I reviewed the second book in this series, PANDEMONIUM, but read Delirium before I started this blog.
This is the third book in the series. I also have read the advanced reader's copy and am noting that RIGHT HERE.
With that, an amazon summary, "This exciting finale to Lauren Oliver's New York Times bestselling Delirium trilogy is a riveting blend of nonstop action and forbidden romance in a dystopian United States.
Now an active member of the resistance, Lena has transformed. The nascent rebellion that was underway 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 infiltrate the borderlands to stamp out the rebels.
As Lena navigates the increasingly dangerous terrain of the Wilds, her best friend, Hana, lives a safe, loveless life in Portland as the fiancée of the young mayor. Requiem is told from both Lena and Hana's points of view. They live side by side in a world that divides them until, at last, their stories converge.
With lyrical writing, Lauren Oliver seamlessly interweaves the peril that Lena faces with the inner tumult she experiences after the reappearance of her first love, Alex, the boy she thought was dead. Sophisticated and wide-ranging, Requiembrings the Delirium trilogy to a thrilling conclusion." AMAZON LINK OF JUSTICE
So right off the bat, this is going to contain a lot of spoilers for book one and two, and towards the end I'll warn about the true spoiler land because I HAVE NEEDS and NEED to talk about the ending.
So in book one there was an elaborate foundation for this world that is so similar to ours but has one basic foundation shift; they believe love is a disease that needs to be cured. They cure people through some brain operation (which I can only assumes removes a part of the brain) and have built their society around this notion.
In the trilogy this cured society is portrayed as heartless, ruthless, and almost aggressively evil; at least those who control it. Those who are cured within the society, are more ordinary citizens, are mostly on the alert for emotions and being too emotional; yet they live in a constant state of fear. Last time I check that was an emotion, but whatever, carry on.
Book three picks up kind of where book two left off. There's an interesting aspect to this book as every other chapter is Hana's point of view, and the other chapters are from Lena's point of view.
I like this switch up, HOWEVER, it seems to me that with the vigilance that was given to Lena's character up to book three, I wonder if the author herself got bored writing Lena's character because she is BORING AS ALL GET OUT.
Everything seems to happen around Lena; there's also a misshapen love triangle that she's the beginning of. She believed Alex was dead, got trapped in a room with Julian, scared out of her mind, falls in love with Julian (at the end of book two it's revealed that Alex is alive). SO GUESS WHAT SHE SPENDS BOOK THREE DOING?
I love Alex! NO! I LOVE JULIAN. But maybe I like Alex....NO I'M WITH JULIAN NOW, ALEX TOLD ME HE DOESN'T LOVE ME BLOO HOO HOO. I'm totally in love with Julian! Just kidding! I love Alex! No wait, Julian is the one for me! OH NO, THE TURMOIL. BLAHHHH.
But how it seems is that Alex and Julian are in love with Lena and are just waiting for her to make her mind up. Julian is led to believe that she's all in to be with him at one point, but gets increasingly unsure as the book goes on (with good reason). ALSO, I HATE, ABSOLUTELY LOATHE, how Lena and Julian would kiss, but that would be it. No real emotions or feelings behind it, just Lena thinking, "He's always so warm, so gentle, so caring....I love Alex. WAIT, I LOVE JULIAN." ...the book.
So ignoring Lena's whole I'M THE CENTER OF ATTENTION LOVE TRIANGLE MEEEE crying, Hana tells a much more interesting story.
Probably because she's not Lena. But you know.
So Hana has been cured, paired with Fred (who is going to become the mayor of Portland) and is struggling with what being cured feels like. At one point she admits it's muffled, but at the same time the tone implies that since she is so removed from the situations she's in, that when she does feel she almost doesn't know what to do with it. It was pretty interesting.
From Hana's perspective, the only thing she can think about is Fred and what he's going to do with the invalids (the uncured) or how the sympathizers will be treated, and the rest of the population in Portland.
Meanwhile, Lena is in some woods somewhere, almost getting killed because rebel life, and still moping/crying over her Alex and Julian dilemma. Yes, she does address the rebellion from her side sometimes, but it doesn't seem overly important besides where her next inner conflict will happen in terms of setting. Seriously.
Alright, maybe I'm being a little hard. Lena does pay attention to the rebellion as she's just wants her freedom and stop having to fight all the time, she's looking for an end. Blah.
I don't really care BECAUSE I AM SO MAD AT THE END OF THE BOOK.
THIS IS SPOILER LANDDDDDDDDDDDDD.
THE VERY LAST PAGE OF THE BOOK.
I am so mad. SO SO MAD.
Basically, there's two thirds of the LAST PAGE trying to act like a plea to the people.
To take down the wall.
Considering where this plea is placed, right after they take down a literal boundary in the book, I could not help thinking about my own fenced in backyard. And also that if I took down that wall, my dog would not have the freedom to roam the backyard without a leash. SO LEAVE MY WALL ALONE.
It also seems to serve as a half warning about 'big brother'. I'm going to quote this FREAKING BOOK, "Take down the walls. Otherwise you must live closely, in fear, building barricades against the unknown, saying prayers against the darkness, speaking verse of terror and tightness," (Oliver, Requiem, page 391).
The book was leading up to this big moment, like RAHHHH WE ARE THE VICTORS (they're totally not in terms of the whole world being affected, and the other cities, etc etc but one victory can go to ANYONE'S head), then it has that page. That page where it's like I'M MAKING A PROMISE TO TEAR DOWN WALLS. BLAHHHH.
Alright, let me calm down a moment to say I get it.
The author is trying to convey to not let barricades of fear stand in the way of creating an understanding for any person, people, place etc. Don't let fear, don't let pressure, don't let anyone force you into doing something you know is inherently wrong.
That's what has been beaten to death over the course of all three of these books.
I freaking get it.
I was looking forward to the growth in characters, seeing how the WORLD would change shape because of this notion.
I didn't want to spend so much time on seeing the horrors that both sides of the war can inflict upon each other. I thought that was well established in the first two books.
In book one it was established pretty rigorously that the society itself was a prison.
In book two it was established that the society which imprisoned it's people, breed people who are not afraid to commit horrors onto it's own people.
In book three it was established through Hana how horrible the society is to it's own citizens, and that Lena doesn't understand who she loves or what love is even though she gave up a terrible society to try and figure it out.
That's all that the author is leaving the readers with?
...maybe I'll reflect more on this book later and follow up with some sort of after thoughts, but for now I'm just mad. This book. UGH. This book!
Don't get me wrong, I actually enjoyed reading most of it (except for the Lena chronicles of love, bleh), until the very end. Then I had all THE PROBLEMS. WHAT.
I just don't know what to say. It seems like it all became drivel. Blah. Really, if it had ended before it's little speech of promise about walls, I probably would have been okay. Really okay with the book (besides Lena not knowing who she is in love with the majority of the time). With that little speech, it changes the entire tone of the story I just read.
I hope, since I read the advance reader's copy of the book, that someone in the land of this book becoming more processed and published, they removed that last two thirds of a page of weird dumb speech. I really hope they did.
It would have been a lot better.