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)
Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme that’s all about lists, and hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic is Auto-Buy authors – those authors whose work you love so much you’d buy any of their books, just on name alone. When I read the topic I immediately thought of a handful of authors that I read no questions asked, and it’s a fun topic to consider.
These authors are Auto-Buy all the way for me:
1. Richelle Mead – Books: Vampire Academy, Bloodlines, and Georgina Kincaid series - I love them all. Can’t wait to spend a little time with my kindle and catch up on Gameboard of the Gods. I’ll happily read anything Mead decides to write- wonder if she’ll ever try out Contemporary! Love her characters, and all the angst, action, and romance.
2. Jennifer Echols – Books: My favorites are Such a Rush and Going Too Far, and this year looks to be huge for Echols. I preordered her first romantic comedy for adults Starcrossed, (See? Auto-buy) and it’s out today! Next is the New Adult Levitating Las Vegas, followed by the YA drama Dirty Little Secrets. And yes, I’ll read them all. She writes some of my favorite contemporary romances, with very unique settings.
3. Gayle Forman – Books: If I Stay, Where She Went, Just One Day – these are my kinds of books. If I Stay actually is one of the books that got my into YA in the first place and will always hold a special place in my heart. Just One Day is a gorgeous read, and the wait for Just One Year is a killer. I like that Forman touches on mature topics that appeal to a New Adult audience. I hope she always writes Contemporary YA/NA but would love to see her write an Adult novel as well.
4. Lauren Oliver – Books: Before I Fall, Delirium trilogy, Liesl & Po, The Spindlers. Oliver won me over with Before I Fall and Delirium & I love that she’s unafraid to try her hand at writing every category, such as Middle Grade, and she’s even writing her first Adult novel, Rooms, due out in 2014. Lauren Oliver as an auto-buy favorite is a no-brainer.
5. Colleen Hoover – Books: Slammed, Point of Retreat, Hopeless. Last year at this time I’d never heard of this author, but now after reading these three books she’s on the auto-buy list for sure. One of my favorite New Adult authors I’ve read and I’m happy for all her success. Love the emotional connection I feel to her stories and characters. Looking forward to This Girl (Slammed in Will’s POV) in April, and Hopeless #2 (Holder’s POV) in July.
6. Jennifer L. Armentrout – Books: The Lux Series is one of my favorites, and I like that Armentrout also writes New Adult under J. Lynn, like the forthcoming Wait for You and Frigid. Paranormal is not my preferred genre but I will read her paranormal series for the characters, action, drama and romance, and eagerly await her new contemporary books.
7. David Levithan – Books: Every Day, The Lover’s Dictionary, and his co-written books Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares, and Will Grayson. And there’s so many books I still need to check out from Levithan! I admire that he’s always trying something new; he writes strong gay characters, and his books have crossover appeal. Looking forward to this spring’s Invisibility (with Andrea Cremer) and this fall’s Two Boys Kissing.
8. John Green – Books: The Fault in Our Stars, Looking for Alaska, the co-written Will Grayson, and the ones I still have yet to read. Watching the Vlogbrothers also got me interested in Green’s work. I have all of Green’s books to-date on my shelf and just wish he’d put out books a little more often. His writing is smart and I love that he doesn’t talk down to his readers. Can’t wait to hear about his next book!
9. Stephanie Perkins – Books: Anna and the French Kiss, Lola and the Boy Next Door, and this fall’s Isla and the Happily Ever After (finally!) I’ve only read her two published books so far, but can’t imagine not trying out anything she chooses to write. Her characters, swoon-filled romance, witty dialogue and city settings all appeal to me. And wasn’t there talk about Perkins writing a horror novel?
10. Auto-Buy Audiobook Narrator – Emma Galvin – About a third of my reading is done via audiobook, and I have some favorite narrators that I’ll follow to any genre. My favorite YA narrator no question is Emma Galvin, and I’ve followed her from YA to Romance, Mystery, and Middle Grade all on the strength of her narration. Some of my top picks are Divergent, Hold Still, and Probability of Miracles, and I’m eager to check out Winter’s Bone sometime soon. I couldn’t bring myself to pick up the Snooki book though, lol.
Those are my Auto-Buy picks, who are your Auto-Buy authors? Do we have any in common?
Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature from The Broke and the Bookish. This week we have the daunting task of counting down the most anticipated books of 2013. And I only cheated a little! (I am leaving off so many books and it kills me…)
1. Just One Day by Gayle Forman – Forman is one of my favorite contemporary authors and all the early reviews make this book sound incredible.
2. Golden by Jessi Kirby – This one has romance and mystery, and I’m a fan of Kirby’s book In Honor and looking forward to reading more from her.
