Sunday, March 17, 2013

Review: Requiem

Author: Lauren Oliver
Published: March 5, 2013
391 pages
5 Gold Stars

(summary from Goodreads)

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.

There was no preparing myself for this book. The ending of Pandemonium left me screaming, kicking, and throwing my book on the floor. What was I supposed to do? Alex was thought to be dead and I was falling for Julian because he's just as adorable and loves Lena so much. Then all of sudden, there he is, and I just know he's going to cause some problems. Enter Requiem, with Alex changed from living in the crypts and Lena not sure of her feelings for both boys now that there are two, all tension is charged and each word causes more pain for someone in the story.

What I loved most about this instalment is that Hana has a leading role. After reading her short story, Hana, I understood where she was coming from. I think we've all been jealous of our friends at some point in time and Hana just handled it the wrong way. Seeing her afterwards and how it's affected her, shows me that she regrets everything she's done. Now she's about to become the mayor's wife and she is gradually finding out things about him that make her want to run. Her story is intriguing and suspenseful and I found myself wanting to be reading her point of view more so than Lena's.

Lena's story started off kind of dull. The tension between her and Alex made me want to cry, but their journey through the Wilds seemed too slow. I think I just wanted her to find her mom as I felt it was lacking emotion. There weren't any cute love scenes between her and Julian, which makes sense since she started to second guess her feelings for him, but I think that's what's kept this series going. Love is forbidden and they are running and trying to regain their freedom, but when love is no longer in the forefront, than what's the point? I do understand why Oliver did everything she did and in the end it all made sense and the freedom that they've been fighting for took centre stage, but something was missing from the middle.

Seeing what was happening both inside and outside the walls made for an emotional journey. I knew that when the stories came together, something would go wrong, and the intensity just grew. Maybe people have complained about the ending as it is not wrapped up in a nice package, but once again I think that made this book better. There is a huge world full of cured people, there is no way for Lena and the Resistance to completely stop this. That would be highly unlikely and seem fake. So I think the ending made sense for this series and I hope it satisfied most people, like myself. If we want to revisit these characters, we can simply close our eyes and imagine how their lives will turn out after the final page is over. Oliver has written some great short stories to go along with this series that give more in depth views into some of the lesser known characters. This book is about freedom of choice and I think it captures that theme perfectly.

“This is the strange way of the world, that people who simply want to love are instead forced to become warriors.” 

“But maybe happiness isn't in the choosing. Maybe it's in the fiction, in the pretending: that wherever we have ended up is where we intended to be all along.”

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