Review: Requiem by Lauren Oliver

1 March, 2013 Reviews 36 comments

Review: Requiem by Lauren OliverRequiem by Lauren Oliver
Series: Delirium #3
Published by HarperCollins Children's Books on 5th March 2013
Pages: 400
Genres: Dystopian
Format: ARC
Source: Swap
Amazon Good BooksBook Depository

They have tried to squeeze us out, to stamp us into the past.

But we are still here.

And there are more of us every day.

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 fiancée of the young mayor.

Maybe we are driven crazy by our feelings.

Maybe love is a disease, and we would be better off without it.

But we have chosen a different road.

And in the end, that is the point of escaping the cure: We are free to choose.

We are even free to choose the wrong thing.

Requiem is told from both Lena’s and Hana’s points of view. The two girls live side by side in a world that divides them until, at last, their stories converge.

Requiem.  When all good things must come to an end.  A horrible, horrible end that didn’t do any justice to the series.  But an end nonetheless.  Requiem is like sitting down to a well-deserved, hot pie and relishing every bite until you get to the last one and die of poisoning without ever knowing why or how.  There was literally a moment when I got to the last few pages, realized there wasn’t any more and freaked out.  From enjoyment for insurmountable anger.


I am a solid believer that Lauren Oliver is a capable, talented author.  I also think she’s brave.  Not all authors risk venturing into unfamiliar territory.  Think how common it is for an author to be writing their fourth or fifth book in a series and starting spinoffs in the same world when even that gets old.  It’s clear from Delirium that Oliver was trying on something new.  Uncomfortable at first, but I’d felt that in Pandemonium, she had hit her stride.  Requiem, the last part of Lena’s journey, seems to have been a new challenge all in its own.  One that I didn’t feel Oliver managed to surmount.

The novel is divvied up into Lena’s POV and Hannah’s POV – sometimes done with more success than other times.  Overall, it wasn’t a bad series and Requiem wasn’t necessarily a bad book.  It simply could never escape from the premise holding so much more promise than the story could deliver.  Compared to other series in this genre, it struggled to hold its own candle.  I feel bereft and let down after the promise and goodness that was Pandemonium.

There are concepts and ideas there.  A tale Oliver wants to tell about love – its strengths and pitfalls.  The good and the bad.  You can see the reaching for it in Requiem.  Then a point comes when it seems the tale is abandoned in favour of wrapping it up as soon as possible.  Some might call it an open ending.  To me an open ending leaves you with thoughtful questions, not a whole lot of blank spaces.  To me, Requiem doesn’t have an open ending.  It just stops, with little rhyme or reason.

I’m not even going to talk about anything else that happens or the characters or themes or writing or anything.  I refuse.   Debate or not, an ending is an ending is an ending.  Just because something ended doesn’t mean you gave it an actual ending. Need further proof?  Allow me to illuminate on th-

Kat Kennedy

Kat Kennedy

Co-blogger at Cuddlebuggery
Kat Kennedy is a book reviewer and aspiring author in the Young Adult genre. She reviews critically but humorously and get super excited about great books. Find her on GoodReads.
Kat Kennedy

36 Responses to “Review: Requiem by Lauren Oliver”

  1. MaijaSteinbrika

    So funny! At first I thought that there’s more and my phone isn’t loading it 😀
    On Delirium and its’ sequels, I can’t say I didn’t like Delirium, it was definitely interesting and enjoyable, but I didn’t believe it could be anything more in the squels. I just didn’t feel…like I want to know what happens later, because I could guess it already.

    • KatKennedy

      MaijaSteinbrika Your guess would probably have been an improvement TBH.

    • KatKennedy

      Jennifer @ The Bawdy Book Blog Truthfully, I think you WERE being generous!

  2. Amy Turn the Page

    Seems your not the only person who feels this way. I’ve seen a few similar reviews popping up now the publication date is drawing near. Shame really.

  3. aprilmom00

    I felt the same way too. I think I rated it the same too. The ending wasn’t one 🙁  I enjoyed Hana POV over Lena’s.

    • KatKennedy

      aprilmom00 Really?  Hana’s POV really annoyed me actually.  It didn’t make sense either.  In fact, the ending (such as it was) would have made more sense if we hadn’t had Hana’s POV up to that point.

  4. tripsis

    I TOTALLY agree with you!  When I realized that there were only a few pages left and the love triangle was practically untouched, I got really upset.. and like, confused.  The whole series up until now was basically about the relationship, the romance, and the love triangle.. and then it was barely addressed in Requiem at all!  UGH!  And I totally laughed at how you finished your review!!

    • KatKennedy

      tripsis Exactly!  It was a horrible feeling, wasn’t it?!  I was like, REALLY?  We don’t deserve a little better than that?  I really feel like Oliver called this one in.  Like she just wanted to be done with it.

  5. Amy

    Yes, this ending felt so unresolved. For me this whole book just seemed to lack what I loved about the first two which was the feels!! The emotions they brought to me. This one made me feel nothing. The story did progress, but I felt that we needed more. And that ending. Seriously WTF? Love your review!!

    • KatKennedy

      @Amy  Yes!  Distinctly lacking in feels!  You’re so right!  I just felt… nothing.

    • KatKennedy

      @Amy  Yes!  Distinctly lacking in feels!  You’re so right!  I just felt… nothing.

