Requiem by Lauren Oliver
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Description: 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.
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.
My thoughts: The writing is solid, good. The story moves along at a good clip. The characters are interesting but not particularly well fleshed out. The love triangle involving Lena, Alex and Julian begins with the return of Alex. If you haven't read the second book, forget I said that. Now the group meets up with other "Invalids" and they decide whether to unite and fight or continue living in relative anonymity in the Wilds. The problem is, it appears, that the government is more involved in ridding the world or country of those who haven't been surgically altered.
I really don't have any major complaints about the book, itself. It's just that the story doesn't really grab me. I think had it been more about controlling the people by muting their passions, I would understand it to some degree. But it's about love. Kill the love and everybody conforms. It just didn't make sense to phrase it that way.
Also, although I thought that Hana's life was interesting in order to see what was happening under the government and especially the part that her future husband was playing and had played, it was only peripherally relevant to Lena. I understood there was a significance to Bluebeard, it didn't strike me as particularly striking. It was just a quirky slight significance to the story. Same with Solomon. I understood it, I just didn't think it was as significant as it seemed it was supposed to be.
Bottom line, I guess I just didn't think the conflict was relevant or significant enough to justify building a wall around to keep people safe. Much of it seemed to be regurgitating November, 1989. Except that conflict was really about freedom and choice.
If you read the first two books, read this one. The writing is good. The pace is satisfying. I've read better dystopias.
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