October 29, 2013

Latest Read: Allegiant by Veronica Roth

Here are the basics ...
Allegiant (Divergent, #3) by Veronica Roth
Publication date: Oct. 22, 2013
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Category: Young Adult - Dystopian
Source: Purchased

Summary: The faction-based society that Tris Prior once believed in is shattered—fractured by violence and power struggles and scarred by loss and betrayal. So when offered a chance to explore the world past the limits she’s known, Tris is ready. Perhaps beyond the fence, she and Tobias will find a simple new life together, free from complicated lies, tangled loyalties, and painful memories. But Tris’s new reality is even more alarming than the one she left behind. Old discoveries are quickly rendered meaningless. Explosive new truths change the hearts of those she loves. And once again, Tris must battle to comprehend the complexities of human nature—and of herself—while facing impossible choices about courage, allegiance, sacrifice, and love. (Adapted goodreads.com)
My thoughts…
Divergent is a series I have happily (and sometimes forcibly) recommended to many people as a must-read. All year long, I've been talking it up and at the same time, building up my own expectations. Then when I finally had Allegiant in my hands, I didn't have the urge dive right into it like I thought I would.  I was struck with this premonition that things weren't going to go the way I wanted it to and unfortunately, my gut instinct was right.

Allegiant picks up after the startling realization that there's a world beyond the fence and they need the help of the Divergent. Tris, Tobias and their friends are willing to leave, especially as the factions disperse and Tobias' mother, Evelyn, struggles for dictatorship-like control. Tris and Tobias are ready to build a simpler, revolution-free life together (once they finally talk out the events from Insurgent) and a huge part of me was ready to see their happily-ever-after too. But of course, this book wouldn't be complete without action and government intrigue and we quickly find out that the outside world isn't what it seems. It isn't before long they're thrown back into another fight and multiple revelations forces them to question everything. Everything about their world, their lives and themselves.

If you had asked me a month ago what the strongest points of this series are, I would've said: world-building, character development and pacing. In Allegiant, I couldn't help but think the ball had been dropped in those areas. The world-building of the outside world was kind of weak. Yes, we were getting information but it didn't feel like enough. That plus the slow pacing at times -  it just didn't come together for me as much as I wanted it to. I had no idea of where it all was headed or what the end goal was for these characters. Fortunately though, Tris continued to be an amazing protagonist. When you think back on the first book -- her the scared stiff taking her first jump as Dauntless. It's really been an incredible journey. This is a woman who trusts her instincts, isn't afraid to speak up, is more open, intelligent and striving to always do the right thing. On the other hand, I struggled with Tobias a bit. He seemed to have lost a bit of his Four-ness. Many times I found myself thinking he needed to have more faith in Tris (and himself) and what they share.

Now, I am going to address the ending but in a very vague manner. From the day Allegiant was released, I knew everyone was talking about it and I managed to avoid every spoiler and nearly every reaction. I didn't want to be influenced. And I can honestly say I was not thrilled with it. I completely understand that ending a series is difficult. If it's hard for me as a reader, I can only imagine what it must be like for an author. But as I read through Allegiant and saw the plot choices Veronica Roth made, I couldn't help but wonder - is she doing this because this is truly where she wanted the story to go or did she just want to prove she was "fearless" enough to go there? I don't know. I have a lot of respect for her as a writer and a storyteller but I have to honest with my reaction. And I can only say that the ending left me feeling empty and disappointed.

Do I recommend?: If you're already a fan of the series, you have to see how it ends. No question about it. And if you're never read any of Veronica Roth's books, I still suggest you do. I have no doubts that Divergent will reel you in the same way it did me but maybe reset your expectations when it comes to the finale.

Happy reading!

1 comment:

  1. I just really want to know how it ends! I'm really scared to read it, mostly because everyone has mixed reactions about it. And to hear that it was something that gave you mixed feelings makes me very wary indeed. I'm probably going to read it this week, so I'll definitely keep you posted on my reactions.

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