3. New Books by Jennifer Echols – Echols has 4 books due out in 2013 and you can bet I want to read them all. Here are a couple I’m particularly interested in: Star Crossed (Adult Romantic Comedy) and Dirty Little Secret (YA Romantic Drama)
4. This is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith – This one sounds so sweet, and I hope it’s as good as The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight.
5. Requiem by Lauren Oliver - I have a nervous excitement about this one, as with most series conclusions.
6. The Book of Broken Hearts by Sarah Ockler – This does sound intriguing, and there are sisters, a forbidden crush, and motorcycles.
7. The Lucy Variations by Sara Zarr – I loved How to Save a Life and the music theme of this book caught my attention.
8. Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins – For the second year in a row I’m anticipating this one, and I’m sure it will be worth the wait.
9. Boundless by Cynthia Hand – What’s going to happen in the series conclusion?!
What are your 2013 must-reads?
There’s a lot going on this month, and many books I want to read. To keep me organized, I printed out an October calendar and planned out my reading. Not to say this is exactly how it will go down – I’m a mood reader at heart. But, I do love making lists and at this point in time these books have caught my fancy.
Spooky Reads for Halloween:
1. Ten by Gretchen McNeil – An homage to Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None.
2. This Dark Endeavour by Kenneth Oppel – A prequel to Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein.
3. This is Not a Test by Courtney Summers – A zombie novel about 6 teenagers trying to survive the apocalypse.
4. Carnival of Souls by Melissa Marr – A dark tale with multiple POV about a war between daimons and witches.
5. The Spindlers by Lauren Oliver – A middle grade fantasy by one of my favorite authors.
Selections for The Literary Others: An LGBT Reading Event:
6. The Miseducation of Cameron Post by Emily M. Danforth – About a girl coming of age in the early 90s and discovering she’s attracted to girls. Her religious relatives send her to a “de-gaying” camp when they find out.
7. The Difference Between You and Me by Madeleine George – About a secret relationship between two opposites, told in alternating perspectives.
8. Boy Meets Boy by David Levithan – I’m a fan of Levithan but somehow haven’t read his first groundbreaking book.
9. Between You and Me by Marisa Calin – About a girl who has a crush on her teacher.
10. The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater – Narrated by Will Patton. A mystery/supernatural blend that’s received some good reviews.
What are you looking forward to reading this month?
Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature from The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic is Top Ten Books On Your Fall TBR List - no small task! I’m sure I’m not the only one who had a hard time narrowing the list down to ten.
Listed in no particular order, here are some of the books I can’t wait to read this fall:
1. Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor (Nov. 6) – The much anticipated sequel to Daughter of Smoke and Bone.
2. Bitter Blood by Rachel Caine (Nov. 6) - The Morganville Vampires lucky #13. Wonder what trouble is in store for the gang this time around?
3. Middle Ground by Katie Kacvinsky (Nov. 20) – I read the first book, Awaken, almost two years ago. Hope I can remember the story well enough. This series touches on a future society that is too reliant on technology.
5. Crewel by Gennifer Albin (Oct. 16) – Looks like a creative fantasy book about time weaving and I’m very curious about this one.
6. Send Me a Sign by Tiffany Schmidt (Oct. 2) – This contemporary sounds like my kind of book. It is about a girl with cancer, but also sounds uplifting and romantic.
7. Live Through This by Mindi Scott (Oct. 2) – Really enjoyed Freefall and Scott’s latest contemporary sounds like a touching/sad/romantic read. Anyone else think of the Hole album when you see this title or is it just me?
8. The Spindlers by Lauren Oliver (Oct. 2) – I liked Oliver’s other MG book Liesl and Po and The Spindlers looks like another imaginative read.
9. Touching the Surface by Kimberly Sabatini (Oct. 30) – I’ve been wanting to read this book for a long time, and it’s finally out this fall. It’s about a teenage girl who dies and has to come to terms with her past in the afterlife.
10. Meant to Be by Lauren Morrill (Nov. 13) – Not a lot of contemporary books this fall, so thank goodness for this one. Meant to Be looks very sweet.
Looks like a great season of reading ahead! What fall books are you looking forward to?
Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish and features a new top ten list each week. This week’s topic is Top Ten Favorite Books You’ve Read During The Lifespan Of Your Blog. Wow, this was really hard to decide! I totally cheated and added multiple titles per category in this mix of old and new favorites.
Following are some of my favorite books I’ve read over the past two years:
1. Contemporary – The Fault in Our Stars by John Green, and Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver. Both books made me cry and are very special to me. They are also the first books I read by both authors, and now they are both on my auto-buy list.
2. Fantasy – Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor, and The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson. I haven’t read a ton of fantasy, but both of these books stood out for me and I liked them as much as my favorite Maria V. Snyder or Kristin Cashore books.
