Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Spoiler Alert: Requiem (Delirium #3) by Lauren Oliver ARC Review

4/5 Stars
Details of the book:
Paperback, 391 pages
Published by HarperCollins Children's Books
Publication Date: March 5, 2013
Originally finished reading: December 28, 2012
Buy it: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository |

Synopsis: Now an active member of the resistance, Lena has transformed. The nascent rebellion that was underway 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 infiltrate the borderlands to stamp out the rebels.

As Lena navigates the increasingly dangerous terrain of the Wilds, her best friend, Hana, lives a safe, loveless life in Portland as the fiancée of the young mayor. Requiem is told from both Lena and Hana's points of view. They live side by side in a world that divides them until, at last, their stories converge.

*Updated Review 11/18/14*

I should have changed this review a long time ago. As a more comfortable reviewer now, I realize that it's best to sit and think about the books I have read before writing a review. 

The reason I rated it so high originally was because it was the first ARC I had ever gotten and I had been waiting for the conclusion of this trilogy for what felt like forever. I like the dual POVs of Hana and Lena, I think it gave the book a whole other layer of description. Even though I never liked Hana, I felt that her POV brought on a whole new dynamic to the trilogy and the plot in general. I even found myself feeling bad for her during certain sections. 

The book focused more on the destroying of the dystopian society that all of these beloved characters had to suffer through. That's important but the way the plot was written, I didn't find any of the action or dramatic scenes interesting or exciting. I was just bored and waiting for them to be over. 

I'm an a Alena fan through and through, and even though it seemed like she picked Alex at the end of the book, the ending wasn't concrete enough for me. I understand that Lauren Oliver did this on purpose, so everyone will be happy but I wanted more answers. How is Julian going to take Lena choosing to be with Alex? Will Alex and Lena be able to work through the problems in their relationship? How are they going to govern themselves as a society now? So, I think Oliver did this on purpose to make people happy but I can't imagine that everyone was happy with how many unanswered questions that this book leaves us. 

I fell in love with Delirium because of Lena and Alex, there was just something so special about their relationship that made me feel things that other fictional couples didn't evoke in me. I read through Pandemonium with a lot of heartbreak but with hope that maybe the same magic would happen once Requiem was released. Well, this is where a lot of my disappointment in this book stems from. Their relationship is practically nonexistent. These two have maybe a handful of words said between them for the entire book. How can I care about their feelings if they seem to find it so easy to push the past aside? Requiem pretty much laid waste to all of the feelings and things they have been through together in their relationship is this book. We as readers will never know if they work things out or they end up going their separate ways. 

I read in another review that it would have been better if Alex's story was placed at the beginning of the book instead of the end, and I completely agree with that. I found myself wondering throughout Requiem if Alex still had feelings for Lena. If I knew more about what happened to him, maybe I wouldn't feel that they just went away. Maybe I would have felt differently about the book as a whole. 

I still like this book a lot, I just had some things that were really disappointing to me as well. In my opinion, Delirium will always be my favorite of this trilogy, and I don't think that Requiem deserves the same rating as the one I gave to it. 


*Original Review*

5/5 Stars

I absolutely loved this book. Delirium will always be my favorite of the trilogy but this book was still amazing. It picks up right where Pandemonium was left off, with Lena in the Wilds still in shock over Alex's reappearance. This book also covers what has happened to Hana since Lena's disappearance as well as the rest of Lena's family. After reading this novel, it reaffirmed everything that I loved about Delirium.

Weaknesses:

1) Too many characters. As said in another post, I find too many characters to be a nuisance and a crutch. I would rather authors to fill in the gaps with other scenes with the main characters than to have side plot lines. Although I'm aware that side plots help develop the main characters, I would just prefer more emphasis on the main characters.

2) I wanted more scenes with Alex, and more about what happened in the Crypts. I wanted to know more about his relationship with one of the new female characters and if they were more than friends. Maybe I'll get that in Oliver's upcoming novella about Alex. I hope so!

Strengths:

1) The split point of views. I'm not a fan of Hana, especially since I could see right through her character since Delirium but nonetheless I found her plot line interesting. Also it made the novel more exciting as it came closer to the time Hana and Lena reunite.

2) I love all the women in this novel. There is no weak damsel in distress. Although I've read many books where I loved the damsel, it's a nice change of pace to have women than can stand on their own, instead of being saved over and over again. Despite their unfortunate situations, each woman in this novel is able to stand on their own.

Anyone who has read The Hunger Games trilogy, will find that this novel is very similar to Mockingjay because both novels cover the rise of a rebellion with it's missions, successes, and failures. So I definitely recommend Delirium fans to read The Hunger Games and vice versa.

The main question on everyone's mind is who does Lena pick? Well, I won't tell you the answer but I will say this, it is very clear who Lena's choice in the end. There is no ambiguity in this decision by the end of the novel. It's not clear what the future holds for the couple but the choice is clear.

To tease you a little bit about who Lena's picks, here are a couple of quotes from the novel:
                 
          "His fingers find my cheek, and I rest for a second against his palm, letting the pain of the past few months flow out of me, letting him turn my head toward his. Then he bends down and kisses me: light and perfect, his lips just barely meeting mine, a kiss that promises renewal" (Requiem 388).

          "I've been so stupid. And he is gone; there is now way for me to reach him and tell him I know and I understand. There is no way for me to tell him that I am still in love with him, too." (Requiem 323).

3 comments:

  1. Have you chosen a Requiem winner yet?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nope, not yet. The winner will be announced on Feb 1st; the last day to enter is Jan 31.

      Delete