Allegiant

Allegiant (Divergent #3) by Veronica Roth

AllegiantThe 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. (Goodreads)

 

All right, so this is the third and final book in the Divergent series. If you haven’t read the first two, climb out from under that rock and get on it!

If you’ve read Insurgent, you know we were left with this awesomely crazypants ending with Evelyn (Four’s mom) acting as the despot leader of the factionless and, with the help of Marcus (yeah, Four’s other wacko parent, the one who used to beat him and his mother up), Tris unveiled a video made by a woman named Beatrice Prior. This video told of life outside the city gates–remember how in the first book we learned that those gates were locked from the outside?–and asked for the Divergent to come to their aid.

So that’s where we begin. Tris and Four and the rest of those crazy kids have to get out of the city. There’s a new uprising called Allegiant. These are people who, for some bizarro reason want to reinstate the factions (perhaps because it’s the only life they’ve known) and they battle the factionless. Without giving too much away, I will say this: Tris and Four and some others get out of the city and they find what’s beyond those gates. The situation isn’t quite what Beatrice described. Nor is it anything like they’d imagined. Those outside the city know everything that has gone on in the factions, they know Tris, they know Four. And worse, they once knew Natalie, Tris’s mom. WHAT?  Now Tris and Four have to decide who to align with (because, of course, even outside of the city, people are fighting and rising up against each other). Tris has to find out more about her mother’s connection to this place and she needs to figure out where her heart lies in terms of Caleb, whose life was placed in their hands. He’s still her brother, but all she sees when she looks at him is a traitor.

And that’s really all I can say.

You should read this book. It is an excellent end to the series. But let me warn you: it’s painful. Books like these can’t realistically have perfectly painted happy endings all tied up in a pretty bow. They have to be grittier and more heart wrenching. There has to be great loss.  Roth does that in Allegiant. She sets up a story and characters you want to fight for, people you’d be proud to walk alongside. She makes you feel as if you live in their world and understand their struggles, and when she makes the difficult choice to pull the rug out from under you, you feel their pain at being left behind because, in a way, you’ve been left behind too.

I did a fair share of grieving when this book ended, both for the end of the series and for the turn of events. But I loved it. It was faithful to everything I’d ever known about these characters and this dark world they lived in, and while the finality was hard, there was still a small (like, tiny) glimmer of hope in the end.

My only complaint, other than the fact that it tore my heart into tiny pieces and effectively ruined my day, was that as excited as I was to read the dual perspectives of Tris and Four, I actually didn’t feel there was a great distinction between their voices. Their stories are different, obviously, and Four’s pain is deeper and more visceral than I’d anticipated. He’s a darker guy than I first thought (all of this made me love him more), but unless he was speaking directly about his childhood or his fears, I often found it difficult to tell the difference between him and Tris.

Last gripe: Natalie’s story. I loved hearing it. But it raised some questions for me about how she ultimately handled things, considering the knowledge she had.

Major Bonus Factor: Four. It doesn’t get any hotter than him. And the kissing? Swoon to the max.

Crush Intensity: 4.5/5 I’m upset with Veronica Roth for giving me a burden of sad, and I want to high-five her for what I think was a fantastically well-done end to a series I love.*

* It took me some time to get there. I had some fabulous counseling from my girls Sandie, Daphne, and Candice. They always talk me through these things.

Please, no spoilers in the comments. If you want to discuss this book in greater detail, e-mail me. I have much more to say!

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