Review: Requiem by Lauren Oliver (NO SPOILERS)

Requiem by Lauren Oliver Book Title/Author: Requiem by Lauren Oliver
: HarperTeen March 2013
Genre: Dystopian YA
Series: Yes. It is the last book in the series — Delirium is book 1 and Pandemonium is book 2.
Other Books From Author: Before I Fall, Liesel & Po, The Spindlers

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I received a review copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This in no way swayed my opinion. Pinky swear!

Requiem picks up a few days after Pandemonium ends. Alex has joined Lena’s group and things are tense between them and with Julian and Lena struggles with her feelings and the coldness of Alex towards her. The group is in the wilds and trying to figure out where the best place for them to go next as the Wilds become more dangerous. Things are also tense between the resistance and the government and the regulators are stepping up their attempts to silence the Invalids and a fight is brewing. Requiem alternates between Lena and the dangerous Wilds and Hana who is cured, matched up and getting ready for her wedding — to the powerful mayor of Portland.

I’m almost ready to sob as I write this. This is not at all what I wanted for the ending of a beloved series that I’ve raved about. I did not want to write anything less than a glowing review. But alas, Requiem just completely was a let down for me personally. I feel like you are going to either LOVE this one or HATE it. So…let’s get into it.

There were some great things about Requiem. I loved the alternating chapters between Lena and Hana — this contrast between cured and uncured and the life within the walls and the life outside the walls in the Wilds was intriguing and just perfect. It was such a great contrast and I honestly really enjoyed Hana and her perspective and she became my favorite  to follow. The other thing? I was not sold on Julian in Pandemonium but in Requiem I just completely fell in love with him. I did. He grew and adapted to the Wilds and he was just a sweetheart. I loved getting to know him more. And as always, Lauren’s writing is exquisite. She knows how to write it all — tension (Alex and Lena..AHH. That tension was thick), tender moments and HUGE scenes where you can’t turn the page fast enough. I was happy to be back in this fascinating world that Lauren Oliver has created and snuggled in with her beautiful writing.

Let’s talk about the two things that let me down. The second one being the biggest factor.

1) The storyline of Requiem itself: I have to be honest…it took me quite a bit to get into this one. I was bored and almost put it down which was strange because I couldn’t read the first two fast enough. I guess I just expected a bit more action as we are left finishing Pandemonium feeling breathless from the events happening between the resistance and DFA. We could tell it was getting more and more tense and the air was charged with danger. You could tell something big was going to down. For the first half of this book, that feeling was lost on me. Lena and her crew are just moving around trying to find a place to go and, yes, there are THINGS that happen but I never felt that sense of OH MAN SOMETHING IS GOING TO HAPPEN until halfway through or so. The suspense and that constricting feeling in my chest because I know something big was going to happen…just NOT THERE. And Lena. I really loved her through the series but really just was bothered by her in this one. I know LOVE is a crazy thing and it doesn’t always make sense but I just don’t love how she treated Julian. That’s all I’m going to say. And truly, Hana’s chapters were way more interesting to me than what was going on with Lena and company.

2) The ending: I just can’t even process. Let’s just start out with the fact that this book ends with one of the most beautiful paragraphs I have ever read. It was lovely. I just wish I wasn’t so mad so that I could have enjoyed it more. So I’m reading and I’m noticing the thinning of pages in my right hand and thought about where we were in the story and I honestly thought I MUST be missing pages. There is NO WAY that this could wrap up with this many pages left. The ending was rushed for me. It was like FINALLY things are happening but it all went so fast. And then we get to the ending and I’m like ARE YOU SERIOUS? THIS IS HOW IT ENDS? Really?? I’m not one of those  people who needs a happy ending nor needs the author to do EXACTLY what I want…but I needed something from this. There was little resolution, I had so many questions and it was just rushed. I was not satisfied at all for a series I loved with my whole heart and was so invested in. I knew that Lauren would take risks but this is not what I had in mind when I think of what a brilliant writer she is. I mean, yes, there was truth to the ending and you felt a little bit of hope that they will have the chance to choose love in all of its messy glory and that maybe things will change…but just no…I didn’t FEEL anything. I felt gypped and was not feeling fond of Lena at the end.

