The Compulsive Reader: Requiem by Lauren Oliver

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Requiem by Lauren Oliver

Lena's world was rocked once again when she discovered that Alex didn't die during her escape as she once though…but he bitter and not the same Alex she knew back in Portland. She is unsure of how to balance her relationships with Alex and Julian while staying focused on the building momentum of the resistance. Meanwhile, Lena's once best friend Hana has undergone the cure for her deliria and is preparing for her marriage to the mayor of Portland. Yet, Hana can't help but feel as if something is still wrong with her, and she’s been thinking about Lena a lot lately. As the conflict heightens between the resistance and Hana's world, the girls are slowly drawn together once again in a tense, emotional reunion that will force each girl to finally make a decision about where she stands.

Requiem is a wonderfully written conclusion to the Delirium Trilogy. Oliver balances Lena and Hana's perspectives well, giving readers a glimpse of each side of the conflict, revealing Hana's motivations for her actions in previous books, and exploring the mind and motivations of one who has received the cure. Oliver really ratchets up the tension and violence in this third book; the resistance is in greater danger, facing betrayals, sudden attacks, and armies of the cured. Throughout all of this peril, Lena ponders what exactly it is that she is fighting for when life seems so dire and love has gotten complicated. Oliver uses the Biblical story of Solomon, the two women, and the baby as a metaphor for the complicated relationships Lena has with Julian, Alex, and her mother, and as a way to address the duality of love and war, and the freedom to choose right or wrong. It’s a very apt story, and also works to show the warped sensibilities of those fighting for a cure for love, and by the time Lena finally understands the story, she is certain in the decisions she makes and the actions she takes. The ending of the trilogy is unexpected, but surprisingly fitting. Oliver doesn't try to sell a happy, shiny conclusion, but instead ends with hope, a promise, and a manifesto to lead to a better future. Requiem is completely engrossing and a breathtakingly beautiful final book in this trilogy.

Cover Comments: I think these covers are beautiful, and I like that they focus on faces for once. I love the shimmery finish on the hard copies, and the brilliant colors of the flowers. It is an interesting contrast to the starkness of the novels, where most of the story is set in the wilds, which aren't very pretty and shiny at all. But, these covers really stand out on the shelf and are lovely.

Review copy provided by publisher.

If you aren't into e-reading, you should know that all of the Delirium short stories are now available in one paperback collection called Delirium Stories! These are a fun addition to the trilogy--look for my review of the collection soon!

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