Book Review: Allegiant [WARNING: SPOILERS]

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Allegiant by Veronica Roth

ADD IT ON GOODREADS

4/5 STARS

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Genre: Young Adult, Dystopian
Author: Veronica Roth
Published: September 2014
Publisher: HarperCollins Children’s Books
Pages: 526 {paperback}

Original review on Goodreads


Initial thoughts:

I really liked this book. Actually no, I really liked 98% of this book. The rest? I AM IN A GLASS BOX OF EMOTION! Oh my god WHY would that end that way?! I can see why people are discontented, but although I’m am an internal wreck of I-don’t-even-know-what-these-feels-are I am okay (mostly) with the book. I have also become dysfunctional, lethargic, grumpy, and inexplicably depressed. This book has murdered my soul. One word, unnecessary. Ehhh, *sobbing*, the pain.


Allegiant

I tried really hard to review this without any spoilers but the bottom line is that I can’t. If you haven’t read Allegiant and wish to remain unspoiled then leave now. You have been warned.

I have never felt so destroyed by a book. I had been putting off reading this book for over a year. I’d heard about other people’s reactions to the conclusion of this series and simply decided that for now, it could wait, because I didn’t want to be angry with it. This series has been so good but oh my goodness that ending is a slap and a half in the face.


The story

The film clip was released at the end of Insurgent and caused a complete flip of societal order to occur. The factionless seize control, the factions are despised, and people now know there is an outside world to go to. Allegiant is the story of unrest within this ‘new’ city without factions and follows both Tris and Tobias as they work out what to do next.

It was an addictive read throughout because I just desperately wanted to know what would happen next. I was really paranoid for a long time that Tobias and Tris would break up (well . . .) because of Nita or because Tobias became obsessed with believing in his ‘damaged-ness’. It felt really fitting that upon leaving the Chicago where their experiment was set up they fall straight into another world that is equally corrupted. The way that the outside world was depicted as this desolate, dysfunctional mess of a city was scary and believable. You can entirely see how the world is still broken and fighting over silly things based on labelling differences between people that don’t actually matter. I also thought it was an interesting twist to the story that Tris’ mum was planted into the experiment from the bureau and not born there. It made me doubt quite a lot of things – in fact, it really confused me, everything seems to be so complicated in this book. It’s like an onion that never stops peeling but makes you cry a lot.

The most perfect part of this book? The little message about sacrificing yourself for someone you love when there’s no other alternative, when they need your strength, when you can make things better by doing so.


The ending

Now I didn’t really want to make this book all about the ending. We all know that just about no-one is emotionally in-tact after that. But I feel that that conclusion really is the crutch of the story and the point that drives home everything that the series has been working towards. I just really wanted a happy ending and this one hurt like a bitch. I will be wearing black tomorrow.

Up until the part where Tris makes the decision to face the Death Serum I was okay. And then I suddenly realised that this had to be it, this had to be what everyone was reeling over. In my predictions of what was going to happen I had settled on the fact that it must be a character’s death that people are really unhappy with. I was expecting Tobias to die. I was not expecting Tris to die. The idea had slowly been taking form in the back of my mind when I realised there must be a reason for the dual perspective, and the only reason for that is because we need Tobias’ voice to continue the story when Tris was no longer able to do so. A huge part of whether I liked or hated this book rested upon the ending so I need to break this into two groups:

What I ‘liked’ about Tris’ death

I can’t remember if I’ve ever actually read a book where the main character dies. In that sense, Roth has been very, very brave to do something that most people won’t touch. It’s okay to kill beloved characters, but killing THE character is a big stand. Tris’ death was powerful in the sense that the sacrifices she made were beautiful. She decides that she can’t just let her brother go to his death and knows what she has to do. She knows that she has the greatest chance at surviving and she knows that she could very well make the world a better place through her sacrifice.

I liked that Caleb survived. It’s a small thing but I felt that his death would have been pointless and weirdly lost amongst the remainder of the story. It would have been strange if Tris had let him die, because that’s very unlike Tris. So her death, in short, makes a lot of sense. It’s almost fitting apart from the part where I dissolve into nope. And I’m sure I would just be upset rather than devastated if it didn’t mean that Tobias was left behind.

