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THUMBS DOWN to REQUIEM by Lauren Oliver

TITLE: Requiem

AUTHOR: Lauren Oliver

PUBLISHER: HarperCollins


SUMMARY: This exciting finale to Lauren Oliver’s New York Times bestselling Delirium trilogy is a riveting blend of nonstop action and forbidden romance in a dystopian United States.

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 both Lena and Hana’s points of view. They live side by side in a world that divides them until, at last, their stories converge.

With lyrical writing, Lauren Oliver seamlessly interweaves the peril that Lena faces with the inner tumult she experiences after the reappearance of her first love, Alex, the boy she thought was dead.

REVIEW: **SPOILER ALERT** Readers may remember that I was less than impressed with Pandemonium even though I enjoyed Delirium. I just felt that the book was a little too much of a bridge between what happened to Lena and Alex and what would happen in Portland between the DFA and the rebels. With this third and final installment, I feel like the tension is just prolonged. The only resolution that is really provided is between Lena, Alex, and Julien while continuing the struggle between the Invalids and Valids. There seems to be a lot of action in this book but ultimately, it’s similar to spinning wheels. Much dust is kicked up in an effort to get somewhere when ultimately only a few feet of progress is gained. Lena’s character does not really develop any more than she did in Pandemonium. She struggles with the guilt of leaving Julien behind but it seems a foregone conclusion that Lena will choose Alex when he made such a dramatic, surprise appearance in the second book.

The inclusion of Hana’s perspective seems more a sideshow trick than a plot element. While weaving the two plot threads together seems a technical feat, it’s all  too convenient. Lena and Hana ending up as the major players in the outcome of the struggle for Portland, while prosaic, is contrived. It takes entirely too long for the conflict to come to a head and while Oliver does kill off some well-known characters, too many of the favorites survive in such a violent, combative environment for it to ring true. Those who do die are characters readers have only recently met or who played secondary parts in the plot.

The saving grace of this series is the writing itself. Oliver manages to create beautifully crafted passages that linger long after the plot has moved on. Oliver manages to make all of the violence and plotting seem as background noise to Lena’s lyrical musings on her physical and emotional condition. If Oliver’s storyline was as complex, courageous, and graceful as the prose itself, the story would have more staying power. The end to this series is a tad too convenient for this reader’s taste. It is an entertaining, interesting read but nothing that one should rush to finish.


One thought on “THUMBS DOWN to REQUIEM by Lauren Oliver

  1. i think that a lot of us share your perception of this story. there were so many parts that made me want to think that it would be great – but the ending totally let me down!

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