Publishing Date: March 5, 2013
Genre: young adult, dystopian
After rescuing 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.
Lena faces difficult decisions once she leaves New York and goes back to the Wilds with Julian, Alex, Raven, Tack, and the rest of her friends. First and foremost on her mind is survival, as she finds more and more Invalids are dying from hunger, thirst, abandonment, and rebellion. Her choices must be quick and her actions impulsive. Lena also must come to terms with what she feared most about deliria: the symptoms of jealousy and heartbreak. Meanwhile, Hana, cured and prepping for marriage, begins to worry. Worrying signifies a potential problem that the cure may not have worked for her. Hana then learns about the history of the young mayor’s previous wife, and her fears help her break from dependency on wealth and comfort and sacrifice everything she knows.
After Pandemonium, I was worried Oliver would agonize the reader with a Team Julian or Team Alex plot. This is not the case. While Lena does come to realize what jealousy and heartbreak feel like, Oliver describes the pain with such beautiful prose that the issue no longer hangs on “which boy should I choose?” but rather muses on how one can overcome these feelings, especially when it had been ingrained since birth these feelings were symptoms of a disease. This push-and-pull attitude is so realistic and plausible that this third book rings with truth about love: it is never easy, and there is no such thing as a triangle. Humans can love in different ways.
The major point of the book is formalizing a plan for revolution, and hoping the execution of said plan will work. Each day, each hour, the Invalids in the Wilds are under attack. Any minute could be the last. Lena, once a sweet-tempered character, is now independent, strong, a leader. It was such a joy watching her grow through each of the books.
I truly enjoyed reading Hana’s perspective. She was the inside voice, the one still within the walled city of Portland, as well as a cured perspective. The language is stiff and bland. Her emotions are dulled. And yet her voice, in its plain-spoken and truthful way, is trust-worthy and interesting. Hana gives the reader the facts straight out. When she begins to analyze her dreams (which she is not supposed to have) and fears of her future husband-to-be Fred (and fear is an irrational emotion), she questions the validity of the cure. By searching through her husband’s past and facing his strength head-on, she grows to appreciate the Invalids’ purpose. The cure may take away love, it may lessen emotional turmoil, but it can leave behind a heartless being. Hana’s experiences within Portland shed light into these themes.
This is not your typical love triangle, as many may have predicted from the first book alone. In fact, I’d hardly call this trilogy a love triangle at all. The Delirium trilogy is a series that examines love in all its forms, and the result of taking that love away. Freedom and love go hand-in-hand.
Thank you HarperTeen for providing this ARC for review!