Saturday, 23 November 2013

[REVIEW] Allegiant by Veronica Roth

Allegiant by Veronica Roth
Published: October 2013
Age Group:  YA
Series: Divergent #3 [end] 
This review took me a long time to write, mainly because I have so much to say. In fact I'm almost certain that I've forgotten to say something, oh well.

I remember the first time I saw Divergent. I was looking for new YA books to borrow from the library and came upon it. the cover seemed intriguing and I put it on hold not knowing that I had put into motion an adventure of epic proportions and amazing stories filled with emotional readings and a sad goodbye. Divergent is one of my most treasured books. I would say it ranks in there with my Harry Potter collection and childhood stories. Definitely a book that I'll come to over and over again for a good read. It might be selfish of me to say that when this series picked up in hype and was getting worldwide attention, I felt joy for such a wonderful story being recognized but, also a sense of anger at the fact that I would have to share such a masterpiece. But clearly masterpieces are meant to be shared and not hidden away in a safe concealed at the back of your closet. I thank Veronica Roth for taking me, and everyone else who loves this series as much as I do, on this wonderful story. Now onto the [last] review of this trilogy: onward to Allegiant.

Allegiant picks up right where Insurgent left off. And (if anyone remembers) the ending of Insurgent was crazy, chaotic and cliffhanger-ish in my opinion so I'm really glad that the story started off right away and didn't leave us hanging.

Tris is a very complicated character. I'm not sure if she's written this way because of her Divergence, or because she's one of the protagonists but for Tris, her actions always have a deeper meaning. And sometimes I find myself disliking her, or for thinking that she's thinking too much into a situation, or is being too harsh or too blunt but that's the nature of this character and it's interesting to see her evolve from someone with so little freedom at the start of Divergent to finally getting a small grasp and glimpse of freedom after choosing Dauntless, to finding out life isn't as easy as it seems in Insurgent and, finally in Allegiant, she comes to the understanding of what the real world is and what needs to be done.

Four/Tobias on the other hand is seen to be a typical "guy figure". He's strong, muscular, doesn't see the deeper meaning behind things, and yet he's very emotional and internally very weak. I think Tobias also went on a journey of self discovery and found it in the end.

It's interesting to see the juxtaposition between these two seemingly different characters who have this one connection of striving for freedom and finding their selves in this world where you are deemed to a fate on the day of your 16th birthday.

The story took up slower then the other instalments. Think of it as the 'calm before the storm' and boy was there a storm to follow. I would say even starting in Insurgent, Four has become less confident and confused in his decisions. Allegiant only further proves that. His choices in the book are questionable and, in my opinion somewhat desperate. I feel that he's so desperate to seek his own freedom that he is willing to follow whoever seems to have the "right" vision. I believe Tris can see this too and she starts to distant herself. Tris isn't the bright and, shall we say, intelligent being in Allegiant. Well, she's still intelligent but I found her to be more dark and gloomy, sort of a foreshadow of upcoming events.

Allegiant's storyline wasn't as smooth as the other plotlines. For one, it seemed to be too convenient for certain events to occur or for some characters to act out. Secondly, some scenes were somewhat predictable due to the nature of the situation. I would assume due to the particular events or character choices that it became quite evident, at a very early point, what they were going to do. Divergent and Insurgent both had an element of surprise and often sudden climactic situations which I found missing in Allegiant.

I understand the difficulty of finishing a series, regardless of how popular it is although I can imagine the pressure to finish this book and make everyone happy, and that Veronica Roth was most likely under a lot of pressure to make this ending fitting. I've spoken to many people about their opinions of the ending and most of their opinions were similar to mine. I personally feel like the ending could have been much better. I'm not sure if I'm being biased or unjustified in saying this because I had such high expectations of this instalment that perhaps my expectations were much too high and that a good ending for me would only seem subpar compared to my expectations. Was the ending bad, no. I enjoyed the parts with the character's emotions. I felt the pain, the happiness, the shock and perhaps the sadness the most. I remember reading the second half of Allegiant at school during a 1 hour break. Everything just started building up at a really quick pace compared to the first half of the book, and I just remembered getting really emotional and holding back tears by the end of it. I must have looked like fool sniffing like I had an allergy with watering eyes. I'm not sure if I got lucky and had no one was around me when I was reading this or if I scared everyone away but luckily there were very few students around me at the time.

If my emotions were any indication, the ending was definitely impactful. Do I believe it could have been better - most definitely. Do I think it was absolutely horrible - no. It was an ok ending to such a phenomenal series. To be honest, I'm not sure how the series could end on as powerful note as the series start was but Veronica Roth did a good job wrapping everything up and ending the story on a climactic ending, albeit somewhat predictable, still amazing and definitely memorable.

I would highly implore you to read this series and I am very certain it will go down as one of those iconic dystopic lit YA fiction series', along with the Hunger Games.

(The initial amount rating was 4.5-5 cups of tea but after thinking about it for the last couple of weeks I've dropped the rating to 4 cups of tea.)
MEH on it's own. BUY as a series.

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