Requiem by Lauren Oliver, published September 2013 by Hodder & Stoughton.
Read: October 2014
Genre: Young Adult/Sci-Fi/Dystopia/Romance/Adventure
Get It Now: Wordery
Goodreads Synopsis: It is the rule of the Wilds: You must be bigger, and stronger, and tougher. A coldness radiates through me, a solid wall that is growing, piece by piece, in my chest. He doesn’t love me? He never loved me. It was all a lie.
‘The old Lena is dead’, I say, and then push past him. Each step is more difficult than the last; the heaviness fills me and turns my limbs to stone. You must hurt, or be hurt. Lena can build the walls, but what if there’s no one left to take them down?
*Warning* This review contains some spoilers
I always prefer writing reviews without spoilers, but I can’t do justice to this review without stating the following: the ending of this book completely broke my heart, and not because it was a sad ending, but because to me it wasn’t an ending at all. I invested in this series, I grew to know these characters, and I wanted a conclusive ending. I know some readers like ambiguous endings so they can decide the outcome, but to me a lot of the time that feels like a “get out of jail free” card for the author. It’s cheating. It’s not having the nuts to stake a claim and commit to an ending for fear of annoying the reader. That is why I actually appreciate what Roth did with Allegiant, even if so many disliked that ending. It was real, it was different, she was brave enough to go against the grain. It was conclusive!
Let’s talk about the POV, you all know I love me some multiple POVs and I thought this one was super interesting – we get to see the POV of Lena in the Wilds, while “observing” the resistance, and we also get to see the type of life Lena left behind, as the alternate POV was Lena’s ex-best-friend, the now cured, Hana. This was fabulous. I really enjoyed getting a glimpse into both worlds, I loved that we could see how the actions of each societal sect impacted on the other, and I was intrigued by the developments in other character arcs. There was even the odd twist or turn that I wasn’t expecting…
Oliver’s writing is as beautiful as ever in this novel, and the first half/two-thirds of this book was really well done; I loved the action, the pacing and the storyline, and that is why I couldn’t go any lower than 3/5 stars for this review, even though we’re going to move on to the part that made me want to hurl this book at the wall.
There’s the love triangle, that for me wasn’t really a triangle. Lena moved on believing Alex was dead, and though I wanted to not like Julian, at times I really struggled picking a side. However, I wanted Oliver to conclusively end this story and not leave it so open to all sorts of interpretation. I’m annoyed. Very annoyed actually. I didn’t even necessarily want a happy-ever-after ending, I just wanted an ending of some description, damn it!
This was my least favourite book in the series because of the rushed and slightly sloppy ending, my favourite book was probably book two (Pandemonium), book one (Delirium) just misses that title because of the slower pace. Though I have considered, on reflection, that the slower pace in book one may have been intentional to reflect the calm and structured nature of the Cureds, while book two and three are quicker-paced to reflect the nature of the Wilds. Look at me getting all analytical! Overall, I still think this series is definitely worth reading for fans of dystopians, just don’t expect an epic grand finale!