All in all, Requiem was pretty much a disappointment for me which is sad because I LOVED this series so hard and recommended it so often. It kind of taints the series for me now between the less than exciting plot, how Lena acts in Requiem and a rushed ending that didn’t seem like much of an ending at all for people who devoted so much time to loving this series. I’m not a person who needs a happy and perfect ending or for the author to do what I want but I just expected something more to be honest. If you had lukewarm feelings for this series as it was, I’d say just ask someone what the ending is. If you have loved the series through and through, I say finish it and I will be crossing my fingers you feel more satisfied than I did with this book. I AM DEVASTATED RIGHT NOW. But that last paragraph was BEAUTIFUL. Oh, and Hana pretty much ROCKS my world.


Other Series You May LikeUnder the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi (Through the Ever Night – book 2- was AMAZING!), Matched by Ally Condie, Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi, Eve by Anna Carey


Let’s Talk: Have you read this one?? What did you think or am I just the odd man out who was disappointed?? I am just so, so sad because I expected to be blown away. What did you think of the ending? Did it work for you?

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About Jamie

Jamie is a 32 year old married lady (with a new baby!!) who is in denial that she's actually that old to be a married lady and a mom. When she's not reading you can find her doing Pilates followed by eating ice cream, belting out Hamilton (loud and offkey) and having adventures with her husband, daughter and rescue dog.


  1. o.0

    It’s a good thing I’ll be reading this on my Kindle, because otherwise I might be tempted to flip to the back to check out that last paragraph. (This is something I’m absolutely terrible about; I don’t read endings, I just sometimes look at the last page, and IT NEVER WORKS OUT.)

    • Haha I NEVER do that! It’s funny because, until I entered the blogging world, I never knew people did that!! You aren’t alone!! haha

  2. Here’s the thing, even though I gave it a 5 star review (honestly 4.5 GIVE ME A HALF STAR GOODREAD) I totally agree with everything that you have issues with. I just accepted them? IDK how to phrase it, which is horrible for a reviewer. But I do totally agree with you it ended too fast, even with one of the most beautiful ending paragraphs, and I expected more, but what I wanted did occur. I guess that’s why I gave it the rating I did, even though again, TOTALLY agree with you.

    Also, don’t think this gets you out of our email thread missy. Otherwise I have to be weird to you on twitter, and that’s awkward for all. Mostly me.

    • That makes sense! I’ve done that before with certain books (Boundless).

      Haha I’m horrible with email! But you will hear from me!

      • I felt like we had to? Or I had to? I don’t know. You can block me from your life soon. But you do follow me on twitter. You know I’m weird.

  3. Totally agree! I had a chance to read this over Christmas and I was so disappointed by the ending!

    • At least I’m not the only one! I went into it not hearing ANYTHING from anybody else and then when I finished and messaged a few people and started out with “EFF THIS ENDING”…then I realized others felt the same way.

  4. I’ll have to read it, but I get the feeling I’ll react the same as you.

  5. Yes. Exactly what you said. I was really put off my Lena in this book. She is pretty awful to Julian. And the ending killed me. Especially given some of it came out of left field. I can’t help but wonder if Requiem really isn’t the last book. I mean…she left so much open that there could easily be another one. But I was pretty annoyed with it. Lauren Oliver sure loves her cliffhangers, doesn’t she? Great review!

    Shannon @ Rex Robot Reviews

  6. I wish some plot points would have resolved differently, but LO made me BELIEVE, which is the mark of a great writer. Absolutely gorgeous last paragraph indeed.

    • I definitely agree. Like I believed that there was hope for the future and whatnot and that last paragraph did a great job bringing that together. I just….I don’t know. It’s hard to explain how I felt throughout this one which was so sad…because I LOVED THIS SERIES.

  7. I totally and completely agree with you. I really preferred Hana’s chapters and didn’t care about Lena’s that much. I HATED how she treated both boys. I felt like she wanted Alex, but they weren’t getting along, so she ran over to Julian but just as a rebound. And then there was almost ZERO wrap up with the love triangle… I mean.. UGH. (That one sentence wrap up barely counts.) I just feel like the first book was all about love, the second book had more resistance but then started an INSANE love triangle. But then the third book had no romance and was all resistance. I feel kind of cheated that the author had this hugely intense love triangle romance and then did nothing with it in the third book!!

