Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Requiem (Delirium #3) by Lauren Oliver | Review

Requiem (Delirium #3) by Lauren Oliver | ReviewRequiem by Lauren Oliver
Series: Delirium #3
Published by Harper Teen on March 5, 2013
Genres: Dystopian
Pages: 391
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
4 Stars

Now an active member of the resistance, Lena has transformed. The nascent rebellion that was underway in Pandemonium has ignited into an all-out revolution in Requiem, and Lena is at the center of the fight. 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 infiltrate the borderlands to stamp out the rebels.

As Lena navigates the increasingly dangerous terrain of the Wilds, her best friend, Hana, lives a safe, loveless life in Portland as the fiancée of the young mayor. Requiem is told from both Lena and Hana's points of view. They live side by side in a world that divides them until, at last, their stories converge.

I was very hesitant to read Requiem.  I had an ARC for months before it came out but I just couldn’t force myself to read it.  All I had seen was pretty bad reviews and I just didn’t want to end up hating the final book in a trilogy that I adored.  Finally though I couldn’t put it off any longer.  While I didn’t love it nearly as much as the first two books, I was happy with how things ended and I felt that everything tied up nicely.

Requiem was a very slow read for me.  After devouring the first two books, I expected to do the same with this one.  That was not the case.  Things progressed very slowly and I found my attention wandering while reading.  There’s more buildup than actual action in Requiem and I was most disappointed with that.  The revolution has arrived!  Why isn’t anyone actually doing anything though?  Don’t expect to be on the edge of your seat with this one.

I was also really disappointed with the whole love triangle aspect of this book.  Really, I was disappointed with it for the whole trilogy.  I understood Alex and Lena’s relationship in the first book and I loved it.  When the second book came out I didn’t know what to expect based on the ending of the first book.  I was really upset when some new guy was introduced and we were expected to believe that Lena was in love with him and not Alex anymore.  It just didn’t work for me.  With Lena’s personality, her reluctance for her relationship with Alex, and so on, I just didn’t see it as realistic.  I really didn’t get it in Requiem.  Lena came across as this insecure girl who couldn’t stand on her own two feet and instead needed a man to help her with everything.  Then of course there was Alex.  He’s not the same Alex from the first book, that’s for sure, but boy did I still love him.  Julian just never did it for me and no matter what I’m team Alex all the way.

Lucky for me, Lauren Oliver’s fabulous writing really held the book together and made me continue reading. I could quote this whole book to you guys, it’s just so gorgeous.  Lauren Oliver manages to take a completely bleak and almost hopeless world and make it beautiful.  I adore that about her writing.

As for the ending, I know that’s what I was really worried about when I started Requiem.  While I admit it was a little abrupt, I felt that everything readers needed to know was included in the book and to me, the ending was pretty much perfect.  It’s a very open ended ending, that’s for sure, but in this case, there’s nothing wrong with that.  Also, no matter what anyone says, Lena definitely made her choice as to which guy she was really in love with.  It wasn’t a huge focal point at the end but it came across very clear to me and I really don’t see how people think she didn’t choose.  I was more than satisfied with the way this trilogy ended.

Overall, while not perfect, Requiem was a good ending to the Delirium trilogy and I really do think fans will enjoy it.

Looking for more reviews of Requiem by Lauren Oliver?

Mundie Moms’ review
Uncorked Thoughts’ review
Beauty and the Bookshelf’s review
Queen Ella Bee Reads’ review

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Short Story Saturday: Hana (Delirium #1.5) by Lauren Oliver | Review

Short Story Saturday: Hana (Delirium #1.5) by Lauren Oliver | ReviewHana by Lauren Oliver
Series: Delirium #1.5
Published by Harper Teen on Februrary 28, 2012
Genres: Dystopian
Pages: 64
Format: ebook
Source: Bought
Buy on Amazon
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2 Stars

The summer before they're supposed to be cured of the ability to love, best friends Lena and Hana begin to drift apart. While Lena shies away from underground music and parties with boys, Hana jumps at her last chance to experience the forbidden. For her, the summer is full of wild music, dancing—and even her first kiss.

But on the surface, Hana must be a model of perfect behavior. She meets her approved match, Fred Hargrove, and glimpses the safe, comfortable life she’ll have with him once they marry. As the date for her cure draws ever closer, Hana desperately misses Lena, wonders how it feels to truly be in love, and is simultaneously terrified of rebelling and of falling into line.

In this digital story that will appeal to fans of Delirium and welcome new admirers to its world, readers will come to understand scenes from Delirium through Hana's perspective. Hana is a touching and revealing look at a life-changing and tumultuous summer.

I’ve always been a fan of Lauren Oliver’s books whether they be contemporary or dystopian. However, Hana really let me down. I was expecting a lot more from this novella and in the end, I just didn’t get what I expected.

Hana really impressed me in Delirium. She wasn’t the typical best friend character who ended up being a total backstabber. She was actually a good friend to Lena and while I didn’t love her at first, I did by the end of the book. However, she really let me down in Hana. She was immature and really only ever thought about herself. All she cared about was boys and she dreaded the cure and she was positive that Lena could never understand what she was going through. She didn’t appear to be a good friend to Lena at all in this novella. I was hoping for an expansion of their relationship but that’s not what I got at all.

The story didn’t really go anywhere. I read Hana thinking that it would help me understand things in Requiem but now that I’ve read it and have started Requiem, I see no reason for reading Hana. Sure if you want more stories set in the world of the Delirium trilogy, check this one out, but don’t expect much from it.

