Requeim by Lauren Oliver
Published: 1 March 2013 (Hodder & Stoughton)
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Source: Borrowed from library
Plot Summary (from Goodreads):
It is the rule of the Wilds:
You must be bigger, and stronger, and tougher.
A coldness radiates through me, a solid wall that is growing, piece by piece, in my chest. He doesn't love me?
He never loved me.
It was all a lie.
'The old Lena is dead', I say, and then push past him. Each step is more difficult than the last; the heaviness fills me and turns my limbs to stone.
You must hurt, or be hurt.
Lena can build the walls, but what if there's no one left to take them down? The powerful, heartbreaking conclusion to one of the most eagerly awaited, talked-about series is here.
Requiem is the last book in the Delirium trilogy and follows Lena as she journeys through the Wilds, and Hana as she prepares to marry one of the most influential men in Portland.
From the moment I read Before I Fall, Lauren Oliver has been a favourite author of mine. Her writing is so beautiful and poetic. I'd been putting off Requiem for a few reasons. Partly because Delirium was one of the first YA dystopian books I read and one that influenced a lot of my reading after that and finishing the trilogy seemed scary. I was a little bit nervous after seeing reactions to this book when it first came out, and I was also waiting for the paperback to become available before requesting it from my library.
Having read the book, I can say it was worth the wait. It was probably my least favourite of the three books, but with writing of this level that isn't really a put down. I'm bound to enjoy some books more than others and I still found Requiem to be an enjoyable book with great writing.
Requiem is told in dual POV from Lena and Hana's POV. I definitely found myself enjoying Hana's chapters more. I think part of that was down to her being in Portland and it having that feeling of the first book, where you're wrapped up in the city and the politics that come with it. I also really enjoyed getting inside her head and this determination she has to find out the truth. There are several mysteries surrounding her and her future husband Fred which really drove the plot forwards and I found myself really feeling for her. I loved her in Delirium because she was so different to Lena, and it was interesting seeing how things have changed and what has happened to her.
The real strength of having the book told from both of the girls' perspectives was the way it addressed their friendship. Both girls find themselves thinking about each other, despite the distance between them. I loved seeing how, despite everything they've gone through, they still care for each other and miss each other.
Lena's chapters tended to drag a little bit for me because of the pacing. There was a lot of travelling around with not a lot of action, and I would find myself getting a bit bored and wanting to get back to Hana's chapters. Where Lena's story did come into its own was exploring the character relationships for example the tension between her and Alex. I also think they did a great job at getting across the bleak nature of the situation of those outside the cities.
I'd heard rumours that the ending was controversial, and whilst I can see why people might not like it, I found it to be moving. It definitely leaves you still thinking about the characters long after you close the pages, and I actually liked that openness which leaves you to decide yourself just what happened. I would maybe have liked a more solid conclusion to Hana's story, having enjoyed her parts of this book so much.
What to read next: Panic by Lauren Oliver, her next novel coming March 2014
Books like this: Matched by Ally Condie, Slated by Teri Terry