There be spoilers in this thar review! You’ve been warned!
Ugh you guys! I feel like I have been waiting FOREVER for Requiem by Lauren Oliver to come out. Granted, these books have been coming out at a rate of one per year, plus, I have her middle grade books in between to tide me over. BUT STILL feels like forever to get a resolution to the Lena-Alex-Julian triangle and to find out if society ever changes their views of the deliria. Alas, I am not entirely satisfied with this conclusion.
At the end of Pandemonium, Lena sees Alex is alive and not dead like she thought and this throws some complications in her life, because you know she’s with Julian now. Anyways, in Requiem Lena is totally a freedom fighter and part of the Resistance. She lives in the wilds with Raven and Tac and the others. Julian is also becoming a freedom fighter. Anyways, she gets a blast from the past and I won’t say who/what shows up. AND AND Lena still has a lot of unresolved feelings for Alex. Concurrent with Lena’s storyline is that of Hana who has received the cure. Hana is engaged to the mayor of Portland and he’s got a ton of power. He’s also a total dick. Anyways, she goes on this sort of spiral to find out what happened to his previous wife and what she finds isn’t exactly reassuring. Of course, in this book Hana and Lena are apart but obviously their stories intertwine again, which is kind of cool.
Of course, I wouldn’t have read Requiem if I wasn’t invested in Lena as a character. In thinking about it, it’s fascinating to me to see just how far Lena has come. She’s gone from this girl who in the first book who has some questions but doesn’t totally rebel, to this girl who in the third book has joined the Rebellion for more reasons than just being in love with a boy. I think that she’s come a long way. I love though that she still lets vulnerability slip through the cracks, especially when Alex is concerned. We really get to see her hurt in this book. But we also get to see her determination and her leadership potential. So, it’s neat all of the hats that she wears. She does come across as fully realized.
I think that it’s cool that Lauren Oliver decided to include Hana’s point of view in the final book of the series. It’s definitely different being in the head of someone who has been ‘cured’ as opposed to someone like Lena who can still feel love. I thought that like Lena, Hana is brave in her own way — especially when it comes to investigating the past and things that have been covered up. Also, Hana does a few douche-y things but I ended up still liking her. I will say though that I wasn’t entirely in love with her portions, but I think that’s because I am so used to Lena that whenever we’d leave her point of view, I couldn’t wait to get back to it.
So, at this point I have bought into the plausibility of a world where love is a disease. I think that the world building takes a turn for the better when we get into the Resistance movement and infiltration and the Wilds. Straight up, revolutions are cool and I love reading about how they play out. For me personally, I really liked that aspect of Requiem and seeing different missions, etc that Lena would go on. I also loved seeing when certain characters double crossed. I am sort of a weirdo like that. So, yeah that’s an element to look forward to.
The romance of Requiem is a bitter disappointment to me. I went into this book expecting Lena to choose a guy. I also expected some kissing and all that. Unfortunately Alex was a dick to her for most of the book. And well, Julian didn’t get nearly the amount of attention that he did in Pandemonium. Like, Julian is still sweet and nice to Lena, but eh, she’s always thinking about Alex. AND! AND! I think the way it all plays out really lead to my disappointment with the ending.
You see, while Requiem is fast paced and actually a pretty quick read, I found myself thinking I had missed something. I listened to the ending of the audiobook on the way to and from an occasion about two hours away. When I had finished the audio and came to the end where Sarah Drew talks about the trilogy, I had to rewind it because I thought I missed something. You guys, at the end I literally was like ‘THAT’S IT?’ I am not at all satisfied and wish that things were resolved more clearly and you know, SPOILERSPOILERSPOILERSKIPTHIS that Lena had actually picked a fricken guy. But alas, that didn’t happen. Some people loved the ending but not me. I thought it was whack.
Like I mentioned, I listened to this concluding book via audio, like I did with the other books in the trilogy. I pretty much loved the audiobook version although for awhile I couldn’t unhear Sarah Drew, the narrator as Sandy from Daria. You see, she’s also the voice of Sandy. Also, there are parts where her cadence feels a bit off. But, for the most part, I liked this production of Requiem, FYI produced by Harper audio. It’s 10 hours and 13 minutes unabridged. If you’re just starting the trilogy, I’d totally recommend getting it on audio.
Disclosure: I received a review copy but then I let my sister borrow it and she still has it, so because I read the other two books via audio I decided to purchase Requiem in audio as well.
Other reviews of Requiem by Lauren Oliver:
Cuddlebuggery – “A horrible, horrible end that didn’t do any justice to the series.”
Pure Imagination – “I’m happy to say that I was very pleased with it”
Through The Looking Glass – “I appreciate deeply what Lauren did with her characters in the end”