“Now an active member of the resistance, Lena has transformed. The nascent rebellion that was underway 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 infiltrate the borderlands to stamp out the rebels.
As Lena navigates the increasingly dangerous terrain of the Wilds, her best friend, Hana, lives a safe, loveless life in Portland as the fiancée of the young mayor. Requiem is told from the perspectives of both Lena and her friend Hana. They live side by side in a world that divides them until, at last, their stories converge.“
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Lauren Oliver begins Requiem the same way she began the second book, Pandemonium, by jumping in full force right where the story left off. The rebellion is now bigger than ever and can no longer be ignored. Lena has saved Julian and escaped to the Wilds, but the government and regulators are now hunting them, forcing them to live in a constant state of awareness. It was kind of hard to get fully into the storyline in the beginning, as it felt really slow, but I imagine it felt that way to Lena and her crew as well. It reminded me a lot of in Harry Potter when they are hunting for horcruxes and moving around a lot because they have no idea where to go next, but need to stay off the radar. It’s boring to read because it’s boring to live, so it’s an accurate portrayal of what the character is experiencing. It does pick up eventually, because Lauren Oliver knows how to suck readers in.
Once again we see a shift in structure from both the first and second books. Requiem switches between Lena’s perspective as she fights for survival in the Wilds and Hana’s perspective as she lives as the government intends for citizens, in a loveless life, safe in the city. Although switching the structure and perspective of the story in each book has definitely affected the cohesiveness, it has also set a separate tone for each book. The different structures felt symbolic of the changes in Lena, as well as where the story stands.
The significant contrasts between the lives of Lena and Hana bring to the surface the difference in lifestyles and why the rebellion exists. I admit, parts of this series felt so painful to read, but that was because what was happening to Lena was painful. Lauren Oliver did a great job developing the characters and story enough to build that connection and help the readers feel what the characters are feeling. I still feel strongly that the first book was the best in the series, even though the idea of living in the wilds really appealed to me, because I was the most invested in the characters, excited and hopeful while reading the first book.
After this long, slow build up of anticipation, the ending felt rushed to me. I felt like the boring parts were drawn out and the exciting action was rushed. Action should feel fast paced, but that doesn’t mean it has to be a really short portion of the book. Although the ending creates hope, it’s also not the ending I was hoping for. It left me with a bruised heart. I was so invested in these characters and stories, that for my own sanity I have created an alternate ending in my head.
As usual, Lauren Oliver’s writing was flowy and beautiful and the storyline kept me interested. She had guts and was willing to write the unexpected and risk a controversial ending. It may not be the way I would have written it, but that’s because I didn’t write it, Lauren Oliver did and she did it well. Although this alternate ending exists in my mind, I absolutely loved the series, disappointments and all. I have recommended this series to many people and will continue to do so.
If you’re a fan of dystopian societies, rebellions, love triangles, strong female leads or bold writing, you’ll appreciate the Delirium series.