I recently read the third book in Lauren Oliver’s Delirium trilogy, “Requiem.” So first, a little backstory: I read the first book, “Delirium,” right when it first came out – I had read Oliver’s book “Before I Fall” and loved it so much I was willing to read anything else she wrote, and while I found the premise very intriguing, and I think Oliver is an excellent writer, I didn’t love the book. I liked it and would still recommend it, but it didn’t resonate all the way with me. Plus the idea kind of gave me the creeps – this is the first dystopian I read where the government would literally mess with your mind, and it was very disturbing to read about.
When the second book, “Pandemonium,” came out, I didn’t pick it up for quite a while, but then a few months back I decided to listen to the audio version, and I liked it quite a bit. So when “Requiem” was released, I bought it almost right away. Mini spoiler…
…in “Requiem,” Lena is in the middle of that all-too-familiar love triangle, only this time I actually didn’t mind the way it was set up, and I was genuinely interested to see who she would choose – her past or her new beginning. (I’m purposely being very vague so as to avoid giving away too much.) Unfortunately, she seemed determined to choose the wrong guy, so I found myself getting really annoyed with her in this book.
Romance aside, I thought this was an exciting conclusion – the resistance is in full swing, the society is crumbling around the edges, and everything is coming to a final violent head. I also liked that we got to see Lena’s former best friend Hana’s view as well. Through Hana we are able to experience life with the “cure” (the cure is where they essentially cut into your brain so you are unable to love…it’s supposed to make everything easier, and I suppose in some ways it would). The two women have alternating POVs until eventually their storylines intersect.
I’ve seen other reviews that were very critical of the end, mostly because Oliver doesn’t tie everything up in a nice little bow. Nothing is really decided by the end of this book, it’s only just beginning, but I liked that. We leave Lena at the brink of a possible new world, and where she goes from there is up to her. The only thing I didn’t love about the end was the way Oliver broke the fourth wall, speaking directly to the reader through Lena. It was a good message, but it jolted me out of the story. On the other hand, it was the last line in the book, so I’d be out of the story anyways…
All in all I would recommend this whole series to fans of dystopian YA. Lauren Oliver writes very well, her characters are compelling, the pacing is solid, and the world is very well-realized. And if you finish the trilogy and want more, she has several novellas out that are set in the same world.
How about you? How do you feel about the ending to a series? Does it need to wrap everything up, or can it leave a lot of questions unanswered?