Allegiant is the final book in the Divergent trilogy by Veronica Roth. The trilogy focuses on a dystopian society which is divided into different factions, each holding a human trait – selflessness, knowledge, honesty, bravery, kindness – as core to their values and their existence. The books focus mainly on Tris, who has left Abnegation, where she was raised, to join Dauntless where she meets Tobias (aka Four). Tris discovers that she is Divergent, having no singular trait which defines her. Throw in the factionless, outcasts who live on the edges of society, power hungry leaders trying to destroy the Divergents, betrayal, mind control serums, battles, death, and the inevitable romance between Tris and Tobias, and things get interesting…
Don’t get me wrong, this is pure guilty pleasure reading, fast-paced, romantic, just plain fun. It may not be great literature, but pleasure reading doesn’t always need to be, and this was an enjoyable trilogy. I loved the first book in the series, Divergent, and the second book, Insurgent, was better than I expected, leaving both my daughter and I anxiously awaiting the release of Allegiant. Were we disappointed? Ultimately, I don’t think so – we both still love the trilogy – but there were moments…
Tris, Four and their friends are ready to head out of the city to see what lies beyond the gates. Once they make it out it seems a bit like an M. Night Shymalan movie for a while – everything you thought you knew (and that the characters thought they knew) turns upside down and inside out. There is secrecy and betrayal and revolution. There are genetic experiments and societal experiments gone awry. In the middle of all of this, Tris and Four are discovering new truths about themselves, their pasts, and their families as they try to figure out who they are and where they belong.
There is no way to review this book while ignoring how the trilogy ends, especially since it has been the focus of so much discussion. So while I will attempt to avoid giving away all of the gritty details, consider yourself warned…
So, ultimately, the biggest hurdle to liking this book is the ending. I had heard rumblings in the bookish world, so I was not completely surprised. When I walked in on my daughter one morning, tears streaming down her face while she held the book in her hands, I knew that she had not seen it coming. First impressions on reading it, from both of us, was that the death seemed pointless, done simply for shock value without any real meaning. Given some time away from it, and a chance to chat about it with my daughter, I do believe that there was meaning there, we just didn’t like it! But ultimately, it was about love and sacrifice, bravery and selflessness.
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 pain, and the work of every day, the slow walk toward a better life.
That is the sort of bravery I must have now.”
Author: Veronica Roth
Genre: Fiction, Young Adult
Katherine Tegen Books, October 2013