YA Book Club :: ALLEGIANT


{YA Book Club is the brainchild of writer/blogger Tracey Neithercott.
For guidelines and additional info, click the image above.}

November’s YA Book Club selection is
Allegiant by Veronica Roth

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.

*Warning :: This post includes thinly veiled spoilers.*

I read Allegiant nearly a month ago, and my opinions are still rather muddled. It’s definitely one of those all the feels books. I liked so much about it…

  • The stark-but-arresting prose. Veronica Roth writes emotion beautifully. I felt Tris’s and Four’s affection, worry, sadness, anger, and passion completely.
  • Tris’s strength. She doesn’t back down when she believes in something, and it’s been fascinating to watch her grow and come into her own as this trilogy progressed.
  • Four (because I will not call him Tobias) and everything he stands for. He’s clearly damaged, but he’s just so inherently good. Tris’s love for him makes total and complete sense.
  • The world beyond the wall. I was desperately curious about what the gang would find, and I was not disappointed.
  • The backstory concerning Tris’s mom and her introduction to life Chicago. I found her history riveting, and I  liked that Tris continued to feel a connection to her.
  • The idea of genetic purity, and the weight it held for different characters in the story. Compelling stuff.
  • Veronica Roth’s fearless storytelling. She writes ruthlessly, with more concern for the integrity of the narrative than the rath it might invoke in some fans. So admirable.
  • Speaking of which… The ultra-shocking death of a Very Important Character did not enrage me. I would have personally preferred a HEA, but I thought the conclusion felt bleakly appropriate.

While I enjoyed Allegiant, I had a couple of issues with it…

  • There were a few instances in the story where the pacing felt off. There were stretches when not much happened at all, then bursts of action that were awesome, but also sort of dizzying.
  • I did not like the dual POV as much as I thought I would. For me, Tris’s voice blended with Four’s, and there were scenes where I became confused as to whose head I was in.
  • Again, this is purely personal, but I preferred knowing Four only through Tris’s adoring eyes. In the first two books he had his flaws, but he was portrayed as powerful and solid and indestructible — nearly fearless. In Allegiant, there were times when he seemed a little… whiney? Not that guys can’t have feelings of doubt and inadequacy, but Four never felt like that guy before. Is it awful that I want him to be purely badass?
  • As far as conflict, did anyone else feel like there was one antagonist too many? Marcus, Evelyn, Nita, Caleb, David, the various serums, the Big Bad Government… Sometimes I wasn’t sure who the true villain was. I suppose that speaks to the complexity of the plot, but at times I found it all a bit overwhelming.

I’ve been so invested in Tris and Four and their supporting cast for the last few years, and the end of their story truly did a number on me. Overall, I thought Allegiant was a courageous and fitting conclusion to a fantastic trilogy.

What did you think of this month’s YA Book Club selection?
(Book Clubbers: Don’t forget to drop by Tracey’s blog to add your link!)

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18 responses to “YA Book Club :: ALLEGIANT

  1. I agree, Veronica Roth is definitely a passionate, gutsy writer! I wasn’t upset about the ending either. However, I completely agree with you on only wanting to view Four through Tris’ eyes. A certain amount of mystery is always good.

    • Right?! I liked that Four was a bit of an enigma in the first two books. He was still fantastic in ALLEGIANT, but yeah… I enjoyed him most when I knew him only through Tris’s POV.

  2. And now that the whole series is out, I can finally start reading them!

  3. I actually liked the fact that we got to see that other side of Four, because it made him seem more like an actual person to me, as opposed to some idea that Tris built up in her head. (And I, too, will never call him Tobias.)

    My dad finally got his copy and texted my sister and me yesterday to let us know we won’t be able to get ahold of him for a few days. HA. I can’t wait to see what he thinks of the ending…

    • Your dad is awesome — love that he’s into these books!

      I totally get what you’re saying about Four being humanized (and obviously his POV was needed because of the conclusion), but in non-contemporary stories, I usually prefer the “hero” to be bigger and badder than any real guy, if that makes sense. I still liked Four in ALLEGIANT, but some of his mystique was definitely erased.

  4. I agree with you 100% about some of the plot points getting a little muddied, and the villains were a lot and everywhere. It is a big story, which means more of everything, but it was sometimes hard to invest in all the conflict.

    I actually liked the Four POV, even though I totally agree that it wasn’t always distinct enough. I think, with how it ended, it was also super necessary to see Four as more human and vulnerable and even whiney. (and also for obvious storytelling reasons).

    • Yes, Four’s POV was definitely necessary in pulling off the climax and conclusion, but like I mentioned in my reply to Steph, he was a bit of an enigma in the first two books and that totally went away in ALLEGIANT. Call me shallow, but sometimes I like my “hero” to just be a hero. 🙂

  5. The similarity in Tris and Four’s voices bothered me too. I think the story would have been better all from Tris’s POV, except then the ending wouldn’t work.

    • I thought the same thing, Kate. What if Four had picked up the story after Tris’s death? That might have served for a rather jarring and stilted change of narration, but I wonder if I would have liked it better…

  6. I’m with you on the pacing, especially throughout the middle. The visits to the fringe felt like they went on forever, but I really enjoyed the mom backstory.

  7. I felt the same about the pacing. The ending was great, but there were times earlier on when it was pretty slow. There were quiet scenes I loved—like reading the mom’s journals—but others that I could have done without. I also 100 percent agree on one of your points about the dual POV. I actually liked that we got half of the chapter’s from Four’s perspective. It made me like him more. He was always so very strong and stoic from Tris’s POV and being in his head he came to life for me and I believed his feelings for Tris more. That said, I had trouble with their voices being the same. I did turn back a couple times and check who was narrating the chapter. Once I was three pages in before Four said “Tris” and I was like, Oh, wait, this is all Four? Overall, though, I loved the book.

    • I had that same experience with one of the chapters, Tracey — probably the same one as you! I was genuinely surprised when I figured out that it’d been Four narrating all along. But yes, overall, I thought the story was very well done.

  8. I agree with all of your thoughts. At first I thought it was jarring to be inside Four’s head, but I eventually got used to and appreciated it. And keeping the ending in mind, it made sense that we had his perspective. Overall, I enjoyed this conclusion and really loved the series as a whole!

  9. Well to be honest this book made me mad and I really didn’t like it. I hated the ending. A LOT. I was so looking forward to this book and this is not at all what I expected. I’m so bummed out. I honestly don’t know if I can bring myself to watch this 3rd movie when it comes out. I too got confused a few times with who was narrating some of the chapters. I dunno, there were a few things I liked, but overall it was a let down for me.

  10. Ugh, these books. I read them all in the past two weeks, and I just, I don’t know, didn’t enjoy them. I found Tris to be completely annoying, and the insecure/not insecure bit drove me batty. So needless to say, the ending didn’t bother me much. I also got lost in the narrative changes chapter to chapter, and still am not sure who the main antagonist was.