Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Joint Review: Requiem

Requiem (Delirium, #3)
Title: Requiem (Delirium #3)
Author: Lauren Oliver
Purchase: Amazon | B&N | TBD

As her country erupts in open rebellion, Lena fights for the resistance and must make a heartbreaking choice between two loves.

After saving Julian from a death sentence, Lena escapes with him and other members of the resistance. But as she embraces her love for Julian, a boy from her past returns and causes her to question everything. 

In the meantime, Lena's best friend, Hana, is engaged to Portland's young mayor and is living a safe, proscribed, loveless life. The story is told from both Lena and Hana's points of view.

As Lena struggles to save the people she loves, everything comes to a head in this exciting finale to Lauren Oliver's epic trilogy. REQUIEM is a sophisticated, wide-ranging novel that explores the large issues of society, government, and resistance, and of course, there is romance.

Charlie's Review:
“But it's not about knowing. It is simply about going forward. The cureds want to know; we have chosen faith instead.”

After reading Pandemonium with that gut-punching ending, I cannot wait to read this book. But after reading some reviews when this was released, all those unsatisfied comments sort of dampen my excitement. 

Oliver, once again, amazed me with her impeccable writing style and wonderful prose. She has a way with words. I definitely enjoyed reading the alternate POVs of Hana and Lena, which had a great distinction between the characters. You can definitely see the difference between them. Lena was defiant, stubborn and strong-willed while Hana was confused, guilty but surprisingly calm. I was particularly excited to read Hana’s part, especially now that she’s cured. 

All the time I was reading, I was looking forward for the two girls to meet. Well, except knowing Lena’s choice. I was excited to see their reactions and if there still was friendship left between them, even a little. Unfortunately, the moment I’ve been waiting for fell short. Of course I was expecting a sort of dramatic event. They were best friends whose paths were separated after all. But I didn’t feel enough emotions on their scene except when Hana admitted to Lena that it was her who told the Regulators about 37 Brooks. It all felt bland and both of them, although wary of each other, seem nonchalant. 

The build up of the war was also well-paced except for some unnecessary filler parts. Fillers are not bad, although I was expecting more action because of the upcoming war against the government. I definitely felt a rush reading those dangerous parts, not just on Lena’s part but also on Hana’s. The latter’s visit at the Crypt was also an interesting point, as well as the use of the story of Bluebeard, which I admit scares the crap out of me. 

Also, let’s not forget the boys. Reading the change in Alex was heartbreaking. He was like a lifeless soul that didn’t just change but was utterly broken. And although I wanted Alex, Julian’s moments and his adjustment to the Wilds was something that cannot be overlooked. Almost everything he does, he does for Lena, which is really sweet and adorable. I started to see his perspective and I cannot find any reason to be annoyed. 

Who annoyed me? Lena. At the beginning, her choice was indeed obvious but I felt a bit of change in the middle. Her confusion between Alex and Julian was perfectly understandable but I hated the parts where she purposely threw herself towards Julian’s direction whenever Alex does something (ignoring her or having a fun conversation with Coral). There were also times when it feels like she’s choosing Julian’s side because she can’t be with Alex, like he’s her second choice. I thought she loved Julian?

Although I have a love-hate relationship with this book, it was still awesome in my book until the ending. Please tell me that my copy has a missing chapter or that there’s another book coming next year because that was not a freakin ending! I liked the thought of the last paragraphs, about not knowing things, I get it but would it hurt to give a conclusion? This is a conclusion to the series, for Merlin’s sake! With Lena’s internal speech about not knowing things, I expected an open-ending but that wasn’t ending at all. It only gave me more questions which was supposed to be answered and put to rest after reading the last book. What happened to Lena’s family? What happened to Hana? What about Fred? [spoiler] With Lena choosing Alex, I assume because of their exchange of I love yous, how did Julian react? [spoiler] Did Hana and Lena’s friendship stood a chance in the end? What about the war? See, questions.

To say that I am disappointed would be an understatement.


Kristel's Review:

If you start strong, you need to finish stronger right? 

Before I wrote (typed) this review, I read the last few pages of Delirium. And when I did, I still felt it - the breaking of Lena's heart and the breaking of my heart. Not all books can feel me this miserable, you know. I could not literally stop crying at the last part. To borrow Oliver's words, "I don't think I have ever, in my life, seen (in this case, read) anything more beautiful". Bottom line: Delirium is very powerful book. No, actually, that is an understatement. I cannot find the words to convey my experience of reading it so I'm gonna stop trying, alright.

So, why am I saying all of this when this review is supposed to be for Requiem?

Just to be clear about one part though, all three books are written beautifully in the technical aspect. But story-wise, I feel like the books after Delirium were not as "powerful", for lack of a better description. I felt such "wow factor" gradually diminish after each book and its so heart-breaking because the first book has already set the standards!

To be honest, reading Pandemonium was not as exhilarating as reading Delirium. I was expecting so, so much from Requiem which is why I was also so, so disappointed. I thought Oliver was up to something bigger; I thought she would surprise me with something big and shocking. It was shocking, alright - not in a very good way, though. I wanted her to kind of redeem herself after the disappointment that was Pandemonium, you guys. Does this sound like a rant? I apologize.

Requiem, Requiem, Requiem. Song for the dead, huh? And it’s really sad, you guys.

Lena - I really liked Lena. She was so courageous and brave. She took risks and she was bold. In this book, she was just a confused teenager who does not know what she really wants (sorry for the comparison, but I'm a teenager as well :P). I expected to see so much personality in her character - to see more of that fighting spirit which very much encouraged me to continue reading this dystopian series because I knew she was going to fight back. Sad to say, she was just being a coward in most parts - leading Julian on just to show Alex she's okay when in fact she is only pretending to be because she saw that Alex is spending time with another girl. Really, Lena?

I think Julian had the most to lose to be in the resistance for him to be with the girl he loves whom he thought loves him back - until there was Alex. Poor, poor Julian. I do not have much to say about Julian because the way Oliver finished Requiem, readers would not be able to tell how he was able to deal [spoiler]about Lena choosing Alex over him and thus, putting us in the dark side of the story.[spoiler]

Then there is the Alex. I understand him and feel for him, though not entirely. He used to be so warm and overflowing with hope and courage. After everything he's been through, I don't think he'll ever be the same. I just don't get pretending-he-does-not-love-her-anymore act. Seriously, stop this thing. I was like, "just tell her and get it over with!"

And there's this thing that is anything but good - the ending. This time, I know it’s not just me. In my mind, I can hear other readers say, "That's it?" with a big question mark in their faces. It was a messy ending - there's chaos and everybody was running and stuff. We deserve the closure, don't you think? After waiting so long for this third book we deserve so much more than this. We do not even know what happened after that thing, you know. I had a lot of questions in my mind and up until now, they remain unanswered. And don't worry, I won't list them for your convenience.;)

I have a theory why this book was entitled Requiem - this book is a sad sad conclusion to the Delirium Trilogy that is supposed to be mourned.

Please don't hate me if you don't agree with this because this is an honest to goodness review.

Don't give up reading!

My Rating: 2 out of 5 stars

Kristel, xo