Book: Requiem (Delirium #3) by Lauren Oliver, HarperTeen.
Genre/Format: Young Adult Dystopia, Own hardcover, 391 pages
Rating: 4 / 5 Stars
So many trilogies that I started when I first began this blog are now coming to a close. And the ending of this series is one I was particularly anxious about. As you recall with Delirium, and Pandemonium as well to a lesser extent, Lauren Oliver does not shy away from shock value and controversial endings. I was gutted with the ending to Delirium but it left me clamoring for the next installment. Pandemonium continued with a new setting and set of challenges, and yes another bombshell. Making me even more nervous for the final book in the trilogy was the fact that so many early readers of Requiem were none too pleased with the ending. But, Ms. Oliver hasn’t steered me wrong yet and I went into Requiem with an open mind. For the most part, I thought the direction made sense and I’m at peace with the ending. Would I like more closure or to see the series extended? Maybe…but at the same time I’m okay that the ending wasn’t so neat and tidy.
For the uninitiated, here’s a little series background. The Delirium series is about a future where love is declared a disease that must be cured with brain surgery. The government feels that love and feelings just get in the way and we’d all be better off without it. Some people escaped the cure and started a revolution to fight for their right to own their feelings. Lena fell in love before she was cured and is now on the run. The first book Delirium is romantic dystopia at it’s finest with shades of Romeo & Juliet.
One thing that I wasn’t sure I was going to love is that this is the first book of the series with dual POV. We follow Lena trudging her way through the Wilds, and now also follow Hana’s journey to see a little of what life is like after Lena’s departure. I actually found Hana’s voice to be very refreshing and energizing after growing a little weary of the Wild’s experience. We get some real insight into Hana’s character, the good and the bad, and I looked forward to her chapters in the end. The Lena chapters dragged more, surprisingly.
I admit that one of my burning questions was regarding the love triangle. I never thought I could get on board with another love interest for Lena besides Alex, but Julian did win me over in Pandemonium. I didn’t feel strongly one-way or another about Lena’s choice, but only sad that her choice would leave one of the guys in the dust. I did not skip to the end, though, but it was very tempting! Oliver does tease this triangle so you’re never sure which direction it’s going to go.
I felt that the roads taken in Requiem were in keeping with the theme of the series. The action, sacrifice and love story kept me flipping pages. Hana’s POV reinvigorates the series with a fresh set of eyes. And I was thrilled with the appearances of two characters I was dying to meet again. Requiem feels a little overwhelming and out of control at times and I can understand the mixed reaction to the ending. Maybe someone can write a fanfic to tie up the loose ends – let me know if you find one.
Delirium is still my favorite of the series and packs the biggest punch, and I think it’s hard to live up to overall. I’m glad I saw this series through to the end though, and I really hope the TV series is amazing!
- Delirium Stories: Hana, Annabel, and Raven by Lauren Oliver (heatherlo.wordpress.com)
- In which I write a requiem for this book (thegrownupya.wordpress.com)
- Emma Roberts Cast As Lena For Delirium TV Series (deliriumfandom.net)
Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event brought to you by Breaking the Spine where we spotlight upcoming books we can’t wait to read.
The Distance Between Us by Kasie West
Publication Date: July 2, HarperTeen
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Seventeen-year-old Caymen Meyers studies the rich like her own personal science experiment, and after years of observation she’s pretty sure they’re only good for one thing—spending money on useless stuff, like the porcelain dolls in her mother’s shop.
So when Xander Spence walks into the store to pick up a doll for his grandmother, it only takes one glance for Caymen to figure out he’s oozing rich. Despite his charming ways and that he’s one of the first people who actually gets her, she’s smart enough to know his interest won’t last. Because if there’s one thing she’s learned from her mother’s warnings, it’s that the rich have a short attention span. But Xander keeps coming around, despite her best efforts to scare him off. And much to her dismay, she’s beginning to enjoy his company.
She knows her mom can’t find out—she wouldn’t approve. She’d much rather Caymen hang out with the local rocker who hasn’t been raised by money. But just when Xander’s attention and loyalty are about to convince Caymen that being rich isn’t a character flaw, she finds out that money is a much bigger part of their relationship than she’d ever realized. And that Xander’s not the only one she should’ve been worried about.