    • Ugh thank you! She really was quite horrible to them. Granted, I understood like, as a teenager, that sometimes you act like that when you have such strong feelings. I mean, I know I totally was confused sometimes about my like I get that. But I just was sad about it. And I agree, maybe if the LOVE hadn’t been such a focus of this series, then maybe I wouldn’t be so disappointed. I was so swept away by it in Delirium but I just felt that it definitely didn’t get enough attention. I didn’t mind the resistance I thought it was really interesting so that didn’t bother me but I wish it would have been more balanced.

  8. Awwww Noo I had some problems with the suspense already in pandemonium as it just didn’t feel to exciting..I mean I still loved it but not as much as delirium. So reading this review makes me anxious about continuing 🙁 aww man…I thought the final installment ought to be especially crazy and action packed 🙁

    • Yeah, I thought the final installment would bring out so many emotions in me (like so many before it has) and keep me on the edge of my seat…but no. Didn’t happen. I hope you feel differently. But I definitely didn’t feel like I was mourning the series like I have before.

  9. as if i wasn’t already scared enough before….. i am now crapping in my pants. i don’t want a rushed ending! i adore this series and i hate to think my feelings might change!! i do not want to read this, but i HAAAAVE to! should be arriving in the mail next week. AHHH! thanks a lot doyke. 🙂

  10. Oh, no. 🙁 I’m crying *for* you a little… Boo. I love this series, too. I was hoping for a great ending obviously. Maybe I’ll be in the “love it” camp. Sorry you didn’t love it!

  11. Even though I’m sad about this, I’m not surprised at all. I’ve heard similar complaints about this book. *sigh*. I’m worried about reading it, because Pandemonium was already a let down for me compared to Delirium. I’m afraid this is going to be one of those series where the first book hooks me and then books 2 and 3 are disappointing.

    • Ah see..I went into it not knowing what ANYBODY else thought. I specifically stayed away from reviews and opinions. Maybe I should have looked to prepare me for this. haha. I was just so sad because I love this series so much.

  12. The reports on this one have just made me SO sad. I was so excited, despite not having read Pandemonium yet, that I ALMOST went out and bought it, though the fact that I’ve been spending like it’s going out of style and probably wouldn’t read it in forever kept me from doing so. Anyway, I’m glad I didn’t, since the reviews are rolling out now, and it seems like most people were disappointed. As always, I greatly appreciate your honesty. I’m still not sure if I’ll try to read Requiem or not, but at least I know.

    • It seems the more I talk to people after finishing, because I went into this book not wanting to know how ANYBODY felt, I’m seeing more and more people felt the same better. And honestly, that makes me feel much better because I just was so so disappointed. I’ll be interested to hear what you think if you do continue on!

  13. You know I haven’t read this series but I was curious how you would handle the review. I’m so glad you were honest, even if it is major sadness because it sucks when you have invested so much into a series and it just doesn’t end in a satisfying way.

    As always, you are awesome!

    • Thanks lady! <3 I spent a lot of time writing this review. You know how much I was raging sooo I tried hard to stay away from ranting and explaining why it didn't do it for me. I just feel more SAD than anything else honestly. I loved this series and Requiem just didn't do it for me.

  14. My problem with Requiem wasn’t necessarily the ending – I don’t think there’s a way she could have resolved it in a way that was perfect for me. My issue was the lack of the emotion in the book. I just didn’t really get the same emotion out of the story. I wasn’t left gasping or crying from happy or sad. I was just reading it and then it was over. It didn’t make me feel like the first two books did. I don’t know if that was my problem or something else, but with a story that focuses so much on the power of emotions, I would have liked to feel some 🙁

    • Agree that I don’t know HOW she could have ended it that was perfect…I didn’t even NEED perfect haha. I just needed more than this. BUT OMG I TOTALLY AGREE WITH YOU. I had NO emotion at all. I think my face was straight the whole time I read this which was the exact opposite of my experience with Delirium which gave me SO MANY FEELS which is why I loved it. Really good point. I think that is why I found myself so bored with the plot because those emotions were not tangled in it like before.

