Requiem by Lauren Oliver

RequiemRequiem by
Series: Delirium #3
Published by: HarperTeen on
Genre: Dystopian, Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 400
Source: Edelweiss
Buy the BookGoodreads
Rating: 3.5/5

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. 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.

I had a couple ups and downs with Requiem, but at the end of the day, I enjoyed it. It is an intense conclusion to the series, with a lot at stake, and a lot to fight for. The Resistance really dominates this book—struggling to stay alive and finding new places to strike.

I really didn’t like Lena for the first half of Requiem. I honestly couldn’t help but think that she didn’t deserve Alex’s forgiveness. I didn’t like how she expected things to suddenly be okay between her and Alex. I didn’t like how she thought she could run back into his arms. I didn’t like how she used Julian as a rebound when Alex rejected her. Anytime Alex spoke to another girl or ignored her, she’d go running into Julian’s arms, as if she was trying to make Alex jealous.

“I thought you were dead,” I say. “It almost killed me.”
“Did it?” His voice is neutral. “You made a pretty fast recovery.”
“No. You don’t understand.” My throat is right; I feel as though I’m being strangled. “I couldn’t keep hoping, and then waking up every day and finding out it wasn’t true, and you were still gone. I—I wasn’t strong enough.”
[…]
Finally he says, “When they took me to the crypts, I thought they were going to kill me. They didn’t even bother. They just left me to die. They threw me in a cell and locked the door.”
[…]
“There were days when I asked for [death]—prayed for it when I went to sleep. The belief that I would see you again, that I could find you—the hope for it—was the only thing that kept me going.” He releases me and takes another step backward. “So no. I don’t understand.” Requiem by Lauren Oliver

To be fair, Lena did get better towards the end, but she was never my favourite character. She just lost my favour in Pandemonium and never quite earned it back.

Hana is the character that really shone for me in Requiem. I think I’m attracted to the girl who’s being shut down and struggling to be set free. That’s why I liked Lena in Delirium, and why I liked Hana in Requiem. I like sitting there rooting for the character to rebel and break free.

Mama, Mama, put me to bed
I won’t make it home, I’m already half-dead
I met an Invalid, and fell for his art
He showed me his smile, and went straight for my heart
Requiem by Lauren Oliver

Hana is being pushed into horrible marriage. On the surface, Fred seemed to be the perfect husband: handsome, wealthy, and sweet, but Hana soon realizes that he’s really the Bluebeard tale at work. A mysterious ex-wife who has gone missing from society, Fred’s sudden threatening behaviour, and streaks of violence. Hana begins to fear for her future and doubts that her cure really worked as intended. She reveals mistakes she’s made in the past, and the reason for guilt haunting her every day. I loved Hana’s dark secrets, I loved seeing her perfect world come crashing down, and I loved watching her redeem herself at the end!

My biggest disappointment with Requiem was that the ending was way too open ended and not as satisfying as I was hoping for. For me, this series has always been about love. It started out with Lena falling in love for the first time—with Alex. But it ended up being all about the Resistance and taking down society. The Lena-Alex-Julian love triangle does kind of get resolved, but it sort of gets wrapped up in one page. I was hoping that the romance would dominate more of the book, instead of it all being about Resistance Resistance Resistance. At the end of Pandemonium we get this huge intense cliffhanger, but then in Requiem the romance drops off completely. There were no swoony moments at all in the story, and that’s really what I was craving. I thought that with the end of Pandemonium the way it was, Requiem would be SUPER intense in the romance department—but it wasn’t. And the decision of which guy she would choose played such a minor role in the book.

With the cure, relationships are all the same, and rules and expectations are defined. Without the cure, relationships must be reinvented every day, languages constantly decoded and deciphered. Freedom is exhausting. Requiem by Lauren Oliver

It was a bit of a bummer, and the ending really did leave me wondering, “What happens now?” It just kind of drops off. I would have enjoyed some sort of epilogue at least, to help wrap things up better and answer a few more questions.

But overall, Requiem was an enjoyable read. It didn’t quite have the same magic and excitement and swoony romance that Delirium did, but I enjoyed it more than Pandemonium. I loved the strength of the Resistance, Fred’s complete and utter creepiness (loved to hate it), Hana’s slow progress towards fighting the cure, and Lena’s growing relationship with her mother. The book is filled with bravery, fighting, loss, and love. And Requiem is written just as beautifully as Lauren Oliver’s other books. Lauren certainly has a way with words! There were many highlight-able passages, all of them loaded with meaning and intensity. I think most Lauren Oliver fans will really enjoy Requiem, even if the ending does leave a bit to be desired.


Note: This is one review of mine that I have read over and over again, and have tried to edit over and over to better convey my feelings (and failed). I’m even still battling over the rating. I feel like I should give it only 3 stars, but I gave Pandemonium 3 stars and I did like this one a bit more. But a 3.5 star rating almost seems too high considering how mad I am about the love triangle.

