Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Allegiant - Warning...Spoilers Abound.

So, here's a warning for those who want to read my review... I figure it's been long enough since this book came out to give an honest review. I'm dying to share my thoughts and I really don't want to pull any punches... SOOO... if you want a spoiler-free review, you're going to have to go elsewhere. Sorry. 

That being said, here goes:
by Veronica Roth
Divergent Trilogy, book three

What if your whole world was a lie?

What if a single revelation—like a single choice—changed everything?

What if love and loyalty made you do things you never expected?

With the Divergent movie currently filming and Veronica Roth appearing live all over the media world, both in person and virtually, anticipation for the conclusion of the trilogy has been HUGE. I, like millions of other readers, could not wait for the final book's arrival. I pre-ordered my copy. I gleefully ripped open the packaging when it came. I pet the book.  

Unfortunately, with the last few weeks of my committee wrapping up just as the book came out, all I could do was wistfully stare at it...longing to pick it up and VOWING to avoid spoilers on the internet.  I made it more than two weeks!! And then... the ultimate spoiler. I knew something big had happened. Veronica Roth was receiving death threats for Pete's sake!  But, I never wanted to find out what in the way I did!

I wanted to read the book from start to finish, unaware of what was lying in wait for me.  To read the book the way it was intended...untainted by spoilers. Alas, it wasn't to be...and perhaps that truly colored my experience as I read.  

Why would that matter? Because, honestly, I was disappointed by the book.  Before you all get the pitchforks ready to run me out of town, let me explain. 

While I love Tris and the world of Divergent, I felt like both those things were a little lost to me in Allegiant.  Roth alternates perspective between Tris and Four, chapter by chapter, through most of the book.  Not only did I lose the deep connection I felt being solely in Tris' head, but I also had a hard time distinguishing whose perspectives the events were in without checking the chapter headings.  And sadly, the love I'd felt for Four was diminished by reading his chapters. While events truly weighed on Four and I understood his terror, his depression, his loneliness, this book turned Four into a whiny man unable to make his own choices, unable to function in a new world. 

Speaking of that new world...while I appreciated the idea that Roth built in her post-apocalyptic America, I'm not sure if it was how the information was presented or what, but though I found the idea sound, I found myself bored as I was reading.  It felt like everyone's reactions to the news were pretty predictable.  Except maybe Four, who disappointed me by melting into a puddle of goo... *grimaces.* 

And of course, just handling that emotional devestation - finding out you were just part of some big lab experiment, constantly watched and judged by strangers - was not enough to create a book...though I might have been more interested if it was...nor was it just enough to have them save their loved ones still in Chicago, Tris and the others got sucked into a larger war. The war between "Genetically Pures" and "Genetically Damaged" people. A civil war based on the societal expectations and restrictions placed upon people due to their DNA. Their DNA!

I just kept sighing to myself as one more predictable thing happened after another. Until...until Veronica Roth killed off Tris.  


Now here's the most interesting part of my review.  The part where I tell you why that made me HAPPY. Yes, you read that right.  I was surprised, I was sad, and I was happy when Tris died.  She sacrifices herself to save everyone she loved.  She EMBODIES the character she was written to be...she is brave, she is self-sacrificing, she loves, and she defies expectations. 

Kudos to Veronica Roth for following her character through to the bitter end.  Kudos to her for being brave enough to do so. Too many authors feel that they cannot take that path, even if it would be more real. 

So, while overall I was disappointed by the finale of what started out as a blockbuster series, I also feel that Veronica Roth deserves recognition for writing a BRAVE ending...even if it wasn't well received. 

What were YOUR thoughts on how things ended?

Full disclosure: Purchased for my personal collection

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