Review: Allegiant-Veronica Roth

4/5 Stars***This review DOES NOT contain spoilers. 

Allegiant (Divergent, #3)-Veronica Roth 

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“Chaos and destruction do tend to take away a person’s dating possibilities.”

***

I used to think that when people fell in love, they just landed where they landed, and they had no choice in the matter afterward. And maybe that’s true of beginnings, but it’s not true of this, now. 

I fell in love with him. But I don’t just stay with him by default as if there’s no one else available to me. I stay with him because I choose to, every day that I wake up, every day that we fight or lie to each other. I choose him over and over again, and he chooses me.

***

Just as I have insisted on his worth, he has always insisted on my strength, insisted that my capacity is greater than I believe. And I know, without being told, that’s what love does, when it’s right-it makes you more than you were, more than you thought you could be.

This is right. 

***

There are so many ways to be brave in this world. Sometimes bravery involves laying down your life for something bigger than yourself, or for someone else. Sometimes it involves giving up everything you have ever known, or everyone you have ever loved, for the sake of something greater. 

But sometimes it doesn’t.

Sometimes it is nothing more than gritting your teeth through the pain, and the work of every day, the slow walk toward a better life. 

What makes the Divergent trilogy so powerful is that everyone can relate to the major concepts in the book, and it is truly great storytelling that can transcend the fiction, and serve not only as an example of how to deal with various hard moments in life but that can also make a personal impact on each individual reader. 

When people talk about the Divergent trilogy it’s always with a story, whether it be how it made them feel, how it inspired, changed, or illuminated some aspect of their life. 

My Divergent story is also a personal one. When this series came out, I was figuring out my life. I had just graduated with my undergrad degrees, and took a year off of school to pursue my ambitions to be a writer. Unfortunately, I am a stir crazy person, and being at home, in my chaotic household was not the best environment for exploring the craft. Yes, I wrote, a lot, and made huge strides on several stories but I didn’t finish. It was then that I realized that a year, at least for my first book wouldn’t be enough for me. So, I make the choice to go to graduate school. 

Tris and Tobias are and always will be role models for weighing options and making sacrifices when it seems choices are impossible. Going back to school was one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever made, and right now it feels like hell. 

On a more positive note, my little sister was never a reader. I always tried to get her to get into series that I love but she was apprehensive. She’s a very picky girl. Finally, I was able to get her interested because I couldn’t STOP talking about Divergent. She picked the book up, and read straight through. Since then she has become somewhat of a reader, not an avid one but this was a turning point for her, and more importantly, it brought us closer together. 

I’ve seen people write open letters so often lately that I was a little hesitant to take a swing at it. When I heard about all the backlash from Divergent fans about the conclusion of the series I was both shocked, and frankly, appalled. Everyone has a right to their opinions but there are certain boundaries that are just impolite (for lack of a better word) to cross. 

As a writer, you’re constantly taking risks. You put your heart and soul on the line in the lives of your characters that you nurse and watch grow up until the end of the series or story. Sure, not everyone will love your characters as much as you do, and yes, some may hate your story. Others might be guilty of fangirl/boy-ing. I was warned over and over again about the now famously blacklisted chapter of Allegiant, and when I got there, as my Twitter can attest to, I was terrified. For those fans, the fans who have loved and respected these characters through their faults and bad choices, you will reach that chapter and hell yes, you will be scared, but if you’ve learned anything from this story, pushing on through fear, through pain, and being brave despite all signs screaming in your mind to turn back, you will take a deep breath and take the leap. 

I understand how many may be upset, devastated, feel betrayed, as I’ve read from some complaints, but I’d advise you to sit on it. To let the story sink it, and ponder the whole message. I was not disappointed. I thought that the ending was perfect, bittersweet, and yes, I cried, seriously, bawled my eyes out. I am very glad that I was in my room, comfortable rather than at school where I tend to read because I was a mess.

By all means, be upset, scream, cry, throw things, whatever you need to do to embrace the overwhelming feelings this finale evoked but to boycott future films, to send death threats, to demand a rewrite? This is like asking a mother to get her child cosmetic surgery because the sight of her offends you (yeah, I realize this analogy is a little exaggerated), or asking someone to change their mind about something they’ve spent years slaving over just because you were disappointed, i.e. the decision to change careers, or get a divorce. Yes, the writing process is so amazing because everyone can share in the story but everyone experiences what the story makes them feel, how it changes them, individually. The author has a right to this too, and as the creator does not have to sacrifice what the story becomes or needs to be in fear of upsetting a couple people. 

I would like to thank Veronica Roth for an unforgettable journey. One that helped, changed, and bettered me, and countless others despite the negative comments. Keep writing, I’ll keep reading. 

There will always be people who disagree with you, but believing in yourself, what you think is right, and being true to yourself, as Tris, Tobias, and the other Divergent trilogy characters learned, will always be better in the long run. 

