Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Requiem - Lauren Oliver

So here we are, round #3 of the Delirium Trilogy.  I'm not a huge fan of trilogies, especially YA ones, but I got sucked in from the get-go with this one.  Once that happened, I had to see things through to the end.  I will do my best to highlight the general plot without spoiling.

Synopsis:  In a world where love has been deemed humanity's downfall, everyone has this evil emotion surgically removed at the age of 16 and are matched up with a mate.  Some like this idea and some don't.  Lena is in the latter category, and finds love with Alex right before her surgery.  In the first installment "Delirium", Lena escapes into "the Wilds" but Alex is left behind, presumed incarcerated or dead.   In "Pandemonium", Lena becomes a hardened survivalist and joins the revolution against the government, picking up a love interest along the way.  It ends with a doozy of a cliffhanger that is guaranteed to bring back the most cynical reader to the third act.

Which brings us to "Requiem".  This time, we alternate between the narration of Lena and her best friend from high school, Hana.  Hana has had her operation, and has been matched with the next Mayor of Portland.  Hana feels despondent from the loveless life she is facing and wonders if she is as "healed" as she is supposed to be.  Lena has found herself in the center of the revolution, and the battles have risen to a fever pitch.  She also is consumed by her emotions and a confusing love triangle. Passion is the name of the game, forever present is the mantra:

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

My thoughts:  After the cliffhanger in "Pandemonium" that smacked me right between the eyes, I had really high hopes for a bang-up ending.  I didn't really get it though.  The love triangle, in my estimation, should have been HOT.  I mean, they are fighting and killing for this stuff, right?  So why did it feel subdued, confused and wishy-washy?  Everyone's pants should have been on fire, epic revolutionary battles or not!

In terms of a denouement, we got some action, but the ending was left pretty wide open.  My immediate reaction was "Huh?  Is that it?".  I tried to construct a better, more satisfying ending but didn't have much luck.  Most alternatives would have felt contrived.  As Jill put it in her review, life as Lena knows it is about NOT knowing and trusting what will come, so to her this all made sense.  I just felt a little deflated.

Ultimately I kept waiting for something to happen that never did.  That doesn't mean that I'm sorry I read these three books.  The first was my favorite, and it had enough power to carry me through them all.

3.5 out of 5 stars
        


6 comments:

rhapsodyinbooks said...

I certainly agree; sometimes even when the author is doing "the right thing" one wishes for an alternative! :--)

bermudaonion said...

I've never started this trilogy and probably won't. Some of these YA trilogies make me feel so old.

James Chester said...

At this point I am simply sick to death of dystopian YA books. Enough with the bleek futures already! Honestly, I used to seek them out they were so much fun, but now I feel like I'm ready to enter recovery. I really hit bottom with the first book in the Maze Runner series.

Brooke said...

I felt much the same way about Requiem. I felt like perhaps Oliver was trying hard to make her books different from all the other dystopian YA out there and it just didn't work for me.

Michele said...

Yes, after the Matched trilogy disappointment I have been hiding from YA dystopia, I admit it. But did you say cliffhanger that smacks you between the eyes? Hmmmmm? Apparently I do not care if book 3 is a slight disappointment, I like cliffhangers that smack you between the eyes. So off I go to make the obligatory library hold. And yes, we can consider this due payback for the who.e Outlander debacle. :P

Julie P. said...

I think it's hard to sustain quality for three books...