Book Review: Requiem by Lauren Oliver


ashley | It is so rare that I ever get to read a full trilogy back to back to back, so when I finished Lauren Oliver’s Pandemonium and saw I had a bit of wiggle room in my reading schedule, of course I jumped right into Requiem! I couldn’t wait to see where this third book would leave me, even if it meant we were faced with the possibility of a love triangle and delirium going to everybody’s head.

There’s only one feeling I’m left with after finishing this series: disappointment. I wasn’t expecting that at all, and this third installment was a great read if it weren’t for the ending. That was one of the most un-endings of endings that I have read in a really long time. Don’t get me wrong, the last page or so was beautifully written, contained a sentiment of hope and inspiration and even though it wasn’t all tied up nicely, it worked well.

It was the events leading up to that that just left me empty, so much so that I didn’t even really enjoy the last few pages. It was incredibly rushed, it felt like Lena basically had a check list of people she wanted to see in Portland before she could really focus on the resistance and mechanically went through those motions. I actually went to my computer after I finished to make sure there wasn’t some secret fourth book no one told me about, this just didn’t seem like an ending to a series that I really enjoyed. It was just kind of a loose mess.

(Going to try to write this paragraph without too many specifics to prevent spoilers) I liked that Lena finally sorted out her feelings in the end and figured out where her heart belonged, I liked the outcome, but the book basically just disregarded the other guy entirely. Lena didn’t know where he was, she didn’t even care, she just left him and did her own thing. I hated this. She argued through a lot of the book that she did care for him and she felt a connection with him and even if she never could love him like she did the other, she just so carelessly discarded him when she had the opportunity to do something for herself, and totally didn’t bat an eyelash in the end when she was reunited with the other. I don’t dislike how things ended up; I just really hated how they got to that point and really didn’t like how Lena handled the situation. That really bothered me and made me lose a ton of respect for the characters and the love between them.

I also thought the rebellion story was kind of weak. The actual action at the end was worth it, but Pandemonium built up this huge face off between the resistance and the DFA and I really thought there would be more of a blow out or more depth to the DFA’s actions, it just seemed like it was lightly glossed over. Even the insight into Hanna’s husband-to-be Mayor Fred, he was a terrible guy, but there was room for him to be really evil and I didn’t think that was fully taken advantage of.

That said though, Hanna was almost the most interesting thing about this book. Her chapters were far more interesting to me and maybe she wasn’t part of the resistance and maybe she was cured and kind of mechanical, but I felt like she was the bravest and most interesting person in this entire book. She might have just gone along with things for the most part, but she questioned things and in the end she followed her heart and not her head, which I thought was awesome. The only person who really showed true defiance and some sort of passion and feeling, which was ironic given her cured state.

So yeah, disappointment. I just expected more from this. I don’t need it to all be tied up nicely in the end, I don’t even need a happy ending. Like I said, I liked how the book left off, but the journey getting there was a disaster and ruined the rest of it for me. Sigh.


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march 5, 2013