Google+ YA Romantics: Just Finished Reading ... Requiem by Lauren Oliver

Monday, February 25, 2013

Just Finished Reading ... Requiem by Lauren Oliver

Requiem
by Lauren Oliver
To be published by HarperTeen
on March 5, 2013

Source: e-ARC from the publisher via Edelweiss. My FTC disclosure is to the right of this post, on the sidebar. I was also lucky enough to score a finished copy at a book event for charity, so ..... GIVEAWAY!




Only very mild plot spoilers for Delirium and Pandemonium.

Summary, excerpted from Goodreads: Now an active member of the resistance, Lena has been transformed. The nascent rebellion that was under way 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 now infiltrate the borderlands to stamp out the rebels, and as Lena navigates the increasingly dangerous terrain, her best friend, Hana, lives a safe, loveless life in Portland as the fiancĂ©e of the young mayor.

My take:  To me, this series defines high-concept: what if love were viewed as a disease? After finishing Requiem, it seems to me that this entire series is an exploration of different types of love. In Delirium, Lena faces the prospect of her impending cure, then falls in love with Alex and risks everything to be with him. In Pandemonium, Lena faces life after a loss, and learns more about herself as a person as she faces life in the wilds, helps infiltrate the DFA (Deliria-Free America) and grows close to Julian. If Delirium is about first love and Pandemonium looks at love after loss, then I'd say that Requiem explores the idea of love as sacrifice.

Lauren Oliver's writing is beautiful and lyrical in all three books and I've enjoyed this entire trilogy. But after finishing the series, I'd say Delirium was my favorite of the three. I preferred the single point of view, loved all the incredibly creative excerpts from The Book of SHH and other sources, and just found it more gripping to read about life within this dystopic society than life on the outside in the Wilds.

Like Pandemonium, Requiem has shifting points of view. While Pandemomium shifted chronologically from chapter to chapter, alternating between "now" and "then" in Lena's point of view Requiem shifts between Hana's point of view and Lena's. I will probably be in the minority on this, but I much preferred Hana's chapters in Requiem, probably because they reminded me of Delirium. Hana has been cured, and she's not quite herself, but I still found her situation complelling. Like Lena in Delirium, Hana is counting down the days to an important date -- her wedding to the mayor's son -- and as that date grows closer, her anxiety about the ceremony and her groom begin to grow. She starts sneaking around Portland, investigating a hunch. She's also keeping a BIG secret from Lena.

Lena's chapters in Requiem follow her work with the resistance in the Wilds. There are a lot of characters (most from Pandemonium, a few new) that I couldn't always keep straight, and a lot of hiding and skirmishes and moving from point A to point B. It was frustrating to me that Lena uses her group's precarious situation as an excuse to refuse to talk about or deal with the dramatic event at the end of Pandemonium. While I suppose this was realistic -- the group is trying to plan a rebellion while evading Regulators -- it was also frustrating.

In Requiem, Lena and Hana are each haunted by the past and tormented by guilt. There's a story -- borrowed from the Old Testament and the adapted in The Book of SHH -- that preoccupies both women. Thinking about that story -- in either version -- made me a little nervous about the ending of Requiem. Basically, the SHH version of the story ends in tragedy and the Biblical one in self-sacrifice. I won't tell you which way things go in Requiem, but I'll be very curious to see how other readers react.


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Dying to read Requiem? I have this finished copy to give away. It's the first edition with the bonus chapter from Alex's POV. I'll draw the winner first thing Monday morning, March 4 and mail it Priority Mail as soon as I get the winner's mailing address. US only, sorry!  a Rafflecopter giveaway

28 comments:

  1. I think Delirium might have been my favorite, now that I can look back over the series. Though Pandemonium was excellent and perhaps my favorite immediately after reading. But when I sit and think of the styles and focus of each, Delirium is the clear winner for me. I've been really anxious to hear what everyone thinks and can't wait for the release. :)

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  2. I only skimmed your review since I'm thinking about going back and re-reading Delirium and then reading Pandemonium for the first time this year but I was caught by your mention of preferring life within the dystopic society to being in the wilds. It made me think of Ally Condie's Matched which I vastly preferred to Crossed where they're on the run. I think I tend to agree with you about that preference.

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    1. See, I totally agree -- those "wandering around" plots just rarely grab me. I didn't read Crossed, though...