    • That’s a great way of putting it!
      I think the part where I felt the most emotion is *SPOILER ALERT* Tack’s reaction when Raven is shot on the wall. And even then, LO only gave that moment like, 2 sentences, so my sadness didn’t even last that long.
      And then also when Lena runs into Alex at the end of the book, but then that was only another 2 sentences, so again I didn’t feel it that strongly.

  15. I TOTALLY agree about the ending. It was WAY too rushed and I really did not like how it was left…. I felt like Lena and Hana should have had WAY more interaction and that would have helped tie up the book as well. We were left with so many questions… About Lena, about Hana, about Julian.
    I was a Hana fan this book too – Lena was making me mad. She was being selfish and unreasonably so. I didn’t like her interactions with Julian and with Alex and I felt like she was being a child to them both! UGH.
    I still liked it because I always adore the beauty of Lauren Oliver’s writing, but I did NOT like how political this book was. This is what I feared after all the DFA stuff in book two. It’s like, the more I think about it, the more upset I become!

    • Yeah, I didn’t even think about that but come to think of it..I WOULD have loved more Hana and Lena interaction because that really would have given a little bit of closure. And yes SO MANY QUESTIONS.

      Thank god for Hana chapters! They kept me more on the edge of my sit and had me way more invested because I could feel some sort of emotion considering she was the “cured” one. I could feel there was still love somewhere in there. And I could feel her fear.

      Yeah, her writing is just flawless. I love it. I think that kept me going. I think I was one of the few who didn’t mind the political aspects of it but I think considering this was so hyped as an epic romancey sort of thing…I think there needed to be a better balance.

    • I’m not a big fan of the political aspect as well! It’s honestly too confusing foor me, lol!
      And yes, I really wish there was some amazing best friends reuniting scene between Hana and Lena. The little interaction they had was just not effective enough!
      And I definitely wanted more Lena/Alex moments. Especially at the end.

  16. OMG YES to every single thing you said in your review! I actually liked Hana’s POV too, hearing from an uncured and the contrast it provided. And ugh, I had the same feelings as I was nearing the end, like how can this possibly wrap up and to find out it really… doesn’t. 🙁 Great review!

    • It was such a nice contrast! Good move on Lauren’s part for doing that! It honestly kept me really engaged in the story because it was a side we hadn’t ever seen.

      Pretty much at the moment when I was like WHAT! BARELY ANY PAGES! HOW??? ..I was thinking she was going to do something crazy to wrap it up…but I didn’t expect a non-ending. I mean, honestly, I totallyyyy do not expect neat and nice happy endings in my books but I just felt we, as fans, deserved a little more. Not ONE thing felt resolved.

  17. Oh no! This scares me. I love the series and am really looking forward to reading this one, but now I’m thinking that I need to lower my expectations. Especially about the ending! I didn’t read what exactly you didn’t like about the ending, but I see that it was one of your letdowns. I will be prepared when I read it!

    Great review, Jamie!

    • I honestly hope it blows you away!! I could see how the ending COULD be brilliant in some people’s eyes but I just didn’t FEEL it. And that’s important for me.

  18. Oh man. This is the second review I’ve read this week of Requiem, and to be honest, yours and the other one basically were the same disappointments and issues. When I see several reviewers I trust who have the same issues with a book, I put credence into y’all’s thoughts. I want to do a series re-read once Requiem is out, but it’s sounding more and more like I’ll be waiting for it at the library rather than buying it.

    I am happy that we get to know Julian more! And HANA. I always thought she was pretty bad ass, and liked her a LOT more than I did Lena in Delirium. (Noted: I’m going to read her novella in between Delirium and Pandemonium this time around.) I’m encouraged that you enjoyed Hana’s chapters. As soon as I heard it was alternating view points, I got excited.

    I’m nervous about this one. Lauren Oliver is one of my favorite authors but it sounds like this one like you said is going to be VERY polarizing for fans. I hate to hear about Lena’s treatment of the guys. UGH.

    Good honest review though, Jamie! I know you felt bad about writing it but at least you were honest.

    • Thanks Molli! I really feel like I wanted to see the brilliance in the ending but I just never FELT it. I honestly HOPE you love it and can feel what I didn’t!

