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Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Book Review: Requiem by Lauren Oliver

Series: Delirium #3
Genre: YA Dystopian
Publication Date: March 5, 2013
Publisher: HarperCollins
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 391
Source: Purchased
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.
For this review I was tempted to leave it at one simple sentence: It's Lauren Oliver. Of course I couldn't stop there, but it is honestly how I feel. It's Lauren Oliver--Of course you should read it; of course it is phenomenal. It's hard for me to describe how I feel about this book. It certainly wasn't my favorite book in the series, yet it is equally as fantastic--and important--as the other books. 

Let me just say that it is so hard for me to believe that I am inside the head of the same Lena in Delirium. She has come so far! Of course there are still little traces of that girl, especially with Alex being back, but she is part of the Resistance now. She's super tough and determined. Ain't nobody going to mess with her and get away with it! Though she is not my favorite heroine to hypothetically walk the Earth, she is still easy to love and feel for. As for the Big Debate: Alex vs. Julian, I will start by emphatically declaring my spot on Team Alex. Alex is pure beauty. The way he reads poetry to Lena, how he teaches her about a whole other world, how we is willing to sacrifice every single thing he has to offer for what he believes in. I do not believe he was present enough in this novel and that makes me sad. But don't get me wrong, I like Julian, too--just not for Lena. He is sweet, but he doesn't compliment her the way she needs. Also, in this book, we get a glimpse from Hana's point of view. I liked seeing the world from "the other side" AKA the mind of a Cured. However, Hana was not my favorite character. I don't really know why--maybe I just found her a little too passive--but I wasn't hanging on to her side of the story. 

In the final installment of the Delirium trilogy, it is pretty much now or never--fight  or die, join the resistance or conform to the mindlessness. Whereas in Delirium, the book had an underlying hint of hopelessness, and in Pandemonium there was an underlying hint of desperation, Requiem had an overarching feel of urgency. The whole time I was bracing myself, preparing for Shit To Go Down. At the same time...the plot was kind of slow. It was a lot of figuring out what is really up with Hana's future husband, or figuring out which way Lena and her group is going to go. But then once Shit did start to Go Down it went down hard. Oliver's action is pretty frackin epic. Book one is about discovering what Lena wanted, book two is about discovering how to get it, and book three is about getting it.There is chaos and emotion and emotional chaos. And it rocks!  

I know a lot of people were upset by the ending. Oliver leaves a lot open for reader interpretation. While I do wish I got a bit more closure and confirmation on things, I feel satisfied. In Lena's world, hope will pretty much always be crushed. There are no permanent solutions to such a deeply screwed up society. And Lauren Oliver left us with hope, with the idea that things are about to get better, rather than tying a bow around the story that couldn't possibly exist. We're left believing that the characters achieve what they are fighting for, and that they get the life they dream of. 

In the end, it's Oliver's writing that leaves me sighing when I think of this book. Her words are so beautiful, poignant, and meaningful. More than the characters, more than the story line, more than the romance--the writing is what places this series on a pedestal so untouchable in my heart. I will never, ever forget this series and a large reason for that is the gorgeous writing. 

Basically, Lauren Oliver is a goddess and even if this book isn't perfect, it is perfect. And I have not a single doubt in this entire universe that you will gain something from reading this series. The other day, I told my friend that I would sell my soul to write just one book HALF as good as any single one of Lauren Oliver's novels (her response: "Gabbi, you really shouldn't sell your soul. I don't think that's healthy."). 

I know that this review is pretty much a jumble of nonsense. Was it good or wasn't it? It had its flaws, but basically it was such an integral part of an astounding series, that it pretty much has to be astounding itself.

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Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment on my blog! I love to hear from my readers, whether they agree or disagree with my opinion :) I do my best to get back to every commenter, though I am not always successful. Heh...Anyway, I look forward to hearing what you have to say! :D

~ Gabbi