BOOK REPORT for Requiem (Delirium Book 3) by Lauren Oliver

Cover Story: The Garden of BIG FACE Will Not Die
BFF Charm: Platinum Downgrade
Swoonworthy Scale: -10/6
Talky Talk: She Said, She Said
Bonus Factors: Quest, Revolution
(Anti) Bonus Factor: Love Triangle
Relationship Status: Mild Case of Deliria


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Cover Story: The Garden of Big Face Will Not Die

I can't believe I've found myself in the Garden of Big Face AGAIN. After encountering it on the cover of Pandemonium, I felt sure that the publisher would realize that this eyesore needed a total landscape overhaul. But no, the Garden of Big Face continues to thrive, and now, apparently, the tulips are in season! Not only do I fail to understand the design of this cover, I also can't fathom the why. WHY? WHY is Lena's head sticking out from some tulips? And WHY would anyone find this artwork enticing? Let's all just start praying for a drought so the Garden of Big Face will finally die.

The Deal:

If you haven't read Delirium and Pandemonium, stop now! There be spoilers ahead! But only for the first two books, since I don't want to ruin any of the surprises for you in this third and final installment. Because I am a good person.

Only a few days have passed since we last hung with Lena, Julian and the newly arrived (and not dead) Alex. They're traveling with fellow Invalids in search of a safe place to settle, but no one's sure if that actually exists. The government is launching more and more attacks on the resistance, and even the Wilds have become a target. In addition to the pesky problem of survival, Lena is fractured in two by Alex's reappearance and her feelings for Julian. And neither boy is making things any easier for her.

Meanwhile, in Portland, Lena's bestie Hana is preparing for her wedding to the mayor's son. Now cured, Hana feels peaceful and calm...until she doesn't. Perhaps her procedure was botched, or perhaps she's resistant to the cure, but Hana knows that her guilt over Lena's escape and her affection for Lena's ostracized family shouldn't be influencing her so intensely. Now Hana must make a decision: Live her life as a cured, or fight for the feelings burning inside of her. 

BFF Charm: Platinum Downgrade

Look, Lena, you're still my girl. Over the course of these three books, I've watched you grow from a total lame-o into a courageous, dynamic woman. You're smart, you're daring and you fight for your beliefs. You can also survive waaaay longer in the wilderness than I ever could. (And by longer, I mean more than a day.) But, to pull an SNL Two Best Friends from Growing Up move, it's just that SOMEtimes I wanted to smack you SO HARD for the way you treated both Alex and Julian. I get that you're confused, and your life is an emotional shit show, but that's not an excuse for, well, what you do to those boys. I mean, yes, of course, I love you, and I totes admire you, it's just that SOMEtimes I think you're being REALLY DUMB. So I'm gonna have to downgrade you from the platinum charm I gave you for the last book to a regular (but still quality!) BFF charm.

Hana, I would give you a BFF charm too, but I don't think you're emotionally capable of being my friend. Like, your brain literally cannot handle it.

Swoonworthy Scale: -10/6

This is where I have to start being super vague, because the romantic tingles in this book are directly related to your membership on either Team Julian or Team Alex. I won't disclose my allegiance, but I will tell you that for one team, this book is a hard-won victory. For the other team, it's a huge fail. And I was definitely on the losing team, which made me SO ANGRY, Y'ALL. I barely resisted the urge to throw this book across the room while shouting a string of profanities. In related news, I am a poor loser.

Talky Talk: She Said, She Said

While Lauren Oliver's beautifully evocative style remains the same (thank goodness), she spices things up in this third book by alternating between Lena and Hana's point of view. Well played, Oliver! Hana's perspective is a breath of fresh air, especially because she offers a glimpse of the cured life as well as the folks Lena left behind in Portland. The unique voices of both characters allow for a more complex storyline, and the layering of their narratives keeps the pacing at a brisk clip while carefully mounting the tension to finger biting levels. Maybe it was my frustration with Lena, but I found myself drawn more to Hana's story and her internal conflict, made all the more compelling by Oliver's incredibly nuanced portrayal. In other words, I wouldn't say no to a Hana version of the first two books.

Bonus Factor: Quest

I love a good quest, and even though Lena's goal takes a while to get specific, her trek through the Wilds has all the right ingredients for adventure. There's exciting action, painful tragedy and a totally epic finale.

Bonus Factor: Revolution

Lena and her fellow Invalids' efforts to take down Deliria-Free-America (DFA) expand in this book into a full-on revolution, and it's both thrilling and inspiring to see them fight for change.

(Anti) Bonus Factor: Love Triangle

Usually I enjoy love triangles if they're carefully constructed, and Oliver did a great job of building a solid foundation for this one. But, as I already mentioned, your team membership will determine whether you find this triangle to be a bonus or a detriment. So yeah, I hated it.

Casting Call:

I cast Lena, Hana, Alex and Julian in previous reviews, but per usual, Hollywood didn't listen and cast Emma Roberts in the television adaptation.

Emma Roberts as Lena

I'm actually totally cool with this choice, but Fox, that doesn't mean you should ignore the rest of my recommendations. (Particularly Freddie Stroma, AHEM.)

Relationship Status: Mild Case of Deliria

When I first caught the deliria from Delirium, my condition seemed pretty serious. And then, after Pandemonium, I knew I was a goner. But now that I've spent time with Requiem, it appears that my symptoms have lessened. I'm not cured by any means, because I'm still emotionally invested in the characters, and there were a few moments when my heart was beating way too rapidly to be healthy. But the story itself, especially on Lena's end, left me unsatisfied, and by the time I reached the last page, my disappointment threatened to overpower my deliria. Overall, I remain infected for this series, but my relationship with this particular book certainly won't land me in the Crypt.

FTC Full Disclosure: I received my review copy from HarperCollins. Requiem is available now.

Sarah lives in Austin, TX, where she programs films at the Alamo Drafthouse. The founder of Forever Young Adult, Sarah enjoys fancy cocktails, dance parties and anything that sparkles (except vampires).