Book Review: Requiem by Lauren Oliver

Book Review: Requiem by Lauren Oliver

Series: Delirium (#3)
Shelved: Young adult fiction (dystopia)
Rating: ★★★
Buy: The Book Depository
More: Goodreads

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)
Pages: 400
Source: Thank you Hodder & Stoughton for providing this book to review!

11 thoughts on “Book Review: Requiem by Lauren Oliver

  1. What a great review ! I have bought “Delirum” lats month because she came to Paris and signed copies 🙂

  2. It’s sounds like you actually enjoyed Requiem, sadly for me I found it to be a major let down. It wasn’t the ending I was hoping for such a beloved series of mine and the last chapter seemed like a cop out in my opinion. I didn’t get closure from any of the characters with the ending either. Requiem just didn’t do it for me 😦

    • I’m sorry to hear you didn’t enjoy it! Delirium will always be my absolute favourite in the trilogy. I can see that the ending will be quite controversial for a lot of readers.

  3. I surprisingly really like the last book. Before reading it, I saw that people were very disappointed with the end. Surprisingly, I wasn’t. I really liked the end, somehow I can’t imagine it ending any better. Maybe a bit of closure or a epilogue would have been helpful but otherwise I can’t say I had any complaints. Well, the fact that Alex wasn’t in it a lot did bug me at the beginning but Lauren Oliver made up for it at the end.

  4. Well, I’m liking this review to perhaps return to it – I’ve just started Delirium so we’ll see how it goes, if I even get far enough into the trilogy!

  5. I really liked the whole trilogy but I was absolutely heartbroken over the “loss” of alex and couldn’t really get over it. I kept hoping that Alex would somehow be alive because he is just such an amazing character. When got into Pandemonium and Julian came on the scene I felt a little better but I felt that not much happened romantically between Julian and Lena. When they finally escaped from underground and stayed in the safe house I got some closure over Lena and Alex, just for Julian to be taken away. It really upset me and literally made my heart hurt when the book ended with Alex coming back:( I was so torn. When I read requiem I was really mad that Lena and Alex didn’t get back together, after all they went through. Why couldn’t Alex understand that Lena thought he was dead and needed to move on? I just loved Alex so much, so having him in the book but nothing happening just simply hurt and ultimately wrecked the book a little bit for me. Some say there was a love triangle going on and I think there was, but for me I always saw clearly that Alex and Lena are perfect for each other and Julian is just a wonderful friend. Although, I did like how much Julian comforted Lena though everything and I can see how they would be drawn together over what happened. Julian is a great, amazing character but I just can’t see anyone else with Lena than Alex. I really didn’t like the end of requiem, and like others felt it was unfinished. After 2 books of EXTREME heartache for alex, 832 pages of yelling with frustration and agony for the real Alex to come back, I was NOT satisfied with the ending. I really wanted more explanation or talking or a romantic scene from Lena and Alex. The delirium series an amazing ride], but unfourtunely the last book; requiem just didn’t cut it 😦 :/

  6. Pandemonium was amazing, but Requiem was just a huge let down. Here’s the full review on my blog:

  7. […] that discovery, the final chapter brings with it a massive twist in the tale. So all I can say is Requiem will […]

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