Even though I enjoyed this book, I can’t even convey how disappointed I am about the romance and the love triangle. I thought it was a huge deal but it barely gets resolved in Requiem. I just felt like I needed to say that again so you guys could understand how sad I am LOL.

I just feel like in order to fully enjoy this book, you have to put the love triangle aside and be really into the resistance and the politics.

The Verdict

okay

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32 comments

  1. I feel the same way! I loved it simply because it’s Lauren Oliver and I love her writing, but I was also disappointed with the really quick ending and YES what about Alex!?!?! I was kind of pissed that she keeps getting all hurt that Alex is pushing her away. Well DUH. She keeps running into Julian’s arms. That kind of made me mad.
    But I was with you – I felt like Hana had the more interesting story and I really liked her POV better than Lena’s.
    Great review!!

    Brittany @ The Book Addict's Guide recently posted: The Selective Collective Group Discussion: NOBODY BUT US
  2. Well shoot. I was hoping Lena wouldn’t be that girl that likes to play games in this book. I was really worried she would when Alex came back, but I was holding out hope she’d be really mature no matter how much it hurt to be around both boys. Sounds like that’s not the case though, and I feel really bad for Julian that he has to continually pick up the pieces every time Alex emotionally shatters her. Still, I do want to read this one just to finish out the series, but I’m glad I know what’s she’s like going in!

    Jenny recently posted: Review: Shadowlands
  3. Oh so funny! I found myself skipping the Hana chapters to get to the Lena chapters, just because I needed to know what happened. I agree on disliking Lena for basically playing Julian– annoying. Also so glad you mention the ending– I turned the last page and was like seriously?! that’s it? that’s all we get after 3 books??

    Mary @ Travels with Mary recently posted: Book Review: The Spider and the Fly
  4. For the longest time I wanted to read this book, but as time passed I became a little less interested in it. I’m hoping that I’ll like the book whenever I do get to it but I’m disappointed that the love story doesn’t play a bigger role in the book. That’s what I loved about the first two.

    Avanti recently posted: I Am More Than Books
  5. I am a perfect example of one who focused more on the Resistance and the politics of the world, rather than the love triangle. I saw “love” as the catalyst that sets things in motion, rather than the true focus of the story. Had I focused on the romance, I think the entire story altogether would have driven me nuts. I totally get your point of view, though, and believe that many others are having/will have the same problem.

    Jenna @ Making the Grade recently posted: Countdown to Cover Reveal! On Location in Tarpon Springs
    1. I think it’s awesome that you were more focused on the Resistance. I think, in the end, that’s really what Lauren Oliver intended. I wish I could have taken it that way too, but I guess it just didn’t quite work for me! But I’m super glad that you did because I’m sure that enabled you to enjoy the book more!

  6. Really want to read this series I feel like the last one standing! Lol. I have heard about the quick ending though it happens so often during a series it’s like the authors lose interest or creativity to give us a genuinely awesome ending. Oh wells >.<

    1. Yeah I don’t think you’ll be a fan of this one then! For me, Delirium was easily the best book so it’s hard for me to recommend the rest of the series when it just goes a bit downhill.

  7. I’m not sure how I’ll feel about this one. I loved Alex SO MUCH so I think I’ll be very, very invested in the triangle. I’m curious about the world Oliver has created, definitely, but…it’s ALEX. Ugh. I am looking forward to Hana’s pov though. I always liked her and rooted for her!

  8. AWWWW, that sucks. As you know I have never been a huge fan. I gave the first book 3 stars and you told me, if the first book didn’t amaze me then don’t bother because the next book wasn’t as good as the first. And now I hear that this was only semi-wrapped up at the end and that the love, that was so huge for the first two books, goes away, it is all just so annoying.

    1. Yeah it’s really not worth finishing the series if you weren’t fond of the first one.. because the first one was my favourite and it really just kind of goes downhill! Such a bummer…

  9. I gave this one two stars, and as a result of reading this book, I feel pretty sure that I am not ever going to read anything from Lauren Oliver again. The ending… It’s like she was just tired of writing this series and stopped. Great review, Ashley!

    Kassiah recently posted: Talk me out of this …
    1. ! I was always more of a Julian fan and I hated how Lena used him. I like Lena in Delerium (I know I didn’t spell that right) because I thought she was a different kind of heroin in that she believed fully in the ways of the government – a rarity in most distopian novels. I liked her less in pandemonium because she was always comparing Alex to Julian, even though they are so different and really, very hard to compare. I was if we are putting this into teams then I would be team Julian. I felt that he was more of what Lena needed. I loved the romance aspects of both delirium and pandemonium and that’s where renquium fell short. When Alex was re-introduced at the end of pandemonium, I was expecting renquium to be this gripping, intense romance and in reality, in was all about the resistance, which, frankly could have been a lot more interesting. The one redeeming quality of renquium was Hannah. I love learning about her life, and her secrets. Hannah had the most intense plot line of the whole book! And now, finally, the end. What to say… In a word… Crap. That’s what the ending was. Crap, with a hint of bullshit. I mean its like she just, gave up! Like “oh I’m tired of this so I’m just going to leave it all open!!!” Most authors at least give you the courtesy of an epilogue! But nope not Lauren Oliver. I turned the last page of renquium and expected to see another chapter. At least an epilogue, but what did I find? Acknowledgements. Great job Lauren Oliver. Well done. If I had not been reading renquium on my kindle, there would be a hole in my window and and copy of the book on my neighbors lawn.