I was looking for a book cover with a romantic feel to it for valentine’s week, and isn’t this a pretty one? The synopsis reminds me a little of Pretty in Pink. And isn’t it unusual that the mom wants the daughter to go after the rocker dude? Wonder who else Caymen should be worried about besides Xander?
I really like the eye-catching type treatment, and the way the sun breaks through the cover. Looks like a perfect summer read to me.
What book are you waiting on this week?
Thanks to Brittany at the Book Addicts Guide for hosting this read along. It was fun to read a spooky book as a group!
Something Strange and Deadly is Susan Dennard’s debut novel, and it’s a Steampunk/Zombie mash-up.
Week 4 Questions: Chapter 22-End
1. On page 284, Eleanor gives the same advice to Clarence as Jie gave to her: “You always have a choice.” Eleanor has started to evolve in her thinking a little bit and become more independent. How did Clarence take these words of wisdom? How do you think it’s affecting the relationship between Eleanor and Clarence at this point in the novel?
Something in Eleanor snaps at this moment and she becomes much more feisty and tries to sway Clarence to her way of thinking. Clarence’s response was kind of a letdown as he doesn’t really rise to the challenge and become a better man. I think Eleanor hasn’t written off Clarence though and she’s a much bigger person than I would be with regards to him.
2. We finally find out what’s happened to Elijah – and it’s something that puts Eleanor in a very difficult position. Why do you think Elijah chose this path? And how do you think Eleanor handled the news? What would you have done in her situation?
The book was hinting at this revelation with Elijah so I wasn’t too surprised. With all of the drama that has happened in his life with his father’s death and the bullying, he couldn’t take it anymore and went down this dark path. Eleanor’s reaction was understandable and I would have tried to reason with Elijah as well. She made a difficult decision but it was the right one and in character for her.
3. The last quarter of this book brings us a LOT of surprises and twists. What would you say was the biggest surprise to you?
The way things went down for Clarence was a surprise- didn’t see that one coming. And of course Eleanor’s personal sacrifice was a twist I didn’t anticipate. It was very exciting at the end, wow!
4. Now that we’ve finished with the book, what did you think? How did you feel about the book as a whole? Where do you think her story will take us in the next book?
I liked the book and I’ll check out the sequel. I think I should have made the choice to read the book all at once rather than a little each week. I lost some of the momentum with the story by putting it down frequently.
With regards to the sequel, I think that Eleanor will be reunited with some old friends, and continue on her adventurous path. I love the cover of the sequel- so gorgeous! Looking forward to reading it next summer.
I’m so glad Brittany at the Book Addicts Guide is hosting this read along. This is such a fun and spooky Halloween read – it’s like a steampunk Walking Dead!
Something Strange and Deadly is Susan Dennard’s debut novel. The setting is 1876 Philadelphia, and Eleanor’s brother Elijah has gone missing. Complicating matters is the fact that zombies have started to invade their town.
Week One’s questions cover chapters 1-7:
Character impressions: Clarence
What are your first impressions of Clarence? Does he seem like a trustworthy person, or is he hiding ulterior motives behind good looks?
Clarence seems like he’s hiding something, and I wouldn’t trust him if I were Eleanor. He is withholding information from Eleanor and when he’s caught comes up with a flimsy excuse. He swears Eleanor to secrecy while divulging more information.
Character impressions: Eleanor Fitt
What are your first impressions of Eleanor? It seems like her mother always wants to put her family’s reputation above all else. How do you think Eleanor feels about this?
Eleanor is a smart cookie and pretty brave to be fighting off zombies and investigating her brother’s disappearance. She is resourceful and determined to find her brother, even if it means spending time with people she’d rather not. Her mother is very concerned about money and keeping up appearances. Eleanor is respectful but has other priorities.
Character impressions: Daniel
Daniel is quite brash with Eleanor when they first meet in the Spirit-Hunter’s lab. Do you see potential for a friendship? For a romance?
Based on their rocky introduction, I suspect that there is a potential for romance for Daniel and Eleanor. He treats her differently than Clarence does, and is less protective and condescending. These two remind me a little of Alexia and Conall from Soulless – they bicker but underneath there is an attraction. Of course I could be totally off base here!
1. Mrs. Fitt decides to hold a seance as a last minute fill-in for the party’s entertainment. How would you feel about this if you were a guest at the party? Do you think that’s wise with the Dead running around?
