Category Archives: 04 DYSTOPIAN

Requiem by Lauren Oliver (Delirium #3)

3 Stars

We wanted the freedom to love. We wanted the freedom to choose. Now we have to fight for it.

At the conclusion of a beloved trilogy, we see not an end but a beginning. It’s been a while since I’ve read this but yesterday I decided to skim it and finally resolved to write a review. I know a lot of fans were disappointed by Requiem. It wasn’t perfectly concluded, no final resolution was offered and the love triangle barely had its rightful “endgame”. I can’t blame people to be disappointed. At first, I was too, but as I absorbed the ending through time I realized this was probably how it was supposed to end. Requiem was a cliffhanger, an absolute cliffhanger, but it was one that made sense. This was a world set by rules for many generations and people were just beginning to break through. Revolution doesn’t happen overnight, and a change this big takes time. Rome wasn’t built in a day. At the last page of the book, many readers will be left wondering, What now? I asked myself that too, but answered myself back with “exactly”.

That is after all, the whole point. You do not know what will happen if you take down the walls; you cannot see through to the other side, don’t know whether it will bring freedom or ruin, resolution or chaos. It might be paradise or destruction. Take down the walls.

Life is all about taking risks. It’s like preparing to go off an edge blindfolded. You don’t know what will happen if you jump, but you jump anyway. This entire book, this entire story, it may be set in a dystopian world but its main core was love. The ending somehow reflected that. When you love someone, you break down your walls, you let that person in. You might get hurt, you just might be making the worst decision in your life and setting yourself up for total destruction—but you do anyway, because if you get it right, then it’ll all be worth it. After all, isn’t that what love is all about?

Take down the walls.

You don’t know what will happen if you jump, but you jump anyway.

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Middle Ground by Katie Kacvinsky (Awaken #2)

4 Stars

You could sit around and wait for life to happen or you could get busy and make it happen yourself.

Although I’ve read this the first week it came out, I never realized I forgot to post a review about it until now, so here it goes.

I waited for this since I finished Awaken last year and it was well worth the agony. Awaken is one of my favorite dystopians because it’s more grounded to reality. I think what makes it good is that it’s so close to what’s happening right now that it can arrive upon us any day if we don’t do anything about it.

“Then who are we really?” I wondered. “At the end of the day, with the lights off, all alone, which of those personalities that we take on and off are real?

Middle Ground did not disappoint. I think it’s even a step up from its predecessor. There are so many modern heroines in young adult novels these days: Tris, Katniss, the list goes on. They’re all very strong, flawed at the right places, they’re characters you’d want to root for. But Maddie is a different kind altogether. Her strength is not similar to other heroines… I think, to the very core, she’s probably stronger.

Continue reading Middle Ground by Katie Kacvinsky (Awaken #2)

Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver (Delirium #2)

3 Stars

Live free or die.

Note: Finished this book last July 2012

I remember loving Delirium, the first book of the series, and how refreshed I was on the simplicity of its plot being just a Dystopian love story. Well, somehow Pandemonium negated all of the things I loved from the first novel. Pandemonium totally jumped into the typical Dystopian formula. The simplicity of the first book was eradicated and the story now focused on the greater scope of the world, the life outside, the Invalids, the Resistance… basically the complex reality beyond Lena’s Portland hometown.

I was hoping for a simpler sequel but I suppose it’s inevitable for a Dystopian novel to just remain as a simple love story. Eventually, we’ll have to go further and delve into the politics and all that.

In this book we learn that there are different types of Invalids: The Resistance, Scavengers, and the people who dwell underground. Rejects who were driven to hiding to keep the surface “perfect”.

If you want something, if you take it for your own, you’ll always be taking it from someone else. That’s a rule too. And something must die so that others can live.

Continue reading Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver (Delirium #2)

Delirium by Lauren Oliver (Delirium #1)

4 Stars

I know that life isn’t life if you just float through it. I know that the whole point—the only point—is to find the things that matter, and hold on to them, and fight for them, and refuse to let them go.

I reviewed this February 2013 but I forgot to blog about it so I’m posting it now.

A dystopian love story. My first thoughts were, “Hmm, this seems interesting.” I’m used to reading dystopian fiction, but mostly concerning larger plots, so this was a fairly fresh approach for me.

 

Love: It will kill you and save you, both.


Amor Deliria Nervosa, Love, is a disease. Honestly, comparing to most dystopian novels, Delirium has a far simpler no-nonsense plot. To be blunt, it’s simply a love story set in a dystopian society. But that doesn’t mean it wasn’t any good. It was quite nice, actually.

  • Delirium has most of the Dystopian staples:
  • Controlled environment
  • Contained settlements/country
  • Predetermined matches/scientifically arranged marriages
  • Strict system and Science-based government

What was new was the theme regarding love. Basically, Lena, the main protagonist, used to be a firm believer of the system. She believed in order, uniformity, and the cure. She believed that a world without love was a better one. That Love was indeed a disease. Until she fell in love.

Most things, even the greatest movements on earth, have their beginnings in something small. An earthquake that shatters a city might begin with a tremor, a tremble, a breath.

Continue reading Delirium by Lauren Oliver (Delirium #1)

The Death Cure by James Dashner (Maze Runner #3)

4 Stars

Of course there was no way it was over. After the first two books, you knew it was impossible for WICKED’s evil games to be over just like that. Wicked is good. Yeah right… By this point of the trilogy, I found that statement very hard to believe. I couldn’t help but feel sorry for Thomas after everything he’s been through.

We finally see how the real world really looks like beyond The Scorch. We get to see the safe areas, also known as the remaining civilizations after The Flare, and there didn’t seem to be a lot of them. Majority of the human population has been infected and were now Cranks and way past the Gone, or on their way there if not yet already. In Thomas’ world, nobody could be trusted. To be honest, all the betrayal really got to me after having been with Thomas’ journey since Day 1 of The Maze. I, too, knew I couldn’t trust anyone anymore, not even The Gladers. Trusting people eventually became very tiring and futile.

 

The ending satisfied me, for the most part. Some deaths really frustrated me because I got attached to certain characters and losing them was a blow (Newt, really?!). However, I feel like the trilogy ended just the way it should’ve.
Continue reading The Death Cure by James Dashner (Maze Runner #3)

The Scorch Trials by James Dashner (Maze Runner #2)

 4 Stars

Wicked is good.

To be given hope and then have that cruelly taken away in the blink of an eye. Everything is just a part of a bigger game.

When they’d settled into bed last night, everything had seemed good and safe. Yeah, maybe this was worse, to have that suddenly taken away.

In Scorch, we finally get to see the outside world and how bad The Flare got Earth. This book was filled with death and suffering. Readers who grew to love and empathize with the main characters, reading Scorch Trials can be a little difficult. The Gladers’ sufferings just wouldn’t end! I felt their desperation and their hardships, but I also felt their determination and ceaseless hope. It’s hard not to admire them for their resilience and strength, which is why I understood why they were chosen.

Continue reading The Scorch Trials by James Dashner (Maze Runner #2)

Ruins by Dan Wells (Partials #3)

5 Stars

When the only alternative is extinction, an awful lot of horrors become acceptable.

War, Blood, Death. This is dystopia.

Ruins achieved everything Allegiant and Mockingjay failed to deliver as trilogy enders. THIS is how you end a series. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, The Partials Sequence is one of the most underrated recent YA science-fiction and dystopian series today. Dan Wells is a great story teller and an excellent world-builder, and he never disappointed me throughout the three books (four, if you count the Isolation novelette).

Continue reading Ruins by Dan Wells (Partials #3)