Release Date: October 2013
Publisher: HarperCollins | Katherine Tegen Books
Pages: 526 pages
Source & Format: Gifted; Hardcover
Series: Divergent #3
Amazon | Goodreads
Summary (from Goodreads)
What if your whole world was a lie?
What is a single revelation - like a single choice - changed everything?
What if love and loyalty made you do things you never expected?
The explosive conclusion to Veronica Roth's #1 New York Times bestselling Divergent trilogy reveals the secrets of the dystopian world that has captivated millions of readers in Divergent and Insurgent.
Thoughts on Allegiant
Before I started Allegiant, I knew how it was going to end. Yep, that's right. The big, shocking ending was spoiled for me in the comments of a picture of Veronica Roth that was posted on Instagram. FAIL. I mean, I knew that I couldn't really trust the Internet... but still! And on release day, no less.
Anyway, I start with that little tidbit because it's part of the reason I waited so long to finally read this one. It wasn't that I disliked what I'd found out about the ending - I just no longer felt that sense of urgency or anticipation where you just can't wait to pick up a book and find out what happens next. I decided to wait until some time had passed and all kerfluffle finally calmed down. Talk about causing a stir! This book certainly created a ruckus when it was released, and I wanted to be able to read it when everyone's reactions weren't quite so fresh in my mind.
When I felt like I had waited long enough, I decided to re-read Divergent and Insurgent first. I love re-reading, and I find it really helpful and enjoyable to do so when it's a series. Going back to the first two books helped me remember what I liked about these books and characters, and it helped created a little more excitement in me before picking this one up.
I'm not going to spoil the ending, but I do want to say this one thing to everyone that was so frustrated or angry about it: re-reading the first two books knowing how it ended made it SO OBVIOUS to me that this series was always going to go that direction. I started picking up on so many clues that I'd missed the first time around - themes and conversations that repeatedly hinted at what was to come. Roth's decision may have been controversial, but I really don't think it came out of left field. Re-reading showed me that she had been laying the foundation for that moment, that decision, from the very beginning of her story.
So, I say that because it's crucial to how I felt about the ending to this series: I didn't mind it. In fact, I thought it made total sense. I may have been sad or selfishly wanted it to go another way, but I also can't deny that it worked for me. Life doesn't always happen the way you want it to, and I respect Roth for telling the story that she'd always planned (even if it wasn't received well).
All that being said - I found other aspects of Allegiant to be a little disappointing. There is a bit of a disconnect in this one for me overall. Four gets his own POV in the narrative, but it wasn't that distinguishable from Tris's POV. I kept flipping back to the beginning of a chapter because I couldn't tell who was narrating. I enjoyed some of the things I learned about Four in this book, but I wish there had been more of a difference in the way his chapters were written. His voice never seemed like it was truly his own.
I also thought the pacing was off. There is a lot of info dumping in this conclusion, which is a really unfortunate time for a reader to get so much new information. I felt a bit overwhelmed by just how much I was being told, but I think that may have mirrored the characters' feelings (so perhaps it was a bit intentional). Because of that, it took me quite a while to really feel engaged in this story. I know Tris and Four were learning so much about the life and world they'd always known, but it felt like such a shift from the previous books.
I felt disconnected from the story and characters for much of this book, which is why I don't think this ending is entirely satisfying. It's not so much about the "thing" that happened as it is all the other stuff leading up to that moment. I still liked Allegiant at the end of the day, and I'm really so glad that I re-read Divergent and Insurgent first. I think I had a more positive experience with this book because of it. However, I can understand why this book has left some readers wanting. I'll be more cautious in recommending in this series in the future, but I am still glad I spent the time reading it.
"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 or disappoint each other. I choose him over and over again, and he chooses me."