Requiem is the third book in the Delirium trilogy, so I advise you not to keep reading this review if you’ve not read the first book.
Back in early 2011, Delirium became one of my favourite novels, and I was lucky to be given the opportunity to attend the book launch. It was my first publisher event and the first time I’d been in a room full of UK book bloggers, some of whom are now friends of mine. Delirium also played a part in fuelling my YA dystopia obsession (first being The Hunger Games). I think it’s safe to say that Delirium occupies a special place in my life – it’s odd to think that it’s now over. I had no idea back then that the books would have become as popular as they have. Emma Roberts has been cast as Lena in the TV adaptation and in a few years, so many more people will have heard about Lena and Alex.
Lauren Oliver certainly knows how to keep her readers wanting more – the end of Delirium and Pandemonium shocked everybody – and Requiem is no different. I am not spoiling it for you by saying that it’s the best outcome we could have hoped for – controversial, but faithful to the enigmatic characters she has created. But let’s start at the beginning.
Requiem is narrated by both Lena and Hannah, set a short while after the end of Pandemonium. It’s wonderful to hear about Hannah again; it means that the trilogy goes full circle and we go back to the two girls at its heart. Lena may be free, but Hannah is anything but. She’s engaged to the young mayor, Fred, the lead campaigner for the persistence of the ‘cure’ and strict regulation. Fred is charming to most, but he has a dark side. (A lyric from All Too Well springs to mind: ‘So casually cruel in the name of being honest’). Lena and Hannah are used to living in opposite worlds – now they do more than ever before. We see their lives collide once again, but it will not be easy to continue as they did before.
Requiem does a reputable job, you’ll be glad to hear, of completing the plot it set up two books ago and bringing everything together. Many questions are answered, but we’re also shown that sometimes it’s impossible to truly discover the truth, that human intentions are complicated and entwined with prejudice. An attempt to triumph over evil is pulling the reader in all directions, and we’re not quite sure where to go. We get to see how complicated life is for Hannah even though she has been cured. And Lena once again struggles with her feelings for Julian and Alex, torn between whispered promises, familiarity and comfort. Yet the reader also sees the bigger picture (something that Lena sometimes finds difficult to do!). Delirium is a love story, but the team we were introduced to in Pandemonium have a higher goal: fight for the right to live their lives the way they want to, and with whomever. Beloved characters suffer greatly, some betray, and some surprise, but Requiem keeps pushing us forward in the name of justice.
Requiem is is a tumultuous and captivating end to a heartbreaking trilogy, ravaged with war while striving for peace. If you’ve read Delirium and Pandemonium, you will not want to miss this!
Published: 5th March 2013 (US) 21st March 2013 (UK)
Publisher: HarperTeen (US) Hodder & Stoughton (UK)
Source: Thank you Hodder & Stoughton for providing this book to review!