****Stay away if you haven’t read Allegiant and plan on reading it someday!****
****For real! Scroll past if you haven’t read it yet!****
This may come as a surprise considering how highly I’ve spoken of Veronica Roth’s Divergent and Insurgent, but I did not love Allegiant. Gasp! How could that be?! I’ve been waiting to read this novel for a long time and it did not live up to my expectations. Here are some issues I had with the book:
- The tone of the book never felt right. It did not have the energized feeling that the previous books had. I think this had something to do with the switching narrators. Divergent and Insurgent are both written from Beatrice’s point of view. In Allegiant, Tris and Tobias take turns with the chapters. I found myself constantly going back to the chapter heading to see whose point of view I was reading from. This shows me that the character’s individual voices were not flushed out. Perhaps the ending of the novel is the reason why this had to be done, but it just didn’t work for me.
- Four’s character became a ninny. I raved about Four in my literary crush post. I was drawn to his quiet strength, ability to lead, and composure under pressure. But in Allegiant, he immediately believes he is “damaged goods” and loses sight of the amazing relationship he has with Tris. Instead of actively figuring out what to do next or how to create a better life for himself and Tris now that they know the truth, he mopes around the compound feeling sorry for himself, neglecting his friends. I lost some respect for his character.
- The ebb and flow of the book was dull. Divergent was thrilling because the world Roth created was so fascinating. I wanted to know about the factions and how they worked. I was enthralled by the initiates’ daily lives. I loved watching the relationship blossom between Tris and Four. The ending was suspenseful and I wanted to know what would happen in the next novel. In Insurgent, a war kept me eagerly turning the pages to see what would happen next. It was so exciting, and at times, heartbreaking. I had high hopes for Allegiant—what would life be like outside the fence? What adventure would Tris and Four experience next? Well, it was…an old airport full of scientists…a compound full of fluorescent lights…people brainwashed into believing genetic purity was what would solve all the Earth’s problems. Tris, Four, Christina, Cara, Uriah, Peter, and Caleb spend their days wandering around the compound, unsure of what to do with their time. They don’t seem to communicate much with each other, and their group falls apart. The big secret outside the fence was a huge disappointment.
- I felt a lack of emotion when the main character died. Considering my love for Divergent and Insurgent, I should be pretty attached to Tris, right? I admire her bravery, ability to read people’s intentions, and willingness to make hard decisions. I should have cried, or at least teared up when Tris is shot and dies. Maybe I felt a lack of emotion because I didn’t really believe that she had died, but I don’t think that’s it. I was assuming that someone important would die in this novel. Although, I thought that it was going to be Four. I actually think Roth was brave in killing off her main character. Collins doesn’t kill off Katniss; Rowling doesn’t kill off Harry; clearly, Roth took a chance here. But it makes sense—with all the dangerous things the characters do, it makes sense for someone to die. It’s like in movies when there’s a shootout and no one ever gets shot. How can they release so many bullets without hitting anyone? Roth, rather boldly, killed off her money maker! In response to reader outcry, Veronica Roth blogged, “In each book [Tris] tried to emulate her parents’ sacrifice, and in each book she didn’t seem to understand what that sacrifice really was, until Allegiant. And it’s only in Allegiant, when she had a strong sense of identity, when she had a keen understanding of what she (and her parents) believed about selflessness, that her journey was over.” This explanation makes senses to me, but why wasn’t I more upset about the loss of Tris’s character? Other readers were so upset by it that they petitioned to have Allegiant rewritten! It doesn’t seem like the author who wrote Divergent was the same author who wrote Allegiant. I was more saddened by Al’s death than by Beatrice’s. Something is wrong there.
While Divergent and Insurgent will continue to be two of my favorite reads, Allegiant will, unfortunately, not be on the list with them. Ho hum…what a disappointment.
For you other Divergent fans out there, what did you think of Allegiant?