Book Review: Allegiant

WARNING: POST MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS.

As you may know from my previous post, my goal toward the end of last week was to read Allegiant, third and final installment of the Divergent series by Veronica Roth, before going to see the film adaptation of Insurgent this coming Sunday. Somehow, I managed to achieve said goal, though I’m not sure I’m satisfied with the results.

Divergent series | dystopian fiction | teen fiction

Redundant

Edith Prior’s video in Insurgent instructs the city to send out its Divergent population to help the outsiders, so Tris, Tobias, and a group of others head out on a mission in Allegiant to not only discover what this entails but to get help for their own city, as it is crumbling in the hands of Evelyn Johnson. When they reach the government compound, however, they discover a problem within its walls.

Individuals who are not Divergent are referred to as “genetically damaged” or “GDs,” and the Bureau of Genetic Welfare is preventing the equality of GDs and GPs (Genetically Pure individuals). It seems quite similar to the original concept of inequality between the factionless and factions, so Allegiant essentially possesses two of the same plots, only in different atmospheres. There may not be as many subplots in life at the compound as there are in the city of factions, though; but the thought of having such similar plot lines annoyed me. The characters leave to find a solution to their original issue only to get stuck in what appears to be a more simplified issue of their own somewhere else.

However, the way the characters handle the issue at the Bureau of Genetic Welfare differs from the way in which they tackle the city issue.

Predictable, Yet Unbelievable

When I read a book, being the analytical person I am, I occasionally come up with potential ways to solve the main problem. And I’m always wrong. To be honest, after reading the first failed attempt, it isn’t difficult to guess how the situation at the Bureau needs to be handled, which I found quite disappointing.

However, though I was able to pinpoint the solution early on, the twist that Roth throws at the reader is baffling. I’m furious with the ending and I’m not sure it’s the greatest way to deal with that situation (hence my three-star rating on Goodreads.com), yet at the same time I’m incredibly impressed that Roth does what she does with certain characters.

Also, the history of Tris’s mother…wow.

Perspective Shifts

Normally, perspective shifts within books are huge turnoffs for me, and when I first noticed that pattern in Allegiant, I admit I was a bit skeptical about proceeding. Still, as the last in a series, I couldn’t not read the book. As it turns out, the shifting is very well done. Of course, it’s only natural for readers to be curious of what’s occurring with another character in addition to the protagonist, but the plot line of Allegiant makes these shifts absolutely necessary. I was grateful for Roth’s shifts, because I caught myself a few times imagining how frustrated I would have been not knowing how events unfold for Tobias during crucial moments he is not with Tris.

Character Development

The character development in Allegiant is very well done. Roth does a fantastic job developing her characters by using their friends and their factions (or lack thereof).

Tris Prior

Thank you, Veronica Roth, for putting a stop to Tris’s whiny internal monologues constantly doused in self-pity. This makes Allegiant a bit easier to handle. In Allegiant, Tris and Tobias make a pact to no longer keep secrets from one another so they can rebuild their relationship with honesty rather than destroying it with lie after lie as they did throughout Insurgent.

“But I think that no matter how smart, people usually see what they’re already looking for, that’s all.”
-Tris (Allegiant 256).

Throughout Allegiant, Tris struggles with the concept of forgiveness, something that many of us face and will face in the aftermath of countless situations throughout our lives. Is it possible to forgive someone–your own brother–who practically delivered you to your death bed? After all, they are taught “faction before blood” at such a young age. In the beginning of this book, Tris finds it impossible to even look at her brother, let alone speak to him; but their relationship also progresses as the plot moves forward.

Tobias Eaton

Roth works wonders with Tobias Eaton, son of former Abnegation leader, Marcus. The reader watches him struggle in the first two books through his four fear landscapes, the insecurity and defiance toward his father, and the alliance with his mother; but the character of Tobias fully blossoms in Allegiant.

Tobias is a wonderfully flawed character. Upon finishing the book, I thought it somewhat foolish that it takes two young girls to help form him into who he is meant to be, but then I realized that we don’t become our own person by hardening ourselves against others or living in seclusion; we become our own person by experiencing life with those around us. It is impossible to learn how to lead lives of love if we live in solitude or surround ourselves with wrongdoers. The impact a single person can have in our lives is incredible, and I think Roth captures that perfectly in the development of Tobias Eaton. I’m quite interested to see what else she gives readers in Four: A Divergent Collection.

Rating

Perhaps I’m too generous, but I gave Allegiant a three-star rating on Goodreads.com. I’ve always found “rating” things to be rather complicated, and maybe I should have given it two stars. Certainly not one, though. One-star ratings are reserved for books like Gone Girl (can you even rate a book you couldn’t finish?) and Fahrenheit 451.

One Final Note: Acknowledgements

I’m one of those people who read every single page of a book, including the acknowledgements. Until tonight, I had never found any worthy of a comment. Roth’s acknowledgements are quite possibly the best I’ve ever read. I love how she incorporates her writing style rather than just listing name after name after name. Truly unique.

Would I read this book over? Based on my reaction right after reading the very last page, no; after taking close to four hours to write this review, yes.
Would I go see the two-part film adaptation? Probably not. If anything, I’d wait until I could get it used on Amazon, my go-to online shopping center for books and movies (and printer ink).

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