Author: Lauren Oliver
Year Published: 2013
So, I don't have a cover or an official synopsis on this one for you, since it's only in the first printing of Requiem. But, basically, this is Alex's story from the time in between Delirium and Pandemonium. And some of his past thrown in there too.
I've always wondered how Alex managed to survive in the Crypts. I mean, I know he says that Lena was the only thing that kept him going. But it's hard to know how much someone means by that, especially when it's in the middle of an argument. After reading this story, I feel like I know so much more about how Alex felt for Lena, and how much he loves her.
It also makes it easier to read through Requiem, knowing that he will always love Lena. Because even though Lena felt like she couldn't go on hoping that Alex was alive and had to give him up so that she could move on with her life, you always know that she still loves him. And it's hard seeing Alex so hardened and bitter that it seems like he doesn't return her affections. But, after reading Alex, I can understand why he's so upset with her and why he acts the way he does towards her. I mean, I'd be upset too.
Although I think much of Alex's allure has to do with how attractive he is, I think knowing more about him makes him all the more attractive. He has secrets of his own, secrets he never even told Lena because he thought she would think less of him. But honestly, I don't think they're that bad. They were appropriate responses to a terrible situation. (I'm trying not to give too much away here, I hate spoilery reviews).
Anyone who has read any of the series and the short stories should definitely try to get their hands on this story. I have no idea if it will ever be available separately from the first printing of Requiem, but you should definitely try to get your hands on it if you can. Borrow a friend's copy of Requiem, even if it's just for this story. I'd give this a 4.5/5.