  6. Bookie565

    Lol, I love how you ended the review. I keep seeing bad reviews for Requiem, which is really disappointing considering I loved Pandemonium. If there’s one thing I can’t stand, it’s a lack of closure. *sigh*

    • KatKennedy

      Bookie565 Then you will hate this.  It is the furthest thing from Resolution.  Ever.

  7. Mary BookSwarm

    Oh, shizzles. I HATE when you’re about a chapter out and you realize that there’s no possible way the author can end this story to your satisfaction. Even worse when it actually *is* the last book in a series. There’s just no coming back from that. I enjoyed (but didn’t love) the first two books but there’s no way in hell I’m picking this one up. I’d rather end right where I am.

    • KatKennedy

      Mary BookSwarm I think you’re making the right decision.  I would rather have imagined what happened between Lena, Alex and Julian than actually read what the author had in store for them.

  8. BookDen

    Oh, I hate how disappointed everyone is with this book! I’m so bummed. I’m obviously going to read it as soon as it come out anyway, but… boo. Unlike Requiem, your review was awesome without an ending.

    • KatKennedy

      BookDen It really was so disappointing.  But please read for yourself!  I hope you enjoy it more than I did!

  9. sazbah

    Kennedy, I’ve said it before, I say it again: you’re a MOTHERTRUCKING GENIUS.
    This: To me an open ending leaves you with thoughtful questions, not a whole lot of blank spaces.
    Right there you’ve summed up something I’ve thought, for years, but never quite been able to verbalise.
    Uh… It kind of sucks that this… Sucked? Well, not, but was disappointing. And you’ve reinforced what a friend’s been telling me :/
    Also: I’m kind of cracking up over your ending.

  10. ReadingbyKF

    oh man I literally just bought Requiem on Amazon before reading this review! Also, you totally tricked me cuz I looked for a “read more” button before it hit me that was your ending!! Damn it! But I loved Pandemonium so much. I’m really exicted to see how Lena deals with Alex being back. And Alex being a bitter old man after Lena left him! So yeah, if I don’t like it, I’m gna sell that book straight back on Amazon.

  11. xbooksmartie

    This is so sad. I loved Delirium although I didn’t expect me to even finish it and now I’m at the beginning of Pandemonium and I hoped this could be one of my favorite series. I’m going to read Requiem anyway, though. You read Before I Fall, too, right? How is that one? Because I like Oliver’s writing style and would be more than willing to see try her contemporary novel 🙂

  12. x10

    Ugh! the ending! I can’t believe it! Totally unsatisfying! Lets hope the tv version makes up for it and I’ve never wanted movie/tv versions to differ from the book versions, but please oh please let them fix this!

  13. cynicalsapphire

    OH SNAP. Two stars is like really bad. Okay. Yeah, I think I’m going to read Pandemonium and stop, because I am not hearing good things about this one. Like at all. 🙁

  14. LisaILJ

    Thank you!  I keep reading all these reviews praising this book, and I thought I was the only one to dislike it.  That meme up at the top is the PERFECT representation about how I felt about the end too.  
    LisaILJ @ <a href=””>I’ll
    Tumble for YA</a>

  15. lilysbookblog1

    This book was just such an EPIC let down for me. I ha quite a few problems with this one starting with the developing of the characters and unfulfilling ending. Mostly the ending is what bugged me, honestly the series deserved a better ending! I don’t think ill ever get over my feelings with the ending, it was left too open ended with no closure from anyone and raised more questions than answered! I was genuinely upset about it!
    Great Review

  16. EverAfterEsther

    Great review, Kat. Clearly we both had REALLY differing opinions on this but I can also see exactly where you’re coming from. It does feel like an extremely abrupt ending. I ended up writing my review as two separate reviews partially because of this – while my general review is positive overall, I also had to rant a bit about Lena so I wrote a spoiler-y one to go up later. Where I express some of my dissatisfaction with how things turned out. 
    And Lauren definitely did something new and different, which may just be part of Requiem’s downfall – it’s only going to work for some readers, but it will fall short for so many others.
    Brenna from <a href=””>Esther’s Ever After</a>

  17. whatdanielledidnext

    Great review! I loved Requiem as a book and reviewed as such but as an ending it was well shit. I think I’ve ranted on three seperate posts now so clearly suffering from PTSD over it. After reading Raven yesterday she’s ripped my heart out so as much as I would love a book four, I don’t think I could take it!

  18. reese

    Love your review…feel the same way.  Do you think that her ending was influenced by FOX picking up Delirium as a television pilot?  It had to have been in the works for awhile, right?  Like maybe, this would make it a more viable story if it could continue on the small (or big) screen?  So much was left open…it just makes me wonder if she didn’t change direction mid-stream once the tv execs started talking to her?  Not hating on the success, I’m happy.  I just wonder if there is an alternate ending or epilogue floating around somewhere…..

  19. booksandwine

    Friggen YES! I am so glad I am not alone in this feeling. I just finished writing my review and was working on my other reviews links and this is the perfect one because I feel the exact same about the ending. Straight up it was WHACK.

  20. booksandwine

    Friggen YES! I am so glad I am not alone in this feeling. I just finished writing my review and was working on my other reviews links and this is the perfect one because I feel the exact same about the ending. Straight up it was WHACK.

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