Overall, Hana really didn’t go anywhere and it didn’t contain any information that I felt was necessary to the story in the rest of the books. Like I said, if you want more set in the world of the Delirium trilogy, check this one out but otherwise just pass on this one.

Looking for more reviews of Hana by Lauren Oliver?
Thursday, March 1, 2012

Pandemonium (Delirium #2) by Lauren Oliver | Review

Pandemonium (Delirium #2) by Lauren Oliver | ReviewPandemonium by Lauren Oliver
Series: Delirium #2
Published by Harper Teen on February 28, 2012
Genres: Dystopian
Pages: 329
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
5 Stars

I’m pushing aside
the memory of my nightmare,
pushing aside thoughts of Alex,
pushing aside thoughts of Hana
and my old school,
push,
push,
push,
like Raven taught me to do.
The old life is dead.
But the old Lena is dead too.
I buried her.
I left her beyond a fence,
behind a wall of smoke and flame.

Lauren Oliver delivers an electrifying follow-up to her acclaimed New York Times bestseller, Delirium. This riveting, brilliant novel crackles with the fire of fierce defiance, forbidden romance, and the sparks of a revolution about to ignite.

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Really?  That is the end?  Why must you continue to do this to me, Lauren Oliver?  Oh the wait is going to kill me!

Okay now for my review!

Pandemonium is an amazing follow-up to Delirium but I expected no less from Lauren Oliver.  Pandemonium was a lot darker than Delirium and that I did not expect.  It was still greatly enjoyable but be warned: there are not many happy moments in this book.  Still, in my opinion, it was better than Delirium.

Lena’s life changed completely when she lost Alex and had to go into the Wilds alone.  She became a much harder person, more likely to hate than love.  Of course she wasn’t alone in the Wilds for long.  She was found by Raven and welcomed into her homestead.  There she met Tack, Blue, Hunter, Squirrel, Grandma, Grandpa, Lo, Sarah, and Miyako.  They made her part of their family and Lena started to move on with her life.  Things changed though.  The resistance became more forceful and the Wilds were no longer safe.  Lena had a choice: to stay in the Wilds until death finally caught up with her or to go back to the cities and stand up with the resistance.  Of course she chose the resistance but she never expected to fall in love with the enemy.

There was a lot of death in Pandemonium and I definitely teared up at each and every loss.  It seemed like every time things would look up for Lena something bad would happen again.  I loved how strong she was but I loved even more to see her breakdown.  She is such a human character and that is what makes her awesome.

The plot in this one was very different from Delirium.  Right from the start you are hooked because there is so much going on.  Also, each chapter is either Now or Then, Then being right after Lena made it into the Wilds.  It made for a very interesting story and I liked the way it was told.  It wasn’t confusing at all which I was originally worried about.

Overall, Pandemonium is a must-read if you liked Delirium.  It is action-packed, brutally real, and at times, super sweet.  And that ending!  The wait for Requiem really might kill me.  =)

Looking for more reviews of Pandemonium?

Pen To Paper’s Review
I Eat Words’ Review

Monday, October 10, 2011

Delirium (Delirium #1) by Lauren Oliver

Delirium (Delirium #1) by Lauren OliverDelirium by Lauren Oliver
Series: Delirium #1
Published by Harper Teen on February 1, 2011
Genres: Dystopian
Pages: 441
Format: Hardcover
Source: Bought
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
5 Stars

Before scientists found the cure, people thought love was a good thing. They didn’t understand that once love -- the deliria -- blooms in your blood, there is no escaping its hold. Things are different now. Scientists are able to eradicate love, and the governments demands that all citizens receive the cure upon turning eighteen. Lena Holoway has always looked forward to the day when she’ll be cured. A life without love is a life without pain: safe, measured, predictable, and happy.

But with ninety-five days left until her treatment, Lena does the unthinkable: She falls in love.

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Lauren Oliver has done it again. I fell in love with her writing when I read Before I Fall and I am in love all over again.  Delirium is a beautifully written dystopian that makes you question everything you know about love.  I can’t wait to dive into the sequel.

Lena is very straight-laced at first.  She does what she is told, she doesn’t question authority, and she looks forward to getting cured.  Alex is the exact opposite.  He hates the cure and he is willing to risk everything to fight against it.  As he and Lena become friends (or more than friends) she starts to understand why he questions the authority and her rebellious, brave side comes out.  It was awesome and I hope to see more of that Lena in the next book.  Hana and Grace were also two fabulous characters that I would have liked to know more about. Grace was such a brave little girl and I hope things turn out okay for her.  Hana was actually a lot braver than I expected and Lena was lucky to have her as a friend.  I really hope that is not the last we see of her in the books.

The plot was a little slow at the beginning but not slow enough for me to be bored.  It really picked up after Lena found out Alex’s secret and after that I was thoroughly hooked.  Fair warning: you will not be able to put this book down!

Overall, Delirium is another fabulous book from Lauren Oliver and a wonderful start to this trilogy.  I can’t wait to start reading the sequel.  If you haven’t read this one already, do it now!

What others are saying about Delirium:

Wondrous Reads’ review: “I read through the majority of Delirium while simultaneously asking myself if there was anything more beautiful than Lauren Oliver’s words.”

Fantastic Book Review’s review: “I don’t know how Oliver was able to pull it off but I’m just ecstatic that this book surpassed all of my expectations.”

Bookieholics’ review: “I strongly encourage you to read this book!”