Monday, 18 November 2013

YA Book Club: ALLEGIANT

Today the YA Book Club is discussing ALLEGIANT, the third book in Veronica Roth's Divergent trilogy. Want to join in? Eitherwrite a post and link it up on Tracey's blog, then jump around to see what everyone else has to say, OR join the discussion in the comments over there!

{Created by Excellent Supreme Leader Tracey Neithercott}


So. ALLEGIANT. This book needs no introduction, I'm sure. So I'll skip it and get right to the good stuff.

Okay. I liked it. I really liked it. And I have to say, it's mostly because of the [spoiler] that I guess a lot of people are upset about.

Don't get me wrong, this way definitely not a perfect book. No, I didn't really buy the whole genetic-purity thing as the reason for Tris' world being the way it was. I didn't really get how they could leave the city and join the outside world so easily. I would have loved some more explanation as to how the world got to a point where these kinds of experiments could take place, where parts of the US were just abandoned and things were completely and utterly broken.

But.

I loved seeing Tris through Four's eyes. I loved that their relationship was not all we-are-destined or he-is-my-soulmate or I-would-die-without-her. They had problems that they worked through together. They made choices.

I loved that Veronica Roth was (get ready for the cheese) brave enough to write an ending that she probably knew a lot of people wouldn't like. I mean...I can't do it anymore, I'm going to have to drop the BIGGEST SPOILER WARNING DO NOT READ AHEAD IF YOU DON'T WANT TO KNOW, OKAY?

I loved that she killed Tris off. And kept her dead. No magical serums to bring her back, no twists to get out of it...and a real ending. A like a happily ever after as much as the next romcom lover, but life doesn't always wrap up in magical special ways, and great stories don't, either. I mean, I'm seriously fangirling right now because I have so much respect for V. Roth actually killing off her protagonist and--well, I don't know if that's the way she always planned the story to go, but if she did (and even if she didn't), she went with it. She really went for it, and I am so happy to have read a series where the ending didn't leave me feeling like the author wussed out and gave the ending she thought fans would want.

So yeah, some things didn't work for me; I found it hard to get used to the switching POVs, and I couldn't keep all the characters straight in my head (Cara, Caleb, Christina...Tris, Tobias, Tori...is it just me?!), and for such a long book there still seemed to be a ton of stuff crammed in so that the story felt rushed.

But the fact that this story did not wrap up with a nice pretty bow, that there was loss and pain and sacrifice, won me over.

So what did you think of the final installment in the series? Don't forget to swing by Tracey's blog and find out what the rest of the Book Club thought!

9 comments:

  1. I like that it wasn't all neatly wrapped up and shiny happy, but I still just really think she could have save Tris (as I say in my review) and I don't believe anyone would be saying "I wish she had killed Triss off, that would have been a much better ending."

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  2. I agree with you on a lot of this, Becky, especially --> "They had problems that they worked through together. They made choices." The realism of Tris's and Four's relationship is what drew me in when I first read DIVERGENT, and a big part of the reason I kept reading as the trilogy progressed. Like you, I think it was super courageous of Veronica Roth to kill Tris. I would have preferred a HEA (because I always want a HEA) but Tris's sacrifice made sense. Great write-up, lady!

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  3. YES, keeping her dead was key--you're so right! I hoped beyond hope that there was something that would tug her back, because lord knows they have ALL THE SERUMS, but she needed to stay dead. It's fair, and I've been so surprised at how many feel it's not fair. Poor Veronica can't post a picture on Instagram without numbers of fans lamenting about ALLEGIANT, ha ha.

    I also like your first comments about the genetic-purity thing and the world outside the walls. It felt too easy, and, almost anti-climactic to me? Really, all this craziness and destruction under a microscope in Chicago is because a cult of crazy scientists want a genetically pure society? Huh. Okay?! I think I'm over-simplifying, but that whoooole thing was under whelming to me.

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  4. The ending didn't bother me as much as it bothered some people. I still didn't love, or even particularely like, this book though. The pacing felt off the entire time, the dual narration was cumbersome, and there were way to many characters. I think the first half of this book failed to meet so many of my expectations that I just didn't care when Tris died.

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  5. Yes, they did all just slot into the outside world really easily, didn't they?! That's an interesting point because I recently read The Maze Runner and the characters in that had - what I would assume to be - realistic reactions to changing environments (to put it mildly). Ha, I never put the names together but now that you've spelt it out, I can see why I started getting confused. Yes, Veronica Roth was brave to kill off her main character buuuuut I think she did it because Tris had nowhere else to go and she needed to keep the story relatively interesting. Being the finale and all, there needed to be a shock somewhere. I'm not sure it will work on film though.

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  6. The GD/GP stuff really gave me pause, too.

    And I also liked how "imperfect" Tris/Four were. They fought, they made up, they worked things out. I buy that kind of relationship way more than a soul-mate one.

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  7. I pretty much agree with all of this. Tris and Four's relationship was great, and I loved that Roth didn't throw in a love triangle (though it's hinted) to cause tension but let them have real problems and work through them. Your concerns about POV, pacing, and such are some that struck me, too. I loved having Four's POV overall, but there were definitely times I got confused over who was narrating.

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  8. I also appreciated the ending and admire Roth for making that choice. It made so much sense for Tris' character, even though it was sad to see her die! I also really liked how Tris' relationship with Four had its ups and downs and wasn't always sunshine and rainbows. It was realistic and made the happy moments between them that much more special. Overall, this series is fantastic!

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  9. I haven't read any of the Divergent series. Truthfully, I started the first, but only got about 3-4 chapters in. Just wasn't for me. If it would've been a 200 page book, I might've stuck with it, but well, you know it's not. :)

    It's been interesting to follow the talk about this though. I think I probably would've had a hard time with the killing her off, but like you said it took guts for her to do it and she's getting a ton of bashing for it. So good for her for doing the unexpected thing.

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