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I love to read just about anything, as long as it's fiction. I read for me - that means I read what I want, when I want. My reviews tend to mostly be based on how I'm able to personally connect with the story/characters. They are not intended to influence someone to read, or not read, a particular book. I always encourage people to take a chance and make up your own mind.

 

Oh, and I love chocolate.

Requiem

Requiem - Lauren Oliver

Oh, this series just went downhill for me so fast. I actually enjoyed the first book, Delirium, and was excited to see where the series would go. I still love the concept behind this - love being ruled as a disease and therefore people are 'cured' when they reach a certain age. It was a slow paced book, but I didn't mind the slow build in the first one. We were watching someone who had been told to fear love fall in love - that takes time and I enjoyed the journey. 

 

In book two, Pandemonium, I started to get frustrated. The pace remained slow and at that point in the story it was starting to annoy me. Even the main character Lena was starting to annoy me. Then the author did exactly what I had feared and ended the book in a way that just irked me off. I had to take a break at that point before digging into book 3.

 

Well, I finally downloaded book 3, Requiem, from the library to finish this off once and for all. Ugh. It's after books like these that I wish I could leave a series  unfinished. 

 

I had hoped (I no longer had expectations, just hopes at this point) that by the end of book 3 the author would have put more detail into why things were the way they were. Why love was ruled a disease. Was it just the US? Was it the whole world? There were hints that Canada was not this way, so why?

 

I also felt a lot of inconsistency by the end of book 3. Throughout book 1 and 2 the cureds are described basically as zombies. I think they even call them that in the book. No feeling. Monotone voices. They have been stripped of their ability to love and therefore the ability to have passion for anything has been stripped out of them as well. However, in this book we also hear from Hana's perspective for the first time. She's now cured. When were in her head, we get the sense that she still holds guilt over some things she has done. We hear the fear that she has because of the way things might turn out for her. We see compassion in some of the risks she takes. But at the end of the book there is this encounter between her and Lena that throws this off for me. We're back in Lena's head and she describes Hana as very monotone and just as if she's sleepwalking through the world. When right before they meet, we're in Hana's head and she's reached a point of extreme fury -- then in a flash she's a zombie. Huh?

 

There are also the people like Fred who are apparently very passionate about power and money. How does that slip past the cure? I'm not saying that being fueled by power and money are synonymous with love, but to me if you are driven to extremes for anything then it's a form of love. Love of power makes you go after it. So how does the cure cut off love between people, make them zombies who don't care about the feelings of anyone in their lives but not affect the desire for the 'evil' things in life? I don't think it's just a physical cure because this removal of feelings even applies to family members. Is it because those in power don't actually get the cure? I don't mind not getting all the answers in a book, but this one just left a mess that didn't make sense by the end of book 3.

 

Book 3 had the same slow pace. By this point I no longer enjoyed it. It was kind of painful. This is the ending to the story. There's a resistance forming and you know that things are escalating. Yet NOTHING happens in this book until the very end. And I mean the very end. There are a few scenes in there were a fight breaks out, but that's it. There is nothing that happens to move the story forward in any way until the last few chapters. The whole book is about (1) Hana about to get married, (2) Lena and her crew of invalids moving from camp to camp, and (3) Lena leading one boy on to try and make another boy jealous. Sigh.

 

There is one more huge issue I have with this book, but I'll have to hide it as a spoiler.

In book 1 Lena is obsessed over the death of her mother. She can't get over it. She still misses her. She hopes the cure will make that pain go away. She finds out at the end of the book that her mother was actually alive and had escaped. In book 2 Lena's still obsessed and wants to know where she is and if she's with the resistance, etc. She encounters her mother at the end of the book, but her mother doesn't tell her who she is. Lena figures it out, but it's too late - her mother's gone again. I had hoped that book 3 would build on this. However, Lena doesn't even mention her mother (and if she does, it's in passing) until we're halfway through the book! Then suddenly, once Alex leaves her mom magically appears on the same day. I'm sorry, but that's just too much fictional liberty for me to buy into. And the interaction between them once they finally face the truth is boring. 

(show spoiler)

 

Many readers have hated the end of the book and claim it as the reason for their low rating. I on the other hand actually appreciated/respected the ending and it's what bumped my rating up from a 2 to a 2.5.