|Requiem by Lauren Oliver|
March 5, 2013
Genre: Young Adult Dystopian
Source: Personal purchase
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 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.
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 read this when it first came out and have been sitting on my review ever since. First, I want to say that I really enjoyed this series as a whole. Lauren has a beautiful style of writing that is a pleasure to read. She has a wonderful use of words and flow of writing. Her pacing, her descriptions, her characters - all are excellent. Now getting back to the characters - I love their dimensions, their thoughts, their intensity of their actions, and the variety and honesty of who they are and what and why they do the things they do.
The concepts of this series are not entirely outlandish, and how these characters react to their circumstances (both good and bad) was told honestly and believably. What I particularly enjoyed about this last book was that we get both Lena and Hana's POV. I know that some didn't care for Hana's POV, but I felt it was really important. So often in these types of books and series we only get the "good guy's" POV. I loved the other side of the story told through Hana's eyes. It really added that extra bit of depth that I felt was vitally important to this series.
Love triangles are not my favorite thing, and in this series, though I did not love it, it did certainly make things interesting. Particularly when you consider the fact that this entire world revolves around the threat of love. So a love triangle, while not my favorite literary device, most certainly has it's place. I had stronger feelings toward one particular guy than the other, but I also empathized with the other guy's situation, as well as Lena's dilemma. Did I think Lena handled things perfectly? No. But she's young and if I were in her exact situation, I simply cannot say how I would have reacted, which makes these situations more realistic.
My dilemma with this final book was the ending. It's not that I'm against open endings and an author's freedom to end a book the way she wants. I appreciate the reasoning behind how things ended. But I was left with many questions. I even asked Lauren at a signing if she always knew how things were going to end for one particular character (because this person's outcome simply crushed me) and she said yes. So the fact that Lauren held to her vision and intention should be respected. It just doesn't mean I loved it. But I liked it. Then I created my own extended ending and my own epilogue in my mind. But I honestly would have loved Lauren's epilogue, or even a fourth book (though if she decided to kill everyone off, than I guess I would not have loved her epilogue, lol).
Bottomline: This is an excellently written series with wonderful, multi-dimensional characters. This final book, though not my favorite of the series, is still a worthy read and provides the needed depths of both sides of the battle, making this stand out next to similar books in this genre.