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  3. I'd say Delirium was my favorite too. I still hate the ending to Requiem but slowly I'm accepting it. Way too open for my tastes but I liked the message and the hopefullness of it. I did enjoy Hana's POV but I wouldn't say more than Lena's. I just found it interesting to follow her thoughts after her cure. It was like she was cured but that she still couldn't get strong feelings from before her cure to go completely away. I have a theory that maybe that is why they try to keep boys and girls completely away from each other before the cure. Maybe never having felt love makes the cure work better? I did understand that Lena was really busy surviving and all but I was super annoyed she wasn't facing the events at the end of Pandemonium and basically stringing everyone along. I wanted some darn talking and good closure! But overall I found it to be a fantastic series with beautiful writing. I loved the biblical story and how the one character was trying to sacrifice themselves for the other characters happiness. Hope this all made sense I was trying to keep spoilers out of it. LOL

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    1. I did like all the discussion about love and how it's a double-edged sword. And, yeah, discussing this without spoilers is really hard. I hope my review makes any sense!

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  4. Yeah, you have a point about the whole middle section when they're in the Wilds. It did kind of gt a little confusing.... Great review!

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    1. I should have reviewed some of those Pandemonium characters. Besides Julian, I didn't really remember who was who....

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  5. My review for this is going up soon. I was not very pleased with the ending. I think this was my least favorite of the series. I found myself really annoyed for most of the book. I really did like it though.

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    1. The ending was ... frustrating to me. Look forward to your review!

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  6. I really love this series and can't wait to read Requiem -- I'm sad your giveaway is US-only! Darn! :) Oh well ... still, I've heard so many mixed things that I'm just a little scared to see how it all ends, but it's Lauren Oliver, so I know I'll probably love it. She's a master!

    Thanks for sharing, Jen!

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    1. Sorry that it's US only. The shipping to Canada isn't so much more $ but I can't use Priority Mail.

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  7. I don't know how it is that I still haven't read this series but I seriously need to catch up! I've heard so much about this series and your review just makes me want to read it that much more. Great review!!
    World of Books

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  8. I agree, the skirmishes were really frustrating to me. I get it, but I felt like it was a lot of focus on the small battles and I lost a lot of connection with the characters. I actually wasn't a fan of much of the action in the Wilds!
    Great review :) I love hearing people's thoughts on this!

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  9. Wonderful review <3 I haven't read this series yet, but it's on the list. I love the way it portrays love differently in all the books, it sounds wonderful!

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  10. This is a great review, though frustrating because it doesn't give anything away ;). HA! I am deeply intrigued by this, and I'm crossing my fingers for a detailed email from you sometime in the future. I"m pretty sure this is one triangle that I could not handle, so I won't be moving past Delirium.

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  11. I am very intrigued! I found the character of Julian, and how Lena was with him, very interesting, but I don't particularly like either boy over the other, so I'm probably going to be okay with any ending on that. Really looking forward to Hana's role in the last book!

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  12. Your review has me terrified to read Requiem. I've been seeing so many mixed reviews and the end of your review has me wondering what is going to happen. I'm going to have to take the plunge soon though. I'm excited to read from Hana's point of view and I don't think you'll be alone in enjoying her chapters more. I think I might too. Great review!

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  13. Sounds like a great part of the series. I really enjoyed Delirium but haven't read the others for whatever reason. But this review makes me want to.
    Glad to hear that she is exploring different types and ways that love expresses itself. Very true that love means sacrifice a lot of times.
    Brandi @ Blkosiner’s Book Blog

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  14. Oh,dear. This line has me a bit freaked out:

    "If Delirium is about first love and Pandemonium looks at love after loss, then I'd say that Requiem explores the idea of love as sacrifice."

    Uh oh. Not sure I like what this may mean. I'm with you: I preferred Delirium over Pandemonium. It sounds like Requiem may frustrate me but I am still anxious to see how the story ends.

    And I have GOT to read Hana before starting Requiem! Hope I don't forget!

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  15. Not sure how I'm going to feel about this book. I have read other reviews where readers are not happy. And honestly, I'm scared to read it. LOL!

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  16. I haven't read too many enthusiastic reviews for this one. I'm kind of wary of starting the series but maybe the lowered expectations are a good thing for me :-)

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  17. I think the issue at the end of book two not being resolved in any way will frustrate me too when I read it. I'm really curious about Hanna's side of things and what's going on with her. You totally sparked my interest there! I'll be reading this one soon.

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  18. I'm a bit freaked out about reading this one. I've been putting it off actually. I think Lena not dealing with what happened at the end of Pandemonium will really annoy me. The love as a sacrifice theme is worrying me now. I hope I'm not too disappointed. Wonderful review, and thanks for doing such a great job of reviewing it without dropping major spoilers. :-)

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  19. I am dying inside just waiting to read this book!!!! And sadly, I will have to wait until the library copy frees up to read it. I have been trying to win this book for months!

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  20. Pandemonium was my favorite book, but I actually loved the ending of this series, and i know people will either love it or hate it

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