Requiem by Lauren Oliver

Requiem

Before you say anything, just stop. “Dude, aren’t you a little old and male to be reading these dystopian books with female protagonists?” See? I can ask the question myself. If you’ve watched any of these shows or movies, I want you to stop even thinking that these books aren’t okay for a guy my age to read:

  • The Bachelor/The Bachelorette
  • American Idol
  • Here Comes Honey Boo Boo
  • Duck Dynasty
  • Swamp People

Okay, my list ends there because I can’t think of anything else, because those shows are awful. Yet people watch them. And enjoy them. And they have good moments. In fact, some of those shows might actually be really good, but they get lumped in and judged with the others.

What am I talking about? Right. Requiem. YA dystopian fiction with a female protagonist. Oh, and it’s also about love being a disease, the government ordering people to be cured when they’re 18, but of course we have our rebellious ones who believe too strongly in the power of love (not to mention the power of freedom). Totally the book for a 28-year old man.

Oh, just one thing: that last sentence was not sarcastic.

This book is AMAZING! It’s the third and final book in the Delirium trilogy (“Oh, really, a dystopian trilogy? Didn’t see that one coming.” Can it.), so I’m going to try not to give anything away. But Lena is on the run with some of the other Invalids, and they’re basically trying to figure out what to do. The cities are coming after them. They can’t stay hiding. They must fight back. How can they possibly win? How can their belief in love and freedom win?

Well, I’m not gonna tell you. Read the booking book.

What I will tell you is this: this book is powerful. There are emotions you will feel when you read it, and that’s absolutely okay. You might laugh. You might cry. I think I laughed, and got a little choked up. But the ending. Oh. The ending. Some books, when I get to the end, I want to throw them against the wall because they’re just awful. Requiem, on the other hand, has an ending that is like the book pulls you in and spreads a warm blanket around your shoulders to keep you warm on a chilly fall evening. It’s just that perfect.

But. My favorite part of the book is Hana. Hana is Lena’s childhood friend. We haven’t really heard much from her, as Lena is our narrator. But in Requiem, we hear from both Lena and Hana. Now, normally, I hate dual narration. I think it adds a lot, but I think it just ruins things overall. Here, though, because the characters are where they are and so separated, it’s incredibly well done. It’s vital to the story. And it shows us things in Hana that we’d never know. And it shows us, for the first time in the series, what it’s like inside the mind of a Cured. It’s amazing. Hana is heartbreaking and beautiful.

With all of that, though, there’s probably some of you out there thinking, “Well, yeah, sure, but isn’t this book written for teenagers? I want something written well, not just a good story.”

Batman Slap

 

Since when are those two things mutually exclusive? Requiem is both a great story and written beautifully. This is not grade-school work here, people. This is a master work of art carefully crafted by someone with a MFA from NYU. It reads that way. Yet a 12-year old can enjoy it. Now that takes talent.

Am I off topic enough here? Just. . .just go read this series. It’s worth your time. I loved it, and I think you’ll love it, too. When you’re done, let me know. I want to talk with you about it in ways I can’t here because they’re too spoilery. So go. Read it.

My rating: 5 out of 5 fish.FishFishFishFishFish

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5 thoughts on “Requiem by Lauren Oliver

  1. First off….. I love Duck Dynasty LOL!

    Great review! It was a lot of fun and I’m glad that you enjoyed it so much! This was one of my favorite series (although I had some issues with Requiem).
    I really enjoyed Hana’s POV! I was really worried when I heard it was going to be dual narration but I actually liked Hana more than Lena in this book!

  2. Sweet, I’ll have to read it next. Except I forgot a lot of what happened on book 2. Dang dystopians getting tangled up in my head!

  3. This is so solid, Brian. I just shared it my students, and I know they’re going to revamp their own book reviews based on this wicked awesome model. Thank you! Also, I cannot wait to read this myself! I still haven’t received my copy yet. Eek!

    • Thanks for giving me the kick in the pants I needed to write this review! And you know what? It was FUN. Writing book reviews that are fun to read are also fun to write.

      And yes, get your hands on this book, STAT!

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