Friday, June 21, 2013

Book review: Requiem

Requiem (Delirium #3) by Lauren Oliver

Description from Goodreads (below) can be found here along with other reviews. As this is a sequel, my review will by nature include spoilers for the first two books. Check out my review for the first book and the second book. No spoilers for the third book though!

Now an active member of the resistance, Lena has been transformed. The nascent rebellion that was under way 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 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 fiancĂ©e 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.

Requiem is the third and final installment in the Delirium series. The second left with a pretty decent cliffhanger: Lena discovered that Alex, her first love who she thought died helping her escape to the wilds, was alive. In fact, he was in front of her and her new romantic interest, Julian.

With that plot twist, I guess I shouldn't have been surprised that much of this book was one big fat love triangle. It was somewhat disappointing that this took up SO MUCH of the book, but then again -- when the story is about a world that has tried to eradicate love, of course you're going to focus on the love story!

For the first time in the series, Requiem lets us see the world from another character's perspective -- Hana, who has now been cured. I really, really liked this. I liked seeing through the eyes of a cured person -- there was less emotion, but definitely not less fear, and I think that really made the evilness of the cure and the awfulness of society that much clearer.

We also get to check in with Lena's family a bit and see what affect her disappearance had on them. I thought that was another great view into the society of the cure.

Requiem has gotten a lot of criticism from fans because it doesn't wrap up cleanly -- we don't know what's going to happen next at all. But I think it's a (mostly) fair ending. 

Have any of you read Requiem? Did you hate the ending? I'd love to hear what you thought! Be careful of spoilers in the comments, please!

Friday, June 14, 2013

Book review: The House of Mirth

The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton

Description from Goodreads (below) can be found here along with other reviews.

First published in 1905, The House of Mirth shocked the New York society it so deftly chronicles, portraying the moral, social, and economic restraints on a woman who dared to claim the privileges of marriage without assuming the responsibilities. Lily Bart, beautiful, witty, and sophisticated, is accepted by "old money" and courted by the growing tribe of nouveaux riches. But as she nears 30, her foothold becomes precarious; a poor girl with expensive tastes, she needs a husband to preserve her social standing and to maintain her life in the luxury she has come to expect. While many have sought her, something—fastidiousness or integrity—prevents her from making a "suitable" match.

To me, this book was a mix of Jane Austen and Mean Girls. Really. Even though each of these three things (Jane Austen's writing, the book's writing, and Mean Girls) happened with a hundred years almost between each.

The House of Mirth reminds me of Austen's book Emma in a couple ways: one, both are about society -- high society of the time, to be specific, and about making appropriate matches, according to status, mostly. Secondly, because I'm not sure the main character is entirely likeable. With Emma, I know that Austen did this on purpose. With Lily, the main character in  The House of Mirth, I'm not sure.

Lily is a girl with expensive taste. She likes to spend time with folks with much more money than she has, she spends money she doesn't have, and she gets herself into sticky situations with other people's husbands. She is also VERY aware of her own attractiveness and is very manipulative of the effect her beauty and charm have on people. Just when I was getting to like her, she'd talk about how beautiful she was again, and there it went.

And then there's the Mean Girls part. Like I said, Lily gets herself into a couple tricky situations with other people's husbands. Through the repercussions of these incidents, we see the many sides of society life: the cheating, the manipulation, and where you go when you fall from grace.

The House of Mirth shows the many sides of society life in the early 20th century -- the good, the bad and the ugly. It was a bit of a slow read, as many society books are (more visiting with other people and descriptions of parties than actual action) but super fascinating -- and it took turns I was not expecting. I gave it four stars on Goodreads! Thank you to Pat's dad for the book!!

Have any of you read The House of Mirth or books like it? I love to read books like this now and then!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...