Book Review: Requiem

Author:  Lauren Oliver
Genre: Young Adult – Fiction, Dystopian, Romance

Synopsis (from 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 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.

My Review: In preparation for this book, I listened to Pandemonium again – mostly because I couldn’t quite remember everything that happened, and I wanted to make sure that I got the full effect of the final book. The thing that stuck with me the first time and the next time I listened to the book was this; it’s unfair! I didn’t want there to be the battle of two boys and one girl. But of course that is what we get.

So here we are. The final book of the Delirium series, and this book is about finally breaking free of the oppression of a government who wants to control everything about the lives of….well everyone. By suppressing feelings of love and hate, they feel that they can create a perfect, safe world, but as it is in any world scenario – there are always exceptions and people who do not want to follow the rules. And in this case, the rule breakers are right. To live without emotion is no way to live at all.

Requiem focuses mostly on the battles to come, planning, plotting and achieving the goal of overturning a corrupt government. This is expected and desired of the third book – I have no complaints there. The thing that was missing a from the book was the relationship between the characters. I felt all interactions between characters was surface level at best. Most of the time conversations were glossed over. Sometimes, all of the dialogue that could have happened was summed up in a paragraph, something like, “and for the remainder of the week we got to know each other.” (Those were my words, not a direct quote, by the way.) This disappoints me because the best part about books for me is usually character interactions. It’s what makes a great book in my opinion. And this particular book was flush full of opportunities for good dialogue.

The entire book isn’t that way, mind you – there are exceptions, like the first real dialogue between Lana and Alex. Lots of emotion there. But there was not much to be had between Julian and Lana, no matter how much we may or may not have fallen in love with Julian in the last book. Lana just sort of used him throughout this entire book, and was very patronizing toward him as well; I was actually looking forward to Julian giving her the what for because of that, but he never did. Lana was all consumed with thoughts of Alex almost the entire time, and continued to use Julian to keep her warm at night. If you’re trying to figure things out, you really shouldn’t take advantage of someone’s emotions while you’re doing it. Just my opinion.

If I wasn’t so focused on the Lana/Alex/Julian triangle, and the lack of….anything, I might have had the chance to really enjoy the addition of Hana’s voice to the book, which in hindsight turned out to be the best parts of the book…but instead of savoring the offshoot of the story, I was too consumed with the passion that was lacking – which I found utterly ironic since it was suppose to be “passion” they were fighting for.

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