Thursday, March 14, 2013
Requiem by Lauren Oliver
If you like: the end * teenage relationship drama * uprisings
Requiem is the conclusion to the Delirium trilogy. (See my previous reviews of the series here and here.) After learning of life outside the city walls in the first book, and becoming part of the resistance in the second book, Lena spends much of Requiem directionless. Her group does not know what to do next, and she is unable to sort out her feelings for Julian and Alex. Eventually they stumble on the leaders of the resistance and find their place in the fight for love and freedom.
Without having any model of cure-free love and relationships, Lena has trouble navigating both. It is difficult to grasp that love doesn’t mean being happy all the time, and that communicating through difficulties is especially important. Inside the walls, teenagers sneak around and play at love, but they know that they will eventually be cured, and their feelings are only temporary. With no boundaries or guidelines, understanding the difference between infatuation and love is incredibly complex. Life in the Wilds is so tenuous that long-term relationships are more focused on missions and survival than love and interpersonal connections.
The world that Lena grew up in has been shattered from every angle. She has learned the cure is not the answer, but she has also learned that freedom can be difficult at times. The lies and deceit throughout mainstream society have also been revealed to her and the others in the Wilds. Rather than being able to make choices now that she is free from society, Lena continues to be trapped. She is stuck in between her feelings for both Alex and Julian. As the threats continue to escalate, she must continue to fight for the resistance, as well. In spite of all of their fighting, nothing really changes in this series. The resistance does continue to fight, and shed light on the hidden darkness of the deliria-free. They are still outnumbered, and lacking in resources. Each statement they make is stamped out by the power of the institutional forces they are up against. Each fence they climb is replaced by a wall. Each camp they make is hunted down and destroyed. They are fighting with fists and knives against tanks and bombs. When all progress is constantly erased, and characters have not evolved from the first installment, it leaves the reader to wonder what the ultimate message of the Delirium Trilogy is. Though Lena urges others to fight for freedom and love, there is never a benefit to this fight, and she is no happier having found love than she was before.
If you like to see things through to the bitter end, read Requiem.
Oliver, Lauren. Requiem (Delirium). HarperCollins, 2013. Kindle Edition.