November 17, 2013

Review: Allegiant

Well, I finally tackled it. I didn’t want to after seeing there was a bit of a backlash from fans…and after seeing on ‘Entertainment Weekly’ an article on her “controversial ending.”

But last weekend was a three-day weekend, so I decided to go ahead and see what had everyone in such an uproar.

I found out. I did. And I understand. And this is hard to write without spoilers…but I’m going for it.

Title: ‘Allegiant’
Author: Veronica Roth
Pages: 526
Publisher: Katherin Tegen Books
Available: NOW
Source: personal copy

Summary (from Goodreads):

The faction-based society that Tris Prior once believed in is shattered—fractured by violence and power struggles and scarred by loss and betrayal. So when offered a chance to explore the world past the limits she’s known, Tris is ready. Perhaps beyond the fence, she and Tobias will find a simple new life together, free from complicated lies, tangled loyalties, and painful memories.

But Tris’s new reality is even more alarming than the one she left behind. Old discoveries are quickly rendered meaningless. Explosive new truths change the hearts of those she loves. And once again, Tris must battle to comprehend the complexities of human nature—and of herself—while facing impossible choices about courage, allegiance, sacrifice, and love.

Told from a riveting dual perspective, Allegiant, by #1 New York Times best-selling author Veronica Roth, brings the Divergent series to a powerful conclusion while revealing the secrets of the dystopian world that has captivated millions of readers in Divergent and Insurgent.

My Thoughts:

First, let me say that this was a lot easier to read than ‘Insurgent.’ When reading a series, I usually do not go back and re-read the other novels (‘Harry Potter’ is an exception) because I just don’t have time with my grading load, but I HAD to re-read parts of ‘Divergent’ in order to read ‘Insurgent,’ which I did not like. This is not the case with the final installment.

I was able to pick up the novel and read and remember everything from the previous book with no issue.

Readers are thrust back into Tris’ Chicago, one full of corruption, one on the brink of total chaos. There is a fight for power as those who prefer a Faction life seem lost in the cracks to those who do not. But this is the least of Tris’ worries.

Tris and Tobias reunite and decide it is time for outside intervention. It is time to see what is on the other side of the fence. The consequences are great, and the world discovered sends both Tris and Tobias into a tailspin. The question is, can they survive it—and can they find true meaning within their own lives?

Roth really had me with this novel. I read the entire story in one day. I could not put it down. I had to see where she was taking me, and where she was going to leave our beloved Tris and Tobias.

If you are a fan of the series, you cannot miss this conclusion to the tale. I do not care what you have read/heard/seen, etc. You have to read and experience it for yourself.

With that said, I do have a few issues with the novel. There were several holes in the storytelling that were never answered. But I do have a theory: those holes were just a distraction to where Roth was leading us. While I have those questions, I feel as if I have enough of the story to fill in those holes myself. I just don’t always like to do it.

I was so torn about this novel when I finished it. I could not reach out to my fellow readers if they had not yet read it—but I could reach out to the hubby. So, I asked him to read it so we could discuss the ending. He read it. Then he said, “You had me read that book and now we aren’t going to discuss it?!” That man.

While I felt I read a story of love and friendship, he read ‘Insurgent.’ He felt as if Roth just re-wrote the second novel in a different setting. This is what I want to ask you all: did you feel the same way? I did, and I didn’t at the same time. If that makes sense.

But, he and I agreed on the ending—and without spoiling it here, let me just say that we both believe it was not the ending for this novel. I have spoken to several of my students and fellow teachers who have read the novel, and they side with us on this as well.

But, I do not regret reading the series. At all. I really enjoy Tris and Tobias as separate characters, but I really enjoy when they are on the page together. Roth has a nice pacing to her storytelling, and while she is not a master at world building, she doesn’t need to. In this series, she shows how easily the world can be torn apart, a world that many of us already live in—in a metaphorical sense.

If you are a fan of ‘The Hunger Games’ series but you have yet to pick up the ‘Divergent’ series, this is the perfect time to do it. All three novels are out, you don’t have to wait, you can read all three in a row. Then, come back and tell me what you think. I would love to know.

While I am NOT going to put spoilers in the review, please be warned that there may be spoilers in the comments below.

So fellow readers, what are your thoughts on the ‘Divergent’ series—but most especially, what did you think of how Roth chose to end it? Comment below and let’s talk about it.
Happy Reading!

-      The Hodgenator