(SPOILER CITY, FOLKS)
BOOK REVIEW FOR Allegiant BY VERONICA ROTH
I can’t sleep. It’s been 3 days since I finished Veronica Roth’s ALLEGIANT (the final installment in her DIVERGENT series), and I am still wrestling with it.
First I have to say that Four and Tris (Four-Tris, or fortress, when said together–did anyone else catch that?) are some of the best YA characters of our time. They are gritty and real and I can see them.
But I don’t think Roth does them justice in ALLEGIANT.
First let’s talk about Four. He is brave, smart, decisive, and loving. He doesn’t always say or do exactly what Tris wants him to, but that’s REAL. That’s also why I hate the turn he took in ALLEGIANT.
I think the Four who puts himself through his own fear landscape to sharpen himself would never be naive enough to team up with people like Nita behind Tris’s back. He isn’t that weak. The real Four would have rebelled against the label of ‘damaged’ by rising above it–not defining it with his own actions.
And all the lying to Tris again? Ah! It got so old.
Finally, I don’t think the decision to help Nita is consistent with Four’s biology. He tested Abnegation. His first instinct should have been selflessness. Even in his dauntlessness, he was always selfless. (Helping Al, pushing back against Eric’s tyranny, caring for Tris before he fell in love with her.) I don’t understand the self-serving/selfish metamorphisis he took in ALLEGIANT. It plagues me. It’s inconsistent.
And, yes, I hate the way Tris died. No, I don’t hate that Tris died–but HOW she died? It seemed so anticlimactic. So pointless. Actually, it was selfish. Why not let Caleb redeem himself? Why not let Caleb do this one selfless thing? She had to be the hero? Tris craved an escape from the pain of life. Dying was not a selfless act for her. Living was.
Yes, we cared about the city of Chicago. But not nearly as much as we cared about Tris and Four. It would have been nice to have spent more time seeing what Tris died for. Instead we are left with a melancholy ending, bleak in its brevity, painful to read.
I hate to sound so negative, because I really did love this series. Roth did so many things right. I learned a lot as a writer by reading it. But this ending? It wasn’t an exclamation point at the end of an adventure. It was an ellipses. It left so much to be desired.
What do you guys think?