Seances freak me out so I wouldn’t be too excited about attending a seance party. And it’s definitely not a good idea with the zombies on the loose. That was a scary scene! Why didn’t they read the newspaper warning about seances? Maybe they were too busy reading the society pages.
2. Eleanor lives with only her mother and the live-in help since her father passed away and her brother is in New York and possibly taken by the Dead. I feel like the absent family member – especially a parent – is a theme I see a lot in YA novels. Why do you think that is? What aspect does this add to the story?
The absent parent is a recurring theme in YA, and maybe that’s because of the drama potential or that so many YA’s can relate to having an absent parent, whether because of divorce or death. The dead dad in this book sets up the scenario that the family needs money, and it forces Eleanor to mature faster. Come to think of it, that may be another reason that authors like to write the deceased parent situation.
3. We first see the steampunk feel when Eleanor wanders into the Centennial Exhibition to find the Spirit-Hunters. What do you think of machines and science fighting the zombies and paranormal?
The zombie killing machines are pretty cool. I get a little wary of steampunk but I think it works really well in this book and I want to know more about the Spirit-Hunters.
4. What do you think really happened to Elijah? Do you think he was captured by the Dead, or are there more secrets hidden behind his disappearance?
I definitely think there’s something more sinister behind Elijah’s disappearance. So far, I don’t think he was captured by the Dead, but that’s a possibility. I wonder if Clarence knows something about it?
EXTRAS: Also add any of your favorite quotes, scenes, or other thoughts about the book so far!
The book started out a little slow for me, but after awhile I got into it and didn’t want to stop reading. I ended up reading through chapter 8, which ended on a big cliffhanger. I’m eager to read more of the story. Things I like so far:
- Eleanor – She’s self-reliant and determined, and all around awesome.
- The Shadow-Hunters – I want to know more of their story and see more zombie takedowns.
- The romance – it doesn’t take center stage and so far there is nothing unbelievable about it.
- The mystery – What happened to Elijah??
- The zombies- Scary! They make this a perfect Halloween read.
I’m thrilled to be part of the Once blog tour, and share a review, playlist and giveaway of the book.
About Once – Spoiler alert for Eve:
When you’re being hunted, who can you trust?
For the first time since she escaped from her school many months ago, Eve can sleep soundly. She’s living in Califia, a haven for women, protected from the terrifying fate that awaits orphaned girls in The New America.
But her safety came at a price: She was forced to abandon Caleb, the boy she loves, wounded and alone at the city gates. When Eve gets word that Caleb is in trouble, she sets out into the wild again to rescue him, only to be captured and brought to the City of Sand, the capital of The New America.
Trapped inside the City walls, Eve uncovers a shocking secret about her past—and is forced to confront the harsh reality of her future. When she discovers Caleb is alive, Eve attempts to flee her prison so they can be together—but the consequences could be deadly. She must make a desperate choice to save the ones she loves . . . or risk losing Caleb forever.
In this breathless sequel to Eve, Anna Carey returns to her tale of romance, adventure, and sacrifice in a world that is both wonderfully strange and chillingly familiar.
Once is the middle book in the Eve trilogy by Anna Carey. If you haven’t read Eve yet, you can still follow along with the events in Once, but as always it will be a better reading experience if you start from the beginning.
I found Once to be even more enjoyable and surprising than Eve. The story picks up a few months after the events of Eve, and Eve is getting acclimated to her new life in the safe haven of Califia. She’s missing Caleb though and plotting to see him again. Things are going pretty smoothly but it’s not long before there’s a game changer that moves the plot in an unexpected direction that throws Eve off balance.
The new setting and characters are an exciting change of pace and I liked how I couldn’t predict what was going to happen next. Sometimes middle books can be a disappointment and feel like they are stalling for the final book. But Once is intense and so much happens that got me invested in the story and wanting to know more.
I liked all the references to California locations, and the City of Sand/ Las Vegas. The new characters kept things interesting and surprising but I was glad to see familiar characters pop up too. The story is very much about Eve’s journey though, and she has grown a lot through all her experiences. I enjoyed learning more about her and her past this time around.