What I did not like about Tris’ death

This death genuinely pains me. I feel like I just lost a good friend and I’m not sure what to do. I had to write this review almost immediately to vent out what I’m feeling about this turn of events. I literally am unable to do anything until I get this all out. There’s so much that happens in this book and Roth has done a wonderful job setting things up to deliver her message about bravery very well. But I just didn’t think it was necessary. Whilst it’s a great way to confront readers with the reality of life, and the fact that we also share Tobias’ pain and grieve with him, it’s also just a book and I would very much so have preferred it if Tris had only nearly died. When she first collapses after the bullet wounds I was sure that she was only passing out and not really dying. There was no way that Tris could actually be dead. Right? I was honestly shocked to the soul to realise that it was not a joke.

Both Tris and Tobias grow a lot as characters in this book and I feel like they learn some important things; the real meaning of sacrifice, of forgiveness, of family, of love, and of friendship. One of the hardest things I’m finding about this in the hours since finishing it is how upset I’m feeling for Tobias. Such a wonderful relationship was built up between the two and they really completed each other. I can’t believe that that was stripped away and Tobias is left alone. I can’t believe it, Tobias is just so alone in the world. I want to hate her death, I really do, but there is a little voice in my head saying that it made the impact of the conclusion much more powerful than it would otherwise have been.


Tobias

Tobias is a really important character within Allegiant. He supports Tris throughout this entire journey as best as he can, but particularly in this book we further explore his insecurities and remove the mask of surety that has been in place for so long. His fears that he faces in this book for the greater good are, for me, equally as impressive and heart-wrenching as what Tris sacrifices. He knows that the only way to really save a lot of bloodshed and lives is by effectively erasing one of his parents. Whilst from a distant point of view this doesn’t really seem like a bad thing, it’s made pretty clear to us that he does still care about his mum and dad (more so his mum) and the moment when he finally reconciles with her was beautiful. It broke my heart to think that he was finally content with himself and clearly thinking of a future with family and Tris where they could settle happily and probably have kids, not knowing all the while Tris had already died. I still can’t really get over how huge a thing this is for Roth to have done. That must’ve taken a lot of gall to kill her off to make her point. All in all, I think Tobias’ character goes through a wonderful but subtle transformation and I’m pleased with how his story ends.


The ‘message’ of the book

Obviously the whole series is about bravery. I think, for me, this is going to become one of those tragedies that sucks but is what it is. I hate that Tris died but it makes everything feel real for once. It’s not just another series where they lose all their family and friends but end up with the perfect guy. No, Tris dies, end of story. Whilst I do think that there were other ways that Roth could have easily promoted this message of bravery and the strength that everyone requires to go through life, it wasn’t as if this was terrible. It hurt, but I didn’t think this was a ‘bad’ ending by any means. I’ve still come away from this book really quite emotionally scarred satisfied.


How I plan on sleeping at night

The one greatly redeeming factor about the ending is that Christina is still there. She was a really great choice to help Tobias survive, along with the reconciliation between him and his mum it seems plausible that he will eventually be okay. Christina has suffered a great loss too so I’m glad that it was her who came to his rescue when he couldn’t bare to live without Tris. Partly because I’m glad she can comfort him in some way, and partly because I would have been really angry if he’d killed himself or wiped his memory. Also, 10/10 for the scattering of Tris’ ashes.

Speaking of memory, I was actually quite sad at the fact that Peter wipes his memory. It almost allows me to like him as a character because he’s acknowledged his faults and wants to change. Seeing him helpless and clueless was heart-breaking in its own way.


Summary

I enjoyed this book, I’m deeply saddened by this book, and I’m probably just going to sit in a corner and cry for a while because ouch. I’m trying really hard to be level headed about things but after every sentence I write all I’m mostly thinking is WHY DID SHE HAVE TO DIE?! I’m just so angry I’m exhausted, basically. I’m so angry that Tobias and Tris never got to have their happily ever after after all they’ve been through, they never get to be together and truly happy. I’m so sad that everyone (just about) dies in this book, and I’m going to have to read several fluffy contemporaries before I can face the world of dystopia again. This is such a good series that it literally hurts and Tris’ sacrifice is something that I will be stuck thinking of for a little while to come. She is the perfect embodiment of love and bravery all wrapped up in one and I’m glad Tobias is still there to carry on her memory. In short? This is beautifully emotional and painfully real.


 

Have you read Allegiant? What did you think!

Let me know in the comments below!

// GOODREADS // BUY //


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End Note

~~ Kirstie ~~

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2 thoughts on “Book Review: Allegiant [WARNING: SPOILERS]

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