Requiem: I Dislike Love Triangles, But A Good Finish To A Good Dystopian Trilogy

Requiem is written by Lauren Oliver. It was published in 2013 by Harper. It is the third and final book in the Delirium trilogy. I reviewed the first two books here and here, respectively. Oliver’s website can be found here.

Will contain slight spoilers for all three books.

Genre: Dystopian, Young Adult

Summary/Blurb:

“While Lena navigates the increasingly dangerous Wilds, her best friend, Hana, lives a safe, loveless life in Portland.”

~Library of Congress

Passages/Quotes:

“You really do look lovely, Hana,” my mother says.

“Thank you,” I say. I know I look lovely. It might sound egotistical, but it’s the truth.

This, too, has changed since my cure. When I was uncured, even though people always told me I was pretty, I never felt it. But after the cure, a wall came down inside me. Now I see that yes, I am quite simply and inarguably beautiful.

I also no longer care.”

~Oliver 13

“The river—” Raven starts to say as we get closer, but Pippa cuts her off.

“We heard,” she says. Her face is grim. In the daylight, I see Pippa is older than I originally thought. I assumed she was in her early thirties, but her face is deeply lined, and her hair is gray at the temples. Or maybe that is only the effect of being here, in the Wilds, and waging this war. “It isn’t flowing.”

“What do you mean?” Hunter says. “A river doesn’t stop flowing overnight.”

“It does if it’s dammed,” Alex says.

For a second there’s silence.

“What do you mean, dammed?” Julian speaks first. He, too, is trying not to panic. I can hear it in his voice.

Alex stares at him. “Dammed,” he repeats. “As in, stopped. Blocked up. Obstructed or confined by a—”

“But who dammed it?” Julian cuts in. He refuses to look at Alex, but it’s Alex who responds.

“It’s obvious, isn’t it?” He shifts slightly, angling his body toward Julian. There’s a hot, electric tension in the air. “The people on the other side.” He pauses. “Your people.”

~Oliver 177-178

Cover Art

Warnings: Violence, swearing.

Recommended Age Range: 16+

Rating: 3/5

What I Liked:

Oliver’s writing is, as usual, beautiful. I wish more authors would write like her.

The whole “Story of Solomon” thing with Alex was so adorable. Also, loved the way Oliver handled the love triangle (well, mostly…). It wasn’t so much of a love triangle as confusion, hurt and uncertainty. Great job breaking the mold (slightly), Oliver.

Grace! You’re back! I missed you!

Overall, it’s a good finish to the series, and the series itself is pretty decent. It’s definitely above Condie’s Matched trilogy. I would re-read this sooner than I would re-read Matched (also, if you’re curious as to my ranking of dystopian trilogies, it goes: Hunger Games, Divergent, Delirium, Matched. Those are all the ones I’ve read in full (minus Divergent, the third book of which comes out in October).

There’s going to be a Delirium TV show (EDIT: Nope, sorry. Cancelled)!

What I Didn’t Like:

I wish we could have gotten a better look at the inner workings of this society. Although, now that I think about it, maybe we did in the first book and I’ve just forgotten.

Okay, so, instead of resolving the love triangle like most books with love triangles do, Oliver decided to not resolve it, and left Lena like Katniss in Catching Fire and the beginning of Mockingjay, which means that we are left with no clue as to whether it’s Julian or Alex. I mean, sure, it can be implied that it will be Alex, and it probably most definitely is Alex, but it’s far more complicated than that, as Lena herself said! What about Julian? What happens with him?

Also, what the heck happened to Hana? Is there no resolution for her either? Does she get away? Where does she go? Does she meet up with Lena again? Why do people like ending books with unresolved issues? At least with Mockingjay we got an epilogue, no matter what people thought of it.

Oh, and I didn’t much like the way Oliver ended the book. Not with the characters tearing down the wall, because that was cool, but the whole three paragraphs after that that talked about “tearing down your walls.” That was a bit…twee? Corny? Something like that.

Overall Review:

Requiem continues the beautiful writing of Delirium and Pandemonium and finishes the trilogy fairly well. I had a few problems with the trilogy as a whole and with this book in particular, particularly the way Oliver chose to end it, but it is a decent series and probably one of the better ones out there.

Coming Up Next: The Dark Days of Hamburger Halpin by Josh Berk

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