Requiem

All posts tagged Requiem

Requiem (Delirium #3) – Lauren Oliver

Published May 19, 2014 by bibliobeth

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What’s it all about?:

Battling against a society in which love has been declared a disease, Lena now finds herself at the centre of a fierce revolution. But the Wilds are no longer the haven they once were as the government seeks to stamp out the rebels. And Lena’s emotions are in turmoil following the dramatic return of someone she thought was lost forever…

Told from the alternating viewpoints of Lena and her best friend Hana, Requiem brings the Delirium trilogy to an exhilarating end and showcases Lauren Oliver at the height of her writing powers – emotionally powerful and utterly enthralling.

What did I think?:

Requiem is the third and final book in the Delirium series by Lauren Oliver which began with Delirium (my favourite of the three), and continued with Pandemonium (a good follow-up novel). To re-cap on the story so far as spoiler-free as I can possibly make it for those who haven’t read the series yet, we are introduced to a dystopian world where love is declared an illness and an epidemic too dangerous to risk for vulnerable young people. As a result, on their eighteenth birthday all teenagers undergo an operation where the part of the brain that is responsible for falling in love is neatly sliced out. Unfortunately it tends to turn its patients into emotionless zombies if the operation is a success and if not.. well, you can imagine the worst thing that can happen when undergoing brain surgery I’m sure!

Our heroine Lena happens to fall in love and resists being “cured” by escaping into the Wilds where she is told that there are many other people like her who are mounting a revolution to overthrow the corrupt government in charge. During the second book she manages to recruit the son of the enemy, Julian over to the “Wild side,” and realises that after the loss of her first love, Alex perhaps the heart is able to love twice. This is turned completely upside down and back to front however when someone from her past returns along with the fact that the government is doing everything they can to stamp out the rebels and completely eradicate the notion of love, even resorting to extreme violence to meet their needs. Will they succeed or will love overthrow evil? Can Lena decide what it is her heart really wants?

One of my favourite things and the strength behind this novel was the fact it was told in two alternate points of view – our protagonist Lena, and her friend Hana, the girl left behind to become cured, make a match, and do everything according to the rules. I think this did bring a sort of freshness and vitality to the story, especially when exploring the relationship between Hana and her fiance, the new mayor (who I think is everything that is truly evil and hideous in the world by the way). I loved that Hana became a person in her own right, grows so much as a character and has quite a few moral decisions to make over the course of the novel about what is right and wrong in the world that she is living in. But the ending! I have to admit, I was kind of disappointed. I know a few people that disliked Requiem and as a result, didn’t finish the series and I have mixed opinions about it myself. On one hand, you are missing some good “Hana action,” but as for the conclusion – unfortunately you’re not missing much there. It may have rounded things off well for some readers, but personally I would have preferred it to go out with a bang.

Would I recommend it?:

Maybe!

Star rating (out of 5):

3 Star Rating Clip Art

Pandemonium – Lauren Oliver

Published November 8, 2013 by bibliobeth

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What’s it all about?:

Lena’s been to the very edge. She’s questioned love and the life-changing and agonising choices that come with it. She’s made her decision. But can she survive the consequences? PANDEMONIUM is the explosive sequel to the critically acclaimed and bestselling DELIRIUM.

What did I think?:

I read Lauren Oliver’s first book in this series, Delirium pre-blogging days, so unfortunately there isn’t a review for it, yet I can’t believe I am only getting round to the follow up now. For anyone ignorant of this series, it is set in a future dystopian world where falling in love is forbidden and highly discouraged, and when children come of age they are subjected to traumatic brain surgery to remove any emotions connected with it, pronouncing it a “cure,” and in effect, producing a nation of zombies. In the first novel, we meet our heroine Lena, who is about to come of age and have surgery, however just in time she meets a young man called Alex and falls head over heels in love with him. Doh! As the second book opens, Lena is being looked after by a group of people in The Wilds, and believes Alex is dead after narrowly cheating it herself. Surviving on the outside of the city walls is quite a primitive process, and the group have to build and construct a lot of necessary materials themselves, and either scavenge for food and supplies or rely on the generosity of sympathisers on the inside for transportation of goods.

I enjoyed the way in which the author split up the narrative into “Then” and “Now” portions. “Then” talks about Lena’s life just after she arrived in The Wilds, and “Now” is set in New York where Lena has become an active member of the resistance against DFA (Deliria-Free-America). Lena is attending the DFA meetings posing in disguise as one of the “cureds” with instructions to get close to the founders son Julian, the poster-boy and beacon of hope for the future. But when Julian is kidnapped and things start to go badly wrong for Lena also, she learns a whole lot about trust, strength, bravery and the deliria of love.

So, in my opinion, Delirium is the strongest book of the series so far, but that’s not to say I didn’t enjoy Pandemonium. It’s definitely action-packed, exciting and still intriguing enough to keep you reading on, wondering exactly what’s happening to a character that so far you’ve invested a lot of time in. There are still some little twists and turns in the plot also that I didn’t see coming and welcomed whole-heartedly and if you like your endings with a cliffhanger, you’ll probably be a happy bunny with this one! As for character development, I think Lena really matures as an individual through what she has to deal with, and gains both physical and mental strength through her challenges. Julian I’m not so sure about just yet, maybe he’ll grow on me… but saying that I did sympathise with his back story and the difficulties in his relationship with his father. Hopefully I won’t wait too long before reading the conclusion to the series – Requiem, I am looking forward to where the author takes it next and wonder if a happy ending is completely out of the question?

Would I recommend it?:

But of course!

Star rating (out of 5):

3-5-stars