Review Detail3.5 13
It may be a bad thing that I'm writing this review before I review Pandemonium, but trust me, I have A LOT more to say about Requiem. Warning: There will be rants, annoyance, change of hearts, etc. After I finished Pandemonium, I kind of had the "blank look of shock" until I immediately started grabbing for Requiem (which is why I never reviewed Pandemonium, lack of time spent reading and studying for exams). Both Delirium and Pandemonium were flat out amazing, and I finally found myself in love with this series. Requiem changed things a little...
I am so torn about this book. I didn't really know what rating to give it since there were parts I absolutely adored, but parts that really pestered at me. It completely lived up the high standards set by Pandemonium action wise, but the love story? In shreds. The ending? A big HUH?. I think its best to do a "The Good" and "The Bad" comparison. Minor spoilers ahead, view discretion advised.
While I felt Delirium was lacking in the action, Pandemonium made up for it. Requiem delivers action right to our minds, spot on. The suspense is a killer, the betrayals and backstabbing are the ultimate twists. During the action sequences, my heart was racing with fear and anticipation, and most of the time I just hoped everything would turn out okay. I started to like Lena a lot in Pandemonium, and I wanted her to be lucky, and be happy (happier?). She's faced too much death since reaching the Wilds. The action is heart jolting, and is what really shines throughout the entirety of the novel. I think all this action shows Lauren Oliver's growth as a writer, because the plots and plans are so much more elaborate than before. I actually couldn't see through them this time. This is what mostly kept me engrossed the whole time (I'm a sucker for action!). The Resistance has amassed a huge number of followers, both within the confines of cities and out. The attacks and raids planned were startling and superb!
Requiem is told in dual POV's, one Hana and the other Lena. In this installment, Hana has been cured of amor deliria nervosa and is prepping to get married to the to-be mayor of Portland, Fred Hargrove. At first I was kind of mad that Hana ended up succumbing to the will of the government, because I always thought it'd be pretty epic if somehow Hana managed to make it out into the Wilds too. From how she was in Delirium, this was a big change in demeanor and it was harder to make a shift from "past-Hana" to "present-Hana". Then I realized how dumb I was about that because Hana lived her whole life primped and primed to take her role in society. After I got past my initial anger, I ended up enjoying Hana's chapters more than Lena's. She is newly cured now, but can't seem let go of her old life completely: i.e. the cure didn't quite work all the way. She's a great actress though and can hide this from the press, her fiancee, her parents, everyone. Her story is one of discovery, about herself and about Fred... who's intentions might be much darker than what appears in the good-boy facade he emulates to the world. Most of the suspense is actually in Hana chapters. Lena gets the action, Hana gets the tension.
Alex is back everyone!
Yes, I was always an Alex girl. Julian was such a wimp...and he never really grew on me. I always though Alex was better for Lena. He joins Lena's group, meaning we've got a 3-way love story going. His and Julian's silent treatment of each other was actually quite amusing. There are parts of "Alex" I was really angry about though, but I'll get to that in the bad under "The Romance".
This is Lena's mother, who also goes under the name "Bee" in Requiem. She doesn't have a huge role in the book, but I think her character is a good representation of sacrificing yourself for those you love. She has a noble concept, and I couldn't help but really like her despite not knowing much about her character.
*sighs*. I'm an Alex girl. And he annoyed me for the first half of this book. He's broken on the inside, but I don't take that as an excuse to push everything and anyone he ever cared about away. It wasn't fair to Lena, not fair to himself. I wanted him and Lena to get back together and happy, because even Lena admits she's never loved anyone more than Alex (besides her mom I guess). Julian is messing the whole thing up to me. I don't like him, I think he switched sides to fast, and well he's a wimp. I'm into alpha-male type characters, and Julian...is not. Lena's indecision swamped me too. She clearly was still in love with Alex, couldn't break it to Julian, then decided that if she couldn't fess up she must love Julian. Ack. Her back-and-forth mindsets really annoyed me. There are no more stolen moments in this book like there was in Delirium and Pandemonium. The romance the reader gets come from mentality only.
If this ending wasn't so awkward, I could've gotten over myself about the romance issues and given this book a good pat on the back cover, rate it 5 stars, and be done. I honestly don't know what to make of it. Lauren Oliver didn't write the ending to feel like a close of a series, It honestly felt like there was a 4th book on the way or something. There are so many questions unanswered, and the knots are not tied. I don't want to spoil anything, which is hard and leaves this part a little vague, but if you read this book you will understand. There isn't really an ending plot. Lauren basically leaves us with this inspirational comment about love, life, and fighting for your deepest desires, but it wasn't a closing. There was no finality, and the ending of this book really made me feel like I was hanging somewhere. It really disappointed me because we never find out the imminent futures for the characters, no definite HEA, just...emptiness. I don't know if she's trying to say "you can never predict your own future, so I'm not going to give you anything to predict my character's futures" or something like that. There just wasn't a good resolution to the conflict, which just made the ending to this series discouraging. It was a wonderful read until I realized that there was not more left of it when there should have been.
You might have noticed I didn't talk much about our protagonist, Lena. I just don't know where to put her on this spectrum since she was overall just "meh" to me in Requiem. I liked her during the action, I despised her during the romance. She was just okay.
Overall, this book is great while you are part of it, when your reading it, but once its over you feel like you've been crudely ripped away from a world you wish you could stay in longer. I do recommend it to Delirium fans, though read at your own risk.
From Steph @ http://awalkonwords.blogspot.com/