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Thursday, March 7, 2013

Review: Requiem

Author: Lauren Oliver
Release Date: March 5, 2013
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: 391
Series: Delirium #3
Source: Bought
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Summary:  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 fiancĂ©e 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.

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.
My Favorite Lines:
“And you can't love, not fully, unless you are loved in return.”

“We wanted the freedom to love. We wanted the freedom to choose. Now we have to fight for it.”

“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.”

“We're killers, all of us: We kill our lives, our past selves, the things that mattered. We bury them under slogans and excuses.” 
Why I Loved It:  *Warning* There may be spoilers from the first two books in this review.  If you have not read Delirium or Pandemonium, back away slowly and get busy reading. 

I have decided that this is a very hard review to write.  When I finished the book, I was snooping through Goodreads because I had a feeling that there would be a lot of mixed reviews on the book.  I mean Ms. Oliver took some risks, and I figured people would either love it or be like "bleh."  I had decided when I got about halfway through the book that I would be including a definition of the word requiem in my review.  When I found out what the title of the book was going to be, I was kinda surprised.  It's an interesting choice.  So I looked it up.  And keeping the definition in mind when I read was actually kind of helpful.  Surprise, surprise when I was looking through reviews, I came across Jenna @ Jenna Does Books' review.  A) I love her blog.  It's pretty fabulous.  and B) I was pleasantly surprised to see just how much her review reflected my thoughts.  I almost thought I could just post a link to her review and say "ditto", but that would be selling this great book short.  It needs great reviews *not that I normally think mine are particularry great* so here we go.

According to Webster, Requiem means...
1: a mass for the dead
2 a: a solemn chant (as a dirge) for the repose of the dead
   b: something that resembles such a solemn chant
3 a: a musical setting of the mass for the dead
   b: a musical composition in honor of the dead

For me, that definition makes perfect sense with the direction Ms. Oliver takes this novel as the final book in the triology.  The book was masterfully written, unconvential in the current trend of dystopian novels, and a joy to read.  I should say that Delirium was not my favorite of books.  I liked it enough, but the idea behind the book was what ensured that I read Pandemonium.  And I loved Pandemonium.  LOVED IT.  What Delirium did have though was an awesome romance.  That being said, the week before Requiem came out, I reread Delirium, read "Hana", then reread Pandemonium, and then read "Raven".  I wanted to be prepared for this book because I had wished I had reread Delirium before Pandemonium when I got to the huge cliff at the end of Pandemonium with Alex's abrupt return.  Drama, drama, drama *Runaway Bride voice*. 

Here's the dealio.  For me, Requiem was not about Lena's choice between Alex and Julian.  It wasn't.  That was a part of the book, but Ms. Oliver opened up this world even more to show that the problem was much bigger than any one person.  I think if she wanted the focus to be on Lena's love life, Hana wouldn't have had any part of this book.  Lena would have alternated with Alex or Julian or both or something like that.  But no.  Ms. Oliver chose the cured Hana to alternate POV's with the uncured Lena.  Both girls have somewhat narrow views of their world seen through the lens cap of their circumstances.  Through both of those views though, the reader gets an in-depth look into this futureistic United States, the restistance, and the ultimate problem.  Love was never the issue.  Control and power and the ability to use those key points to increase the individual is what the issue was.  Love was just the key to get there.  Requiem is real and powerful and incredibly action-packed and intense.  Ms. Oliver is such a gifted writer, and I will read anything she writes. 

The reader does not leave the triology with all their questions answered.  You will have lots of questions most likely.  However, I find that such is ok.  We don't always get resolution in the real world.  We might not like it as readers, but I came away from the ending with a mix of emotions.  Heartbroken?  Perhaps.  Satified?  Sure.  Floored with my respect for the incredible writing I had just experienced over the day?  You betcha. 

More reasons to read this book NOW
  • Lena's mother has more attention
  • Alex's return with his awesome self
  • Julian gains more cool points
  • Hana's POV actually is pretty awesome
  • The Restistance kicks some serious butt
  • Alex's story is at the end of Requiem in the first print books *SO GOOD*
If you would like to see Jenna's review over at Jenna Does Books, just go on here

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