  10. I feel like I’m one of the few who LOVED Delirium and really wasn’t a fan of Pandemonium at all. I love a good romance, so I think that’s why the first book was my favorite. Delirium was actually the first book that ever made me cry. I’m 100% team Alex and really wasn’t a fan of Julien. It really saddens me to hear that this book has little to no romance and that we don’t get a clear picture of what happens with their futures at the end :/

    1. I totally agree. I really wasn’t fond of Pandemonium either. 🙁 It felt like a slow book and I really didn’t like Julian! The whole thing felt like a big, pointless rebound.

  11. I just finished Requiem last night, and overall I’m hugely DISAPOINTED. what sort of ending was that? It just all seemed to rushed for me and I didn’t get closure from any of the characters. I was actually enjoying this book until the end, and then the ending just sort of tainted the whole book for me.

    Lily recently posted: Everbound(Everneath#2):Review
    1. Yeah it’s just so hard to believe that that’s the ending we get for the whole series! It barely resolved anything. 🙁 I just have no closure.

  12. I was extremely excited to read this book and when I got to the end I kept looking at it saying WTF? That is not an ending and I was more then disappointed however with the books becoming a TV series Lauren Oliver did say she would consider changing the ending for the TV series so I guess I’m holding out for that in hope

  13. I loved the character development in Delirium and the purity of the relationships between Lena, Alex, and Hana. In Pandemonium, Julian remained a generally superficial character, defined primarily by his association with an organization or his goal of being in a relationship with Lena. He lingered through Requiem as a barrier to Lena reconnecting with Alex. He was annoying. Lena seemed insecure and selfish until the end of the book. I loved her in the first book and most of the second book. I hoped that Lena’s passion would reappear and didn’t give up on her, but her refusal to be true to her heart was frustrating. The book is worth reading with ideas transmitted in clever, beautiful wording. The ending was abrupt and allows for speculation. I wanted a lengthier and heartier reunion between Lena and Alex. I want to know what happened next to them and to Hana. I was glad that Julian didn’t die, but wanted to see him disentangled from Lena’s life.

  14. One thing that I want to say about Lena:
    The perfect song that describes what she says she is feeling is “Torn”.

  15. Can anybody tell me how requiem ends? I’ve just read about a stupid end, but how? It’s not published here in Germany and I have just finished the second book and I was really dissatisfied and now I am wondering if I should go on with the third book (It will be published next year). I would be really happy if anybody could tell me the end of the story 😉 Thanks

    1. *** SPOILER ALERT ***

      Most accurately: it doesn’t end. Oliver wrote the ending in such a way so that the readers could write the ending themselves (almost a direct quote from her).

      Lena spends the entire book avoiding BOTH love interests, or sometimes pitching Julian against Alex to try to make him jealous. But mostly, she made zero attempt to resolve the situation. The book was 100% focused on the rebellion and ignored the love triangle completely (which was annoying after dropping that huge bomb at the end of book 2).

      Then at the end, she still hasn’t made up her mind. She kind of glances over at Alex from a distance and thinks, “Hmm maybe I’ll choose you”, and then it ends.

  16. I finished reading Requiem and I have to agree with Ashley here. I love how Lauren Oliver writes and I think she has some amazing ideas, but this book was simply just a let down for me. I absolutely loved Delirium and loved Alex, the whole ‘star crossed lovers’ theme with him and Lena was something special! I didn’t like Pandemonium as much, but I think the plot was interesting and I thought Lena’s character development was actually pretty good, she grew into fighter! What I do not like is the relationship between Lena and Julian, I felt like some of the magic between Lena and Alex had been shattered. And I found Lena’s personality in Requiem rather confusing and infuriating, especially after the sacrifice Alex made for her at the end of Delirium! I’m into the politics and resistance of this book, but its the romance that initially drew me into the series and kept me turning page after page. So to get to the final page and not find out who Lena chooses, and what happens to the other characters, is a HUGE disappointment after all the twists and turns! I feel like I’m still craving the answers. Like what happens to Hanna? Who does Lena choose? Where did Tack go?!

    I’m choosing to believe that Lena chose Alex, because I just think they had such a connection and went through so much in these books. To me, Lena will always have a thing for Julian, but I think they would have a special friendship rather than a passionate romance! But maybe that’s just because I’m an Alex fan!

    Overall, its was a good read, but I was gutted with the ending 🙁

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