Once the emotional story gets going it’s hard to put down. The pacing is good and a nice mix of action and romance. The romance is surprising and bittersweet, and the cliffhanger ending will have you dying for the last book in the trilogy, Rise (April 2013). If you like romantic dystopia, give this series a try.
Anna Carey put together a playlist for Once, and after reading the book I think these songs are a great fit for the emotional story.
The Eve Trilogy: Once playlist
Bon Iver, Skinny Love
The novel opens with Eve living in Califia. She’s spent months thinking about what happened to Caleb, wondering if he’s alive and where. This song reminds me of that churning, torturous place she’s in—wanting to be with him, but hating the pain of the situation.
Ani DiFranco, Swan Dive
There’s a moment in the beginning of Once when Eve sets out to find Caleb. This song perfectly captures the risks inherent in loving someone. Eve knows it’s dangerous, but cares about him more than she does herself.
Jose Gonzalez, Crosses
The imagery in this song reminds me of the first night Eve goes to meet Caleb in the City, how the streets are dark, how there are shadows in the windows above. His is the reassuring voice that sees her through.
Ryan Adams, So Alive
This song is all energy. There’s a scene in Once that takes place under a bridge, and I could nearly hear this song playing as I wrote it. It speaks to how exhilarating it is to be in love.
Passion Pit, Sleepyhead Acoustic version
Sleepyhead was originally one of my favorite dance songs, but when I heard the acoustic version it nearly made me cry. Slowed down it’s so tender and intimate, and the lyrics capture this simple, private moment between two people.
Iron & Wine, The Trapeze Singer
Eve makes several painful decisions throughout the course of the story. In one, she says good-bye to Caleb indefinitely. This song is one of the most painful and beautiful love songs I know. “Please, remember me” is repeated eight times.
Sia, Breathe Me
There’s a scene at the end of Once where Eve is in intense pain, and can’t fully comprehend what just happened to her. This song articulates that confusion and loss.
Florence and the Machine, Seven Devils
This song builds to a slow, simmering rage, and reminds me of the last chapter in Once. I can’t say more than that for fear of giving too much away…
The giveaway has ended. Congrats to Natasha and Anne – they have each won a copy of ONCE!
Book Info: YA paranormal, Review copy courtesy of Edelweiss, Available in HC 357 pages
Rating: 4 / 5 Stars
Until I Die by Amy Plum is the second book in the Revenants trilogy, and the sequel to last year’s Die For Me. In this series, Kate has recently lost her parents and moved to Paris with her sister to live with their grandparents. She meets a mysterious boy named Vincent who is actually a revenant, which in this book is a good zombie basically. But like any paranormal couple they have their problems, as well as the bad revenants called Numa who are always after them. In the sequel Kate and Vincent have a reality check about their future as a couple and we learn more about the revenants history.
I liked Until I Die just as much as the first book and was thoroughly entertained. There are character reveals and surprises that kept me guessing, and some hints about where the trilogy conclusion is heading. Until I Die is one of the better “middle” books and I didn’t feel like there were any slow parts- the only negative is where Plum left the story hanging at the end!
The book picks up where Die For Me left off. Kate and Vincent are happy together but hanging over their heads is the idea that their romance can’t last forever. Kate will eventually grow old and die and Vincent’s role is to sacrifice his life for humans again and again. They work independently to try to find a way to make it work as a couple, but their investigation is causing even more danger for themselves and their loved ones.
Even though it’s been a year since I read the first book I easily fell back into the story and immersed myself into the world of the revenants. The Paris setting is very charming, and the author uses the setting to her advantage by having the characters explore all the city has to offer. All of the characters are back in the sequel, and the revenants characters are my favorite, especially Jules and Ambrose. There are new characters as well that help explain more about the revenants back-story.
There is a whodunit mystery this time around, and even though I’m usually slow to figure these things out, in this book I called it early on. There are also some unsubtle hints about the direction of the series and the characters, and I can’t wait for the final book to find out if my suspicions are correct.
This is one of my favorite new paranormal romance series and the characters and the setting make it a delight to read. And Amy Plum lives in France so she knows her stuff and makes it feel like you are on a Paris vacation. The book is evenly paced and hard to put down, especially as you get close to the end. Like I said earlier though, Plum ends this one in a frustrating spot and it left me really anxious for the final book. If I Should Die is expected May 2013.
Check out the book trailer: