Author: Veronica Roth
Series: Divergent #3
Why I read it: To finish the trilogy before I saw the film adaptation of Insurgent.
Thoughts: Frustration. Anger. Betrayal. Annoyance.
But first, let me start with what I did like about this book.
Right from the beginning, Tris feels more like herself--more like the Tris we came to know and love in Divergent. And luckily, she stays this way throughout the entire book. She is strong and independent and she doesn't take any crap. And along the same vein, I enjoyed Tris and Tobias's relationship and how it ebbed and flowed throughout the book. It felt realistic.
I liked the view of the outside world. It feels realistic and gritty, the way a dystopian United States should feel. Especially when they travel to the "fringe."
Of all the secondary characters, I liked Peter and Cara's journeys the most. They made sense, they showed growth and development, and they felt true to the characters.
And I do like Veronica Roth's writing. It's very visual, and I can always see exactly what she's describing in my head.
Now, onto the bad parts. This is hard to get into without spoilers. But I'm going to try. So I apologize if things are vague.
The alternating POV chapters from Tris and Tobias did not work for me. At all. They're voices are so similar that I, like many other readers, often got confused as to whose head I was in. I would think I was in a Tris chapter, but then the narrator would start talking about how Tris is so small, and I would realize it was a Tobias chapter. Then I would have go back and reread several paragraphs because I had read them in the wrong context. This problem is exacerbated by the fact that while the chapters usually alternate, there were a few instances where either Tris or Tobias would have two chapters in a row.
I despised the plot threads for this book. While I did like the world-building outside the city, I couldn't stand the history and the science behind all of it. In a fantasy or dystopian worlds, there obviously needs to be a suspension of belief about certain things, but this was just too much for me to handle. And the explanations tended to be complicated and lengthy, and I often felt like I was grasping at straws, not able to completely understand certain actions or motivations, especially in retrospect looking at the previous two books.
It felt very much like Veronica Roth got to this third book and realized that she needed a reason for everything, and this was the best she could come up with (while still not making total sense), rather than having planned this ending since the beginning. I had so many questions throughout the book, and later I would find hastily explained answers to those questions, as if Veronica had the same thoughts while she was writing and just threw them in as they came to her. Though I do still have plot hole questions that will probably never be answered.
I didn't care for many of the new characters. I was so annoyed that Amar was supposedly someone important in Tobias's past and that we were supposed to feel something, but since I'd never heard the name Amar before, I couldn't bring myself to care that much. It felt contrived, mentioning a character for the first time and then seeing that character a chapter later.
Nita annoyed me. David really annoyed me. I was apathetic towards Zoe. What is really annoying is that some of these new characters become "very important people" for a chunk of the book, then fall by the wayside when they're no longer useful. They're only mentioned in passing again for continuity.
The only new character I really liked was Matthew. (And that may be because I was totally picturing him as Graham from Chasing Life.)
And while I can't talk about the ending in detail, I will say that I hated it. More than I hated the ending to Requiem by Lauren Oliver. And I really hated that ending. More thoughts and feels to be explained in the spoiler-y series review.
My only question now is this: HOW are they going to split Allegiant into two movies? I can almost guarantee you I know where they'll split it, because there are two good climax points in the book, and the first one could easily be the end of the first movie. That's not the problem. The problem is that not enough happens to fill the spaces between and around those two events in two different movies. I guess we will just have to sit back, wait and see.
Overall, this is one of the most disappointing books I've read in a long time.
Rating: 2/5 stars
Tell me: if you've read Allegiant, what did YOU think of this conclusion? Were you as disappointed as I was? Let me know in the comments below!