Friday, November 22, 2013

Allegiant by Veronica Roth

Title: Allegiant
Author: Veronica Roth
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books (Oct. 22, 2013)
Source: Own

From Goodreads:

The 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.

Told from a riveting dual perspective, Allegiant, by #1 New York Times best-selling author Veronica Roth, brings the Divergent series to a powerful conclusion while revealing the secrets of the dystopian world that has captivated millions of readers in Divergent and Insurgent.

When I first read Divergent, I was blown away. Insurgent destroyed my mind. You bet I was anticipating full on soul decimation with the final installment. Allegiant by Veronica Roth was good, but it's hard to live up to that kind of anticipation.

I'll be honest, there were a few things that impacted my experience even before the book was out. First, I read Divergent and Insurgent back-to-back about a year ago. I didn't have to wait to continue the story, but once I did, it took me away from things a bit. Lately, I've been having a hard time getting back into series once a long time has passed. I used to go back and reread the books in a series before the final one came out, but I just don't have that kind of time anymore. I think this approach to reading makes those books less enjoyable because I've been out of the story for so long and don't remember all the details and what made me so excited in the first place.

Second, I knew the story would be told alternatively from Tris and Tobias' perspectives. Don't get me wrong, I like being in Tobias' head, and I really don't mind an author switching up perspectives from book to book in a series, but this just seemed kind of weird to me. All of a sudden, in the last book, we're getting a double perspective? Not my favorite choice, though I can see now why it was done this way.

Okay, now that I've gotten all the bad why-I-may-not-have-liked-this-book-as-much out of the way, let's talk about the good stuff. Allegiant is told with the same intensity as the two previous books, which is one of the reasons I loved them so much. There really is a lot of plot going on and it's pretty awesome.  Allegiant, more than the others, really goes into some complex themes and metaphors. I loved the exploration of these themes and content. I think they are important messages to have people talking about.

Without giving away too much, we learn a lot more about the world Tris lives in and how it is very different than she once thought. To me, this information was thrilling and I really appreciated the new perspective. 

There are a few different reasons it was important to have both Tris and Tobias as narrators. I really enjoyed the contrast of the GD and GP (you will recognize what I'm talking about once you read it), and how the people in this world and story have made sense of these differences. It's one of those metaphors I really enjoyed while reading. 

Regarding the climax of the book, I'm not necessarily sure I agree it had to happen the way it did. That said, I respect the decisions that Roth made in the storytelling. I think she was bold to approach the ending in this way, and I liked how she handled it. I particularly liked the ending chapters and epilogue. I love how it isn't a Happily Ever After, but it isn't total misery either. She didn't bring us to the point where everything is "better." She brought us to a point where things were okay and there was a positive note without being totally "fixed." Loved that!

Overall, Allegiant by Veronica Roth is a satisfying conclusion to a fast-paced, high stakes trilogy. Doesn't hurt that it takes place in Chicago, either. ;) 

Final thoughts: Buy it. 

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