by Veronica Roth
Trilogies are tricky. There’s so much pressure put on the final book. With this particular series there was a lot of pressure to explain the entire experiment and the world outside of Chicago. The first two books were heavy on the action, but not on the explanation and so there was a style shift in the final book, which doesn’t always work, but in this one I think it did. Roth still keeps the action level high.
One thing I loved about this book was the emphasis put on grief, both living with it and the guilt that can come with it. Grief affects everyone in different ways because we all cope differently. It makes some people hard, others weak. This book deals heavily with the cycle of abuse and how that affects both the abuser and the abused. I like that despite the chaos of a dystopian society, Roth still looked at the complicated family relationships of the main characters.
“I have only hazy memories of my own grief over my mother, just the feeling that I was separate from everything around me, and this constant sensation from everything around me, and this constant sensation of needing to swallow something. I don’t know what it’s like for other people.”
I also really appreciate how Tris and Tobias’ relationship matures through the series. Both of them start to realize that talking through things is important. You can’t keep secrets. You can’t take your love for granted. They start to understand that true self-sacrifice is not just running blindly into danger.
“I fell in love with him. But I don’t just stay with him by default as if there’s no one else available to me. I stay with him because I choose to, every day that I wake up, every day that we fight or lie to each other or disappoint each other. I choose him over and over again, and he chooses me.”
About the ending… I unfortunately had the ending spoiled for me by the stupid internet about half the way through the book. So I knew what was going to happen and I don’t think there’s any way to avoid having that affect the way I read the book. Knowing Tris was going to die at the end helped the event itself not be as shocking as it was for others. It didn’t feel wrong to me. People die in war and Tris had a tendency to gravitate towards dangerous situations. I really loved Tobias and Tris together, but to me the story was actually more powerful this way. Tris is the one who helped Tobias heal. She showed him that he deserved to be loved and between that and Evelyn’s decision to choose him I think he can possibly lead a healthier and happier life in the long run. I would have loved it if they ended up together, but I like that Tris didn’t rush into danger this time, she sacrificed herself for others out of love, it was the opposite of what she did in Insurgent.
BOTTOM LINE: The trilogy isn’t perfect and I know a lot of people are furious about the ending, but I’m not one of them. The story was interesting, the characters had chemistry and the writing was good. The whole series kept me hooked and I loved that it dealt with deeper issues. I’d recommend it if you enjoy dystopian books, but know going into it that it has got some flaws.
“I don’t belong to Abnegation, or Dauntless, or even the Divergent. I don’t belong to the Bureau or the experiment or the fringe. I belong to the people I love, and they belong to me—they, and the love and loyalty I give them, form my identity far more than any word or group ever could.”
“Sometimes it’s hard to know how to take care of people.”
“He makes the acquisition of knowledge feel like a secret, beautiful thing, and an ancient thing. I feel like, if I read this book, I can reach backward through all the generations of humanity to the very first one, that I can participate in something many times larger and older than myself.”
“That’s what love does, when it’s right – it makes you more than you were, more than you thought you could be.”
If you want to hear Roth’s thoughts on the ending read her post here. I didn’t read it until I finished reading the book and wrote my review. I didn’t want her explanation to affect my initial reaction.
Requiem (Delirium, Book 3)
by Lauren Oliver
This was, at best, a weak ending to the trilogy. I enjoyed Delirium and was disappointed in Pandemonium, but I still hoped the final book would redeem the series a bit. No such luck. I felt like the main characters had less personality in this book and the plot meandered between scenes.
The narrative switches back and forth between Lena and Hana’s points of view. I couldn’t care less about Lena’s story. She became even whinier and indecisive with each new chapter. I was just bored to death by the love triangle aspect. It’s so overdone and if you don’t think the people are actually in love than the drama isn’t convincing.
Hana’s story on the other hand was really well done. I never felt too strongly about Hana’s characters before this book, but I really enjoyed her sections this time. She’s been paired with the new mayor of Portland, but she can’t shake a feeling of unease about her pending nuptials. The tension builds in the Gaslight-style relationship as Hana’s wedding date nears.
BOTTOM LINE: Only read it if you’ve already read the first two books and feel the need to wrap up the series. I’m sad to add this trilogy to the growing pile of cookie-cutter dystopias out there.
My reviews of the other Delirium Books.