Review: Requiem by Lauren Oliver [Delirium Week]

April 1, 2013 / 7 Comments / Review, Uncategorized

Delirium Week runs from March 25-29 (err, 31) here on Mostly YA Lit. Come by and watch me binge read/review the entire Lauren Oliver series in one week!

Requiem (Delirium #3)

Author: Lauren Oliver
Format: Paperback, 391 pages
Source: ARC sent to me by publisher (unrequested)
Publisher: HarperCollins

Publication date: March 5, 2013 
My rating: 2 out of 5 stars
Goodreads synopsis (shortened):

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.

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.


Well, I didn’t make it through this series in five days as I hoped, but I did make it through in just over a week. Apologies for the lateness of this review, by the way.

Requiem starts pretty much right after Pandemonium ended, but with a twist: In Requiem, Lauren Oliver places Hana in the spotlight as well, giving us the opposing views of what life is without the cure and with it.

Life kinda sucks for both of them. Lena is fighting for her life – eating very little, getting attacked, and fighting along with the resistance. Hana is fighting for her freedom in other ways – she’s been paired with a guy who is mayor, and he’s working to keep her well-behaved as he enacts new and frightening laws.

Guys, this was a hard book for me to like. In fact, if it hadn’t been for Delirium Week, I’m pretty sure I would have given up and called it a DNF.

It’s not that the writing is bad – in fact, like in the other two books, the writing is pretty sharp. I love Lauren Oliver’s descriptions, and I felt like certain moments of this book actually had me on the edge of my seat a little more than Delirium and Pandemonium. It definitely feels like the action side of the writing has improved throughout this series.

I liked some of the Hana sections and it felt good to catch up with her – she was definitely my favourite character in the first book, and I missed her a bit in the second.


A few things really irked me about this book, and about the series in general.

1) The “love triangle” –  Sorry, guys, this is what I have to say about the so-called love triangle:

The book makes it so that there really is only one choice between Alex and Julian, and frankly, it SUCKS. A good love triangle gives you two good choices, and throughout this book, it was obvious who Lena’s choice was going to be, and it was even more obvious to me that both the guys deserved better than her.

2) Lena’s character – I haven’t been a fan of Lena from the beginning of this series, and I thought she showed some promise in Pandemonium, but man, was I bored with her in this book. I found her inability to choose and the way she treated certain people completely annoying. I didn’t understand how easily she forgave, or how she could be so stupid as to believe that both Alex and Julian didn’t adore her. She redeemed herself a little in the end, but essentially, I would have been more happy to have a Raven-Hana story, with Lena in the background.

3) The lack of theme – The thing that bothered me the most about this book was, as I said in my Pandemonium review, the complete lack of theme or “why should I care about this”-ness in this book. I really struggled to understand what the overall motivation was for the series, and what it was really exploring. To me, it was nothing more than characters jumping from plot point to plot point, with no real meaning or lesson to it all.

4) The ending. I think everyone else has already said it, but this was pretty much me after that ending.

Honestly, this whole series felt a little bit like an author experimenting with ideas and structures – it was like a creative writing class where each book was that week’s assignment: “write a first-person dystopian love story!” “Write a first-person dystopian love story with flashbacks!” “Write a dystopian book with alternating narrators!”. It was interesting structurally, but it also made the writing feel a bit juvenile to me.


Revolution: I do like books where revolutions are taking place, and society needs to be taken down a notch, so I was glad for that part of it. I won’t say anything else about this part of the book, though – it’s a bit of a spoiler how it all works out.

The Final Word

Requiem was a disappointing and lacklustre read for me, especially in light of it being the final book in the series. The whole trilogy was difficult for me to get through, and I found the lack of theme and character development really off-putting.

What did you guys think of Requiem and its ending? Are you a fan of the series? Team Alex or Team Julian? Let me know in the comments!

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7 responses to “Review: Requiem by Lauren Oliver [Delirium Week]

  1. Well, I have been reading your reviews of this series in hopes of finding a reason to read it, from another person who was hesitant about it to begin with. I thought that MAYBE there was a chance I might try it, but now my answer has been sealed, permanently. Whew. It is almost a relief that the back and forth I have felt about it is over. I think that I will be just fine without this series. I am sorry to you though, that you had such a struggle. By the way, what exactly is the point of a love triangle if there is only one choice? Isn't the struggle choosing the whole stinkin point?

  2. It bothers me so much, because I think Lauren Oliver is a great writer when it comes to choosing how to express what's happening, but it's like she doesn't know how to plot a trilogy. I hate that the series was kind of a disappointment, since Before I Fall was so beautiful and poignant. Yes, I am even bringing this up in your comments because YOU MUST READ IT, obviously, after your hatred for this series has died down so your experience won't be tainted. I hate when that happens.

    Something I found with Requiem was that Hana's characterization was all over the place. It seemed like he cute hadn't taken properly and cracks were beginning to show. I had hopes that she'd break free of it altogether by the end, but she only reluctantly had a mind of her own. If her husband hasn't been an asshole then I doubt we would've gotten any change. I suppose it was probably done to give us an idea of what a cured mind is like, and for inside information on Portland before the two story threads met, but I wish it had been more about HER. I missed that old Hana and as much as I liked her chapters, if we didn't get to see that version of her again, then I kind of wish we hadn't had those chapters at all.

  3. I'm sad that you didn't like Requiem. But you're not alone. I've read so many reviews that echo your thoughts. I did like the series as a whole though and even though I had some problems with some things overall I really liked the way she ended things. I'm totally Team Alex and I agree it was obvious who Lena was pulled to more. However I don't think the love triangle was unrealistic and though to us it may have seemed fair I think that if we were in Lena shoes it would have been to simply walk away from Julian after everything they've been through in Pandemonium. I don't know…maybe I'm making excuses for fictional characters. But that was just my interpretation.

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