  19. I’m very impressed with how you managed to avoid spoilers in your actual review. I wasn’t emotionally involved enough in the series to care about the cliffhanger-y ending, but I think most of her fans definitely WILL care about it. And I agree with you–Hana was the more interesting character to follow in this book and doing the more dangerous work.

    • I don’t know HOW I avoided spoilers. I decided I was just going to try and write a non-spoilery review but if I couldn’t do it then SO BE IT. I think I want to write something spoilery later on when it’s out…because I need to DISCUSS. haha

      YES! I agree..HANA was the one who I felt was doing the more risky, dangerous thing…which is funny considering that Lena was in the wilds and fighting for her life.

  20. Wow, you wrote my thoughts much more eloquently than I did. The longer I think about this book, the more I don’t like it. And I feel terrible about that. I ADORED this series. Like, it was one of my favorites ever. But it ended on such a…disappointing note. I thought it was going to be as shocking as the first two, but it just wasn’t. I was frustrated with Lena and the plot. Though I did love Hana, as well. I really wish we got more time with her, but at least we got some. Her story was so interesting and I really felt for her.

    • My thoughts are just swirling about this series, Rachel. Props to Lauren for making me think about a book days after I finish it…even if they aren’t necessarily all positive thoughts haha. I just don’t know what to feel about the ending. I mean I know WHAT I immediately felt..disappointed. But, like I said in my review, there WAS this sense of hope and possibility for the future but we had such little time to process what that actually meant that I didn’t FEEL anything. And there was no build up in my emotions with this one. I didn’t feel triumph like I should have when they got over the wall. Like shouldn’t my eyes have teared up and felt this need to beat my chest because THEY DID IT. THINGS COULD CHANGE. But I didn’t feel anything. The only time I felt like whooping was with what Lena did and then how she booked it out of the house leaving him behind haha.

  21. Oh my goodness, Jamie, I AGREE. I found myself kind of just chugging along, not really FEELING too much of anything, liking Hana’s chapters but never really sure WHY she was there? I don’t know if you felt that way, loving her being around like you did. I was happily surprised to see Hana in this book, but after it was over, I kept thinking, “What was the point of Hana coming back into the story here?” and “Wait. It’s over? Now I understand what she was doing in the story even less!” Which made me mad because I really enjoyed her story. More than Lena’s. I agree with Tara–I felt almost nothing for Lena and the boys. Certainly NOTHING compared to the devastating, roller-coaster emotions from the first two books.
    And I know you loved that last paragraph, and it was really pretty and profound. But I also thought it was a HUGE cop out. Huge. I was really disappointed. WAH!! :-(((

    • I didn’t really think too much of it because I was enjoying her chapters..but I do agree that it was an interesting choice..maybe because by the end their stories come together once again?

      I think that was the hardest thing…maybe if I would have FELT something through the book that I could have been ok with the ending. I could appreciated it. I don’t know. It just didn’t build up to anything for me. I didn’t feel that triumph that I should have when they knocked that wall down. That last paragraph was the only thing that made me feel anything. I think that if I would have been FEELING things that maybe I would have been blown away by the ending and all the possibility in it. But at the same time, maybe this is just me, it always seemed marketed to me as a huge love story. Maybe if I hadn’t read it like that at all…maybe I wouldn’t have been disappointed? Because I mean, Pandemonium DID seem more about the fight for love than it did about the actual romance. I think Lena was just not so used to the overwhelming feeling of love that after Alex it was natural for her to feel something for Julian — just like how I was when I first started discovering BOYS in THAT way. So maybe if I didn’t, in my mind, see this series as a romance than I wouldn’t have been disappointed. I don’t know…there was still something OFF emotionally about Requiem.

  22. Oh man, I’m getting really nervous now…I sincerely hope I end up with a dissenting opinion on this one…

  23. I was very disappointed in this one too. I just didn’t feel the emotions that I felt with the first two, and like you, at times I was bored with it. For me the dual POV didn’t work. I understand that we needed to know both sides, but I thought a lot of Hana’s POV was unnecessary. I guess a lot of Lena’s was too. I think that it just made me disconnect from the characters with all the back and forth. And that ending! For real, I was like, “No, that’s not an ending!!” I didn’t expect it to be all butterflies and rainbows, but I felt that it was just not resolved enough. Great review!!

