Thursday, April 24, 2014

Requiem | Lauren Oliver

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 rebellions 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.

Non-Spoiler Review

Requiem is the third and final book in the Delirium series. If you have read the first two books, I really do recommend finishing the series. If you haven't started the series, you can find more information about the Delirium world in my review of Delirium and my review on Pandemonium

Spoiler- Filled Review

As another finale in another trilogy, I am yet again completely conflicted. The premise of the book was fantastic, and if I was rating it alone on the plot I would give it close to five stars. However, I had a HUGE problem with the ending, which I will talk about later. 

The ending of Pandemonium is one of the primary reasons I wait until the entire series is released before reading it. I absolutely hate cliffhangers unless I can pick up the next book immediately. 

Opening this book, I saw that the chapters were titled Lena and Hana, which I was extremely happy about. I was looking forward to Hana coming back, but I didn't think we were going to be able to see from her mind. The fact that we got to see how the cured think and act was really interesting. Just getting her perspective on everything was really great and I absolutely loved how she began to break through little by little and wasn't completely cured. I was completely shocked that she had turned Alex and Lena in, although I didn't really hate her. In the end she did redeem herself several times by helping Lena and helping the resistance.

The entire storyline of this book works really well. By this book I was so much more emotionally attached to all of the characters and there were so many emotional moments, between Lena and Alex and Lena and her mom, I was already crying thirty pages in. Seeing Annabel (Lena's mom) and Lena start bonding again was so heartwarming and just really nice to read.

Another thing that was really interesting was the parallel between Lena and her mother. When Lena's mother was forced to leave and join the resistance, she left her children behind. Lena was put in the somewhat same situation with Grace, and she went back from Grace, which was an interesting parallel. 

Overall, I really loved this book. It was emotional, action-packed and just so well written. Lauren Oliver does a great job with the whole plot of this book. 

However, there were a few major problems I had with this book, particularly the end. 

These might be unrealistic expectations, but when a writer introduces a love triangle into the story, by the end I expect it to be resolved. I expect the main character to pick who she/he wants and that be the end of that. There was absolutely no resolution between the characters. Alex comes back at the end of Pandemonium and is suddenly angry at Lena for falling in love. The rational person from the first book is completely gone and replaced by a ridiculously bipolar person. He constantly hanging out with Coral, trying to make Lena jealous, and even beats up Julian in a rage. He was constantly shifting from anger to forgiveness back to anger and I just wanted to punch him throughout the whole book. For the longest time I thought he might have been cured and was being used by the government as a spy, which I think would have been a lot more interesting. But no, he was just being a moody teenager. Once he beats up Julian, he leaves the group, leaving a not to Lena about the story of Solomon. The story of Solomon was a legend in The Book of Shh where two mothers are fighting over the baby and brings the argument to the King who says to cut the baby in half so each mother can have a part. One woman agrees, while the other doesn't because she doesn't want the baby to get hurt, which is how the Kind determines the real mother. In terms of Lena and Alex, Alex wanted Lena to be happy, so he sacrificed her. And I'm completely ok with that. BUT why did tell her that? I think if he truly loved Lena, he would have just left without telling her, because, to me, telling her was like saying 'look I'm sacrificing you, obviously I love you more.'

Also, was it just me or was Alex barely in the series. Lena thought about him constantly but he was barely there and when he was, he was completely infuriating. He could have just as easily been replaced by another character and it wouldn't have mattered at all. 

Not only was the love triangle unresolved, but the overall ending was too. The last with Hana shows her just running away from the house in order to escape the bomb. That's it. I have no idea where she's going or what's she's doing. There are two options I would have been ok with. One, if she sacrificed herself for the cause and stayed in the house while the bomb exploded. If this was well integrated I thought it could have been a pretty good ending. The other thing I would have been ok with is if Hana officially joined the resistance. But her simply running away was not enough of an ending. 

I honestly didn't expect everything to go back to "normal" after the resistance took over Portland. I didn't magically expect a happily ever after, and I'm glad we didn't get one. I really enjoyed the last page that was about taking down the walls. BUT I really wish there was an epilogue just to kind of wrap things up. 
An idea for an epilogue could be twenty to thirty years from the rebellion, at Grace's wedding, whose marrying for love rather than a pair, from Lena's point of view. And it could describe what happened to each of the characters, which, I think, would be the best way to close up the book. 

What did you guys think of the last book? Were you guys as frustrated by the ending as I was? Let me know in the comments!