3. Historical Fiction- Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys. A gorgeous, heart wrenching read.
4. Horror – Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake – A delicious wild ride of a ghost story. I just started reading the sequel Girl of Nightmares and it’s a blast so far.
5. Sci-Fi – Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout, and the Across the Universe series by Beth Revis. Across the Universe is intense and makes you feel like you’re trapped on a spaceship, while Obsidian is just so fun, action-packed and swoon-filled.
6. Dystopia – Insignia by S.J. Kincaid, and Divergent by Veronica Roth. Insignia is top of mind since I recently finished reading it – really cool technology-focused future where soldiers have computers in their brains. Guy POV is done very well too. And, Divergent, what can I say – I compare most of the dystopia I read to this one.
7. Audiobook – Ready Player One by Ernest Cline, read by Wil Wheaton. My go-to audiobook recommendation- part Sci-Fi and 80s nostalgia, it’s a thoroughly entertaining book that’s even better when you listen to Wheaton’s outstanding narration.
8. Romance - Such a Rush by Jennifer Echols, Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins,and The Summer series by Jenny Han. Such a Rush is a recent favorite and got me hooked on Jennifer Echols books. Anna and the French Kiss and the Summer series are contemporary favorites that I’d happily re-read.
9. Middle Grade – Wonder by R.J. Palacio – I’ve read a lot of wonderful middle grade books, but the charming Wonder is the first one that came to my mind. It really tugs at your heartstrings.
10. Vampire Series - The Morganville Vampires by Rachel Caine, and the Vampire Academy/Bloodlines/Georgina Kincaid series by Richelle Mead. Have to give a shout-out to Mead and Caine for writing such consistently good long-running series books. The Morganville Vampire series is still going strong 12 books in, and the Bloodlines series has also gotten off to a great start and builds on the VA series quite nicely.
What are your favorite books you’ve blogged about? Do we have any in common?
Genre/Format: Young Adult, Own hardcover, 375 pages
Rating: 5 / 5 Stars
I waited so long for this book! I adored Delirium, and have been pining for the sequel for over a year. The last pages of Delirium left me feeling like I’d been punched in the gut, and it was hard to imagine the direction the sequel would take. Pandemonium is a new beginning with a new setting and group of characters, and even the main character Lena has grown into a different person. So even though the story picks up shortly after the events of Delirium, in a lot of ways it’s like it’s starting over. I couldn’t imagine how I’d enjoy the book without some of the pivotal characters from Delirium. But I was happily surprised to find myself quickly caught up in this wild sequel.
The story alternates a “Then” and “Now” timeline taking us from Lena’s time entering the Wilds and transitioning to current day in New York where she is an undercover resistance operative. The jumping timeline is a little jarring at first – maybe because there are so many changes to get used to. It is a lot to digest. My curiosity of seeing the “Wilds” as compared to Portland, Maine was satisfied and brought a lot of interesting information about the “uncured.” The New York setting is also an exciting backdrop with familiar landmarks and dangerous situations.
I liked Lena’s new independence now that she’s out of her aunt’s control. The changes in Lena are striking and even though past events haunt her, her strength and resolve carry her through. The Wilds are quite a wake-up call for Lena, and she doesn’t have a lot of time to feel sorry for herself. She has to pull her weight and take charge, even though she’s still heartbroken from leaving her loved ones behind. New characters are also introduced and help move the story in new interesting directions. (How vague is that? This review is tough!)
Pandemonium is a dark and gritty middle installment to the trilogy. Where Delirium was more romantic, Pandemonium is more about the action and rebellion. The book felt like a necessary and natural progression from Delirium. It answers a lot of questions hanging from the first book and sets up the final installment in true Lauren Oliver fashion: with a shocking cliffhanger. I didn’t finish the book feeling like I’d been punched in the gut this time, maybe more like I’d been slapped, and there may have been some cringing and eye-rolling. Regardless, the wait for the final book, Requiem, will be unbearable. I hear that Requiem will be told with two points of view, Lena and another female character. Can’t wait! In the meantime, Lauren Oliver fans, watch for her new middle grade book coming out in September called The Spindlers.
- Book review: PANDEMONIUM by Lauren Oliver (gingerjonesbooks.wordpress.com)
- Hollydiggity’s #CBR4 Review #02: Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver (cannonballread4.wordpress.com)
- Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver (bookjourney.wordpress.com)
- Audiobook review: Pandemonium (thelupinelibrarian.me)
- YA Wednesday: An Exclusive Interview with Lauren Oliver (omnivoracious.com)
- Review: Pandemonium (Delirium #2) by Lauren Oliver (yabookscentral.blogspot.com)