Sunday, December 1, 2013

#63 (2013/CBR5) "Allegiant" by Veronica Roth

I was going to wait until I could get Allegiant (2013), the third book in the Divergent Trilogy by Veronica Roth from the library. I'd really gotten into the first book (Divergent), and only kind of liked the second one (Insurgent), so I wasn't in a huge rush to finish up the series. However, some of my friends started up a new book club, and I wasn't able to wait.

Allegiant picks up right where Insurgent left off. Unfortunately, Insurgent didn't exactly enthrall me, so I had trouble recollecting both the plot and most of the secondary characters. Roth apparently doesn't like to recap, so almost all of the secondary characters remained pretty meaningless to me.

I'm struggling with a review here, partly because I'm exhausted, and partly because I just don't feel strongly about this one. I was disappointed. I liked the first book, but the second and third just didn't do it for me. But I also didn't really dislike it, either, so I just don't have much to say. As far as young adult, dystopian trilogies go, I'd have to vote for The Hunger Games.

First, I did not like how Roth added Tobias's viewpoint to the story instead of sticking to Tris's. It made Tobias seem like a much less interesting. All of a sudden, we were in his head and he was angry and scared and it was like he was a different character entirely. Most of the time, I could not tell who's head I was in, and it made me feel disconnected. Actually, my problem with Tobias's perspective and the rest of the book are somewhat intertwined. Roth went off in a direction without giving us the basis for understanding or caring about the world. The first book spent a significant amount of time setting up the factions and Tris's life and how she found her place in it. I thought it was fascinating. Jump to the third book and none of that means anything anymore. I also did not understand how living in factions in Chicago helped with genetic purity and all that other nonsense. I stopped caring.


When Four and Tris are fighting in the middle of the book, it felt manufactured just to use up some time and allow them to get back together.

There seemed to be a lot of complaints about the ending. I glanced at some Amazon reviews before I read this book and even though none of them actually spelled out what happened, I could tell that either Tris or Four died by their level of shock and outrage. That was kind of annoying. Once I saw that Four had chapters from his point of view, I figured it was Tris who died because we'd need his perspective once she was dead. I was sad that they didn't end up together, but I didn't particularly mind Tris dying. It did seem to fit with her character and added some realism to the whole thing. So many people in that world were dying, it's unlikely that both Tris and Four would survive.

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