Book Review: Requiem by Lauren Oliver

Lena is now an active member of the resistance.  The fight between the government and the Invalids and rebels has reached its boiling point.  While Lena works with the rebellion to change things for good, her former friend Hana lives a regulated life in Portland and is about to be married to the city’s mayor. The two girls could not have more different paths, but the imminent battle will force them to converge one last time.

Lauren Oliver’s final book in the Delirium Trilogy offers readers some closure but leaves a lot open to interpretation and imagination.  This is going to work for some readers while it will alienate others.  As with the conclusion of any popular trilogy, an ending is just that: an ending.

There’s plenty here to like.  Oliver wisely alternates narration between wild and resistant Lena and her former best friend Hana, now cured.  What is most interesting is that Hana’s story is much more compelling than Lena’s.  Hana’s life with her soon-to-be husband feels more dangerous and fraught with tension than Lena’s life in the wild as the resistance builds its numbers.  This might not be true for all readers, but for those who are tired of the love triangle trope, Hana’s story will be that much more compelling.

Both girls are excellent narrators with strong voices and authentic personalities.  Lena’s growth as a character from the trilogy’s inception can be felt fully here, as she is brave and resolute in a way she lacked at the start of Delirium.  Likewise, Hana’s character undergoes a tremendous amount of growth as well.  Both of these character arcs are immensely satisfying.

Readers looking for a tidy resolution to the story are going to be let down.  Furthermore, readers hell-bent on finding out which boy Lena picks in the end are going to find themselves scratching their heads.  However, it is this reviewer’s opinion that not fixating too strongly on the love triangle in this novel does it a great service.  That being said, the novel doesn’t reinvent the wheel.  The romantic elements are still there.

Slow to start but builds to a tense climax.  This is a must-read for fans of the trilogy, but expect opinions about the ending to be very split.  Recommended for dystopian fans, if they aren’t sick of the genre yet.

Requiem by Lauren Oliver. HarperCollins Children’s: 2013.  Library copy.

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