Friday, December 27, 2013

Book Review: Allegiant by Veronica Roth

Title: Allegiant  (Divergent trilogy #3)
Author: Veronica Roth
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Publication Date: October 22, 2013
Source: personal purchase

Summary from Goodreads:  **WARNING: contains spoilers from Divergent and Insurgent**

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. 

My Review:

OMG y'all, my first book review since Tater Tot was born!  And only 2 weeks after his arrival.  Let's all give a mighty HOORAY for the Kindle app for iPhone, which makes for easy one-handed reading during middle-of-the-night breastfeeding.

As for the book: you should probably skip this review if you haven't read Divergent or Insurgent, the first two novels in this trilogy.  I would direct you to my reviews of them, except I read them before this blog started, so you'll just have to use these short summaries of my Goodreads reviews as guides:

Divergent: did not love it in the beginning (started too slowly, hated Tris (the main character)), but about midway through the twists and action picked up, and Tris became a badass, so by the end I was hooked.

Insurgent: again, started to slow for me, and Tris was way too angsty (like, Bella Swan angsty...ugh), but the last third was awesome and the cliffhanger ending made me SUPER MAD that I had to wait over a year for the third book to come out.

Great, now that we've recapped the whole series in two run-on sentences, let's talk about Allegiant, the final installment of the trilogy.


Allegiant's first big difference from the other two novels is that it is told from two perspectives: Tris and Four.  This is a very obvious change from the other two books (narrated by Tris only), and I determined early on that there could really be only one good reason for it--which kind of spoiled the ending for me.  I won't give it away for you, but you don't have to think about it too hard to figure out a reason why they would need two narrators this time around.

That said, the dual narration could have been okay (even if spoilery), except that Roth could not have made Four's voice more flat and uninteresting.  Seriously, does this guy have a personality?  He bored me to tears.  Tris was angsty and annoying (again) but at least she had some spunk.  Four's chapters had no real emotion behind them, which again made the dual narration seem like a necessity for the ending vs. a well-developed POV choice.

Also, I am so over Tris and Four's relationship.  This may be because I am not a big YA romance person in general (most YA romance makes me gag, to be honest), but if I had to read one more time about how Four smelled like rain or wind or freedom or whatever (is this an Old Spice commercial?) before Tris kissed him, I was legit going to die.

And last but not least, the plot action.  It just wasn't there.  The ending of Insurgent left me SO SO SO excited to see what was outside the borders of Chicago...and instead of really getting to explore that, we spend most of this novel inside the Bureau of Genetic Welfare, just outside the city limits, waiting around for Tris & co. to figure out their rebellion.  Total letdown.  Roth had this great world-building opportunity and I felt like she dropped the ball on it, big time.

A lot of people have complained about the ending, because it's not all happy-go-lucky, though honestly I think that's one of the things that bugged me the least.  I am okay with a somewhat sad ending, as long as the rest of the book is strong enough to support it.  But in this case, the ending was overshadowed by how much I disliked the rest of the novel.  A seriously disappointing ending to a trilogy that I so badly wanted to adore.

Have you read Allegiant?  What did you think in comparison to the rest of the series?  And if you haven't read this trilogy--have you ever read one with a final installment that just didn't do it for you?


  1. I'm in total agreement with your review. I devoured Divergent and Insurgent just in time for the release of Allegiant, but I wish I hadn't bothered. I didn't like the use of dual narratives in the final installment (and I'm usually a fan of dual or multiple narratives), mainly because I felt that Tris and Four were the exact same person (and neither had much of a personality). Thank goodness each chapter listed whose perspective the story would be told from (even still I often got confused thinking Tris when telling the story when it was really Four).

    I wasn't bothered by the ending, mainly because I was expecting it, but I still found it rather boring and anti-climatic.

    Overall, the final book ruined the series for me and I now have no desire to watch the Divergent movie when it comes out.

    1. YES re: Tris and Four being the same person. I agree, there were several chapters where I had to back up and remind myself which one of them was speaking, because there was no real distinction between the two. And yeah, I'm not real excited for the movies either.

  2. I could not stand the dual narrative. I thought Tris and Tobias sounded the same when telling the stories. I got confused as to whose chapters it was.

  3. This whole book was kind of a suckfest. Like you, I don't mind a sad ending if it's done well. This whole thing was a hot mess. Boo.

    1. See, and you read them all pretty close to each other, right? I was afraid I was giving it short shrift because I was forgetting things from the other two books. But that seems to not be the case.

  4. I totally agree. The thing that had everyone up in arms was the thing I cared least about. I felt the same way about Mockingjay... that it was a disappointing ending, but for completely different reasons than most people were complaining about. Glad Tater Tot is letting you get some reading and blogging in!

    1. I actually rarely mind it when a big character is killed off at the end of a series (Dumbledore?) because I think it's kind of ballsy if it's done right. But this had so much other bad stuff going for it.

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