Plot: After the chaotic conclusion of Insurgent, the factions have been dismantled, the factionless leader, Evelyn Johnson is now in power, and those rebels who helped broadcast Edith Prior’s notorious video are placed under trial. The world as Tris and Tobias have known it is destroyed, violence, and power struggles reign, and a group called the Allegiant attempts takes matters into their own hands. Tris and Tobias are not happy with the way things have turned out, nor are their closest friends. The destruction of the factions has only merged into a dictatorship rife with lies, secrets, and exhibition-like punishments. When the Allegiant corner Tris in an isolated area, throwing a bag over her head, and inviting her to join them, Tris is wary but intrigued. Exposing Edith Prior’s video to the community opened her eyes to possibilities outside their small world, and every just, brave bone in her body is curious to see, and help those on the outside.

Teaming up with the Allegiant, Tris, Tobias, Uriah, Cara, Christina, Tori, Peter, and a few others leave the world they knew and are greeted by a strange reality on the other side. When the truth about the role of the factions and community comes out, Tris and her friends are startled. It turns out that they left one world for another with the same issues. Two communities divided by prejudice, lifestyle choices, and stubborn notions of righteousness.

PROS:

  • Agony. Utter and total desperate, heart-wrenching emotional madness. Allegiant evokes so many feels it’s almost overwhelming. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll scream, you’ll want to strangle someone, or even throw the book across the room (please refrain) but it is all worth it. This emotional roller coaster will open you up to a whole new level of identification with the characters. Sharing their struggles on such a deep, raw level will only enrich your love and respect for each character, even some you would never expect.
  • Tobias and Tris’ relationship reaches new heights. Their chemistry evolves from simple, natural magnetism, to something more heated. There are a few steamy scenes but what is most beautifully open and powerful is their ability to be honest with one another. Their love is not perfect, in fact, most of the time it’s in pieces and hastily patched back together, but how they make each other better and help one another grow is epic. Their love is lasting, and immortalized.
  • There are many plot twists, mysteries, shocking accidents, and truths that will have you on the edge of your seat, dying to know what happens next. While there is some foreshadowing, expect the unexpected. Even that won’t help.
  • Christiana, Uriah, Tori, Caleb, and even Peter have a greater role , each bringing something unique to the story. Each has their own lessons to learn and to teach that help the other characters grow.
  • Forgiveness, love, truth, sacrifice, and truly learning what it means to embrace bravery when it seems like all is lost, when hope is gone, and there will be no happy ending, and to fight on in light on this.
  • The explanation for the creation of the factions, the experiments, and the parallel worlds of the characters’ former lives with their new ones will bring up several moral and ethical questions that are extremely relevant to today’s society.
  • The ending: The final 50 or so pages of Allegiant are bittersweet. The sheer magnitude of revelation, reality, and life-altering changes will leave you reeling. Steel yourself, hold on, and don’t be too hasty. This is the kind of ending that you will need to mull over. Some of you will hate it, some of you will be okay with it.
  • The writing was clean, clear, concise and yet full of profound, thought-provoking ideas. I had so many quotes (as you saw above) highlighted that are now part of a collection of my all time favorites. There’s beautiful wisdom throughout, pause, don’t rush through the story to reach the ending, muse.
  • Told from both Tris’ and Tobias’ perspectives, you get closer look at what makes these characters tick, and a glimpse into their darkest emotions, thoughts, hopes, and dreams.

CONS:

  • The plot starts out very slowly, and sometimes drags to the point of feeling a little stagnant.
  • Near the end of the book so much happens at once that while it is high intensity and you will be rife with anxiety while reading, it is a bit convoluted. The information about genetics and the Purity War could have used more expansion. As an overarching theme and purpose, the mentality both positive and negative could have been more pronounced and seen in more characters, not just heroes or villains.

Please share any of your Divergent stories 🙂

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Keep reading,

-BB

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Divergent

Divergent by Veronica Roth was beyond amazing. I’ve heard that many have compared Divergent to The Hunger Games and loosely that does apply in a whole futuristic dystopian world separated into factions that result in death and mind warping by the government kind of way. Apart from that to me, Divergent was a merge between Stephanie Meyer’s The Host and a Russian book called We (which is sort of like Plato’s Allegory of the Cave set in a futuristic world, check it out).

Anyways here it goes: Divergent is about a girl named Beatrice who lives in a society separated into factions based on different personality traits, like Amnity, Dauntless, Erudite, etc. Beatrice, later known as Triss, never feels like she belongs in her group and when she comes of age, like the rest of the youth in the book, she is tested through a virtual simulation that narrows down her character traits. Typically from these simulations, a clear preference for one of the factions is revealed and the youth would then go to the choosing ceremony, cut their palm and drop their blood on the symbol of whichever faction they wanted to be in for the rest of their life. During the simulation, something nearly unheard of happens and a clear path is not revealed for Beatrice, this is known as divergent. Some time passes, Beatrice is warned to tell no one of her results because she will be killed by the government and she moves on to one of the factions where she goes through initiation, falls in love and saves the world (in simple terms).

If you like kid on kid carnage, wars within factions, advanced technology and manipulation, love, and a strong protagonist, then you will love this series!!!! I know I did!

-JW