it fit the book nicely. As their chapters got shorter and shorter towards the end, the book was given extra momentum, and I could feel the build up to the climax much more clearly. The other thing that made Requiem so suspenseful was the fact that characters—main characters—do die. No one is safe.

I used to struggle to hand sell Delirium and Pandemonium at the store because they are such wordy, long books. Customers who weren’t avid readers never picked them up or could get far enough into them to enjoy. Having said that, I was very pleased to see that our large order of Requiem books were almost completely wiped out in the first month! This tells me that the Delirium fandom is increasing, especially with a TV show in the making! If you haven’t bought yours already, I would. There is a special excerpt from Alex that the publisher is saying will only be in the first edition!

This book is available in stores now! 
Buy Hardcover | $18.99

Happy reading!
Rachel, age 17

4 comments:

  1. I read Delirium when it first came out a few years back and I enjoyed it, but by the time Pandemonium came out I had kind of forgotten about the story and wasn't "dying" to get my hands on book two. I thought once book three came out, I'd just finish up the series in one go, but then so many people have said it's left pretty open and has such an abrupt ending. Those are things I am not a fan of in reading. I don't necessarily need a happily ever after, but I do need an ending, resolution.

    And now that I've rambled on and on...haha. I'm glad you enjoyed this series, I do remember thinking it had great potential after reading the first book. Maybe someday I will come back to it :0)

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    1. Sarah,

      I think there's a lot of things to LOVE about these books, but I think you'll really hate the ending... ;)

      Delete
  2. AH! REQUIEM! I borrowed a copy when it came out...and then exams rolled around and I had to return it before I could get past the first ten pages (also because I was like, "What is happening??!?! I FORGOT EVERYTHING! OH NOES!" Maybe it would've be a good idea to reread Pandemonium... #YOLO!

    I need to get back to reading it but the library wait list is now super long. People must have more time to read during the summer. *tears*

    "You know whom Lena will choose, but what about the other poor boy?"
    Oh shoot. This makes me slightly nervous to read Requiem because a feeling tells me she WON'T be with who I want her to be with. *twiddles fingers*

    Lilian @ A Novel Toybox

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    Replies
    1. Ah! I SO WANT TO TELL YOU RIGHT NOW. *zips mouth shut*

      Delete

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