Today's Grateful List/31 December 2015

  • Going to get answers no matter what

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Seriously, There Needs To Be a Law

Yes, there does indeed need to be a law. For what? For writers who get us invested in characters and settings through two and 3/4 books, then leaves us with a non-ending. If we had such a law, I'm afraid Lauren Oliver would be paying the price for Requiem right this minute.

Possible spoilers ahead...

Don't get me wrong...I love Ms. Oliver's writing and this trilogy was no exception. I love that right up until the last moment, our heroine Lena is conflicted about her relationships, and that means almost all of them--the one with her mom, the one with Hana, the one with Alex, the one with Julian. I like that she's unafraid to fight for what she wants, and she even questions whether or not it's all worth it. I do like that we get the sense that the story's not really over, that our Invalids will continue the Good Fight for change. And right up until the final chapter, I was right on board the whole plot...still not sure how things would get resolved, but still on board.

And then they didn't get resolved.

There are open endings, and there are open endings. A good open ending leaves you feeling good about the characters and their futures, with a good idea of how everything will eventually play out. This ending is not one of those. No, indeed, this ending, with its talk of tearing down walls, doesn't let me know that the Invalids gained a thing, or that Fred paid the ultimate price, or that Hana learns to experience any emotions again, or that Lena even makes a choice. Of course, I believe her feelings for Alex are deeper and stronger than those for Julian, but if they do get back together, what does it say about her that she can turn her back on the one boy who never questioned her, never let her down? Quite honestly, after all we experienced in Requiem, I'm not even sure what the Invalids were fighting for was actually worth it. I mean, who wants to be hunted and mowed down repeatedly, always having to struggle for food, warmth, a home? No amount of love will overcome the fact that these people will die young and not in a good way through their deprivations. I'm not saying love isn't worth it exactly, but that even if the Invalids did succeed in taking over Portland, who is to say the other cities don't send more troops to destroy them?


It's very sad that an ending that I'm sure the author labored over strikes the overall tone of this novel and its predecessors down so far. I could have overlooked Lena's indecisions and hurt had I found her relationships more redeeming, but as it stands, Hana is the one who stole the entire show in this finale. Hana made the big choices and gathered information along the way. Lena just rode the coattails of those around her and when the going got tough, she struck out on her own, leaving behind the boy who'd saved her life over and over.

I'm not saying to not read this entry; in general, it's well written and I can interpret the ending as I wish. But seriously, I am so let down that I'd like to ask Ms. Oliver to consider one more novel to help wrap things up. As it stands, consider this reader very underwhelmed--but still giving the book 3 stars because of my enjoyment until the last chapter.


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