Goodreads rating: 3.75
My rating: 2.5
[Contains some mild spoilers – I marked when the bigger spoilers start at the very bottom.]
Unfortunately this book just wasn’t the ending I was looking for. So much could’ve been done with Alex, Julian, and Lena, but it all just fell flat about halfway through. The first half of the book was pretty good, the writing was amazing, as usual with Lauren Oliver, but the last half of the book was just so confusing. It was a mess of switching perspectives to avoid having to write actual conflict.
But Hana, congrats to you for becoming a badass. Her story was much more fleshed out than Lena’s and the story was about Lena. I would’ve been fine with it if it were the other way around where Lena is the one who has the more fleshed out and detailed story and Hana was the one who had a bit less of a story and more of a complimentary part, but of course it was the other way around. Lena’s story felt like the complimentary one and Hana’s felt like the main perspective; whether or not that was intentional, I can’t be certain, but it was interesting to read a bit more about Hana, if anything.
And I don’t think I’ll ever get over how weird the last few sections were [spoilers removed]. It’s good to read the book so you figure out what happens after Pandemonium, but be warned, Lena regresses completely as a character after all that lovely development in Pandemonium. Everything becomes about Alex again and she can’t move on. She goes back to being the person she was back in Delirium, being infatuated with Alex, but this time, she’s stringing poor Julian along for the ride.
As far as the rest of the book, Lauren Oliver continued with her lush writing style despite how rushed it felt and how awkward the perspective changes made it feel. Once Lena’s mother got more involved, I felt like the plot of the story and the writing just went downhill. The actual fight between the the Resistance and those within the walls was very sparsely written and the last half of the story was incredibly rushed. Though I’m really happy with the way that Lauren Oliver writes and describes the setting, that just wasn’t enough to carry the story this time unfortunately. The end made sense for all that’s happened but the way getting there in this book was a letdown compared to the the rest of the series.
And what the hell happens to Julian? That’s what I want to know. He just falls off the face of the earth or what? That’s a loose end I can’t forgive. Alex and Lena deserve each other. They’re both assholes by the end of this. Though I am happy about how the Resistance sort of took over Portland. I wish there was a little more so that we knew what ended up happening around the US with the resistance but I suppose from that ending we can infer how the rest goes.