  24. This makes me sad. Not the post it note, that makes me oh so happy. lol.

    Seriously though, I love this series too, and I’m afraid I will feel the same when I finish. (And I will! I’ll still be purchasing it) But I don’t like when a series ends like that. I want full closure. I want ALL of my questions answered. Because that’s what stuck with the series for!

    *sigh* We will see, I’m sorry you felt ripped off by this. I’ll be sure to come complain to you if I end up with the same opinion. :0)

  25. I haven’t had a chance to read through all of the comments, but, Jamie, I *really* appreciate your heartfelt, honest review.

    For those of you who watch TV, evidently a pilot episode of a series based on the books has been ordered (twice now). I hope we get to see it in the fall–maybe the producers will end the series more happily!

  26. I still haven’t read this but booooo bad endings. I felt like that about Reached, the last book in the Matched trilogy. It was so long and drawn out and disappointing. Granted, it sounds like it wraps up better than this. But, ugh bad endings piss me off. ALSO. I wonder, because you read an ARC and it looks like at this point because I’ll be reading the audiobook/final version if there’s been any changes from ARC to final copy. Like I know with Level 2, I think Lenore added like 20 pages from ARC to final and it did change the ending quite a bit.

  27. Requiem really didn’t do it for me. My feelings practically refelect yours in this department. I think the ending is really just what tainted the whole book for me, it was all rushed and unfulfilling. I feel like I didn’t get closure with any of the characters and it seemed almost unfair the ending the series got when we’ve been through such an emotional journey with all the characters and the ending just didn’ seem to do the series justice!
    Great Review though Jamie

  28. Great review. I just finished the book this morning. I wasn’t completely disappointed in the ending. I think an epilogue would have resolved all of this. Why no epilogue?! I live for them as I get so much closure. Personally, I felt she wrapped it up well in the sense that I could really “tell” what was going to happen. Books 2 and 3, however, did not even compare to Delirium. I felt like she started out with such a bang, and it slowly fizzled out. I agree with the others about not enough emotion in the final book. I think I got emotional in the first two, but I never had that in the third. It’s a series about love, so I just wish there would have been more of that in the final book. I think the way Lena treated Julian was important to the ending, as it helped make her choice clear given that it’s never outright stated. And where was Rachel? I was surprised she was barely mentioned, especially given that Thomas still had feelings for her even after he was cured. Given Hana’s perspective, it was interesting to think that maybe the cure didn’t really work for anyone but that everyone just got really good at playing the part they were supposed to play. Lots to think about. I just love Alex and needed more of him in the book. Did you read the Alex chapter at the end about his perspective of his time in the Crypts and his search for Lena? It was great.

  29. ok so I JUST finished the book, like 2 seconds ago, and I absolutely HATED the ending!
    I can’t stand that things didn’t get resolved, and I had so many feelings bubbling inside of me, it was crazy!
    I wanted results! I want to know what the hell happened to Lena’s mom, the rest of Lena’s family, Lu (I CAN’T BELIEVE HERE! UGH!), Cassie, Tack (OMG I FEEL SO MUCH FOR HIM, THE POOR GUY), Julien, Hana, everyone! I want confirmation that Fred was killed by the bomb, and I want to know if the resistance accomplished taking back the city!
    And most of all, I need more Lena and Alex moments, COME ON!
    But I was actually okay with the plot of the book. Sometimes I got a bit confused, but I didn’t feel like it was dull or anything.

  30. Jamie I’m so glad you reviewed this. I just finished it (i’m so behind!) and I feel the same way. There was so much build and so much riding on everything and then… the end was so abrupt. I don’t mind abrupt endings but I feel like nothing, NOTHING was resolved. And Lena, while her journey was amazing, kinda let me down at the end. It’s open and hopeful and realistic, but it also seemed… lacking.
    I’m also disappointed with how the love triangle worked out. Not necessarily how it ended but that is just wasn’t as powerful as it was in the first two books. Love is this huge powerful walking THING and then at the end I felt like it was just like – oh yeah, so there you go. (shrug).
    OH well. I still love Lauren Oliver’s writing and will always read what she rights but I agree. The series ending disappointed.


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