Author: Veronica Roth
Series: Divergent #3
Previous Book: Insurgent
Source: Personal purchase
Description from Goodreads:
What if your whole world was a lie?
What if a single revelation—like a single choice—changed everything?
What if love and loyalty made you do things you never expected?
The explosive conclusion to Veronica Roth’s #1 New York Times bestselling Divergent trilogy reveals the secrets of the dystopian world that has captivated millions of readers in Divergent and Insurgent.
Okay, guys, I am seriously flying by the seat of my pants here, so bear with me. It’s been almost a week since I finished reading Allegiant, and while I don’t think writing this review will be extraordinarily difficult (though it may be harder than I think to avoid spoilers), I still cannot for the life of me come up with a rating. So I guess I’m going to just start typing and see if that helps. It’s happened before.
I read Divergent last year when I was new Goodreads and Twitter, but I saw a lot of people really liking it and comparing it to The Hunger Games, which I loved, so when I saw it at the “library” of a campground we were staying at, I scooped it up and started it almost immediately. I loved Divergent, and I loved Insurgent, too. Except I was so mad that I had to wait almost a year (I finished Insurgent on November 2 of last year) for the last book. But still, I was so excited for Allegiant! As October approached, I would find myself bouncing in my seat just thinking about it. This is the longest I’ve ever had to wait for a series ender. (I usually binge-read completed series. I had to wait for With All My Soul, but it was only for a couple months.) I suppose with that much anticipation, it was highly unlikely that it could live up to my expectations.
Allegiant picks up almost immediately where Insurgent left off, and I felt like it started off really strongly. I read 42% of the book (not bad for a 544 page book) in the first day. I really enjoyed seeing how Chicago was faring now that the Factionless had taken control, and I felt like it really led to a lot of tension. I also liked that we got to find out the meaning of the title fairly early on. However, in Insurgent, we learned a little about what the world outside of Chicago was like, so we’d have to go beyond the fence eventually. I was really excited for this part, but it did not live up to my expectations at all.
I felt like leaving Chicago really knocked the book down a level. We went from a high-tension story line to a very slow-paced environment. We got to learn a lot more about Chicago, the fence, the factions, the country beyond the fence, and most importantly, Divergence. However, these revelations often left me feeling a bit underwhelmed. I mean, with all the build-up of the importance of Divergence throughout the first two books, it just felt like a letdown. Also, I felt while a few things happened, things overall outside the fence were slow, and a bit boring.
I’ve read Free Four and The Transfer, and I felt like Roth did a great job with Tobias’s voice in those books, but the switching narratives between Tris and Tobias in Allegiant just didn’t work for me. I’ve seen plenty of others say it, but there just wasn’t enough differentiation in their narrative voices to me. I found myself frequently flipping back to the beginning of the chapter to remind myself who was narrating. Also, I love Tobias, but there were some scenes in this book that just made me want to smack him.
My biggest complaint about Allegiant was that everything just felt so different. I don’t know if it was leaving Chicago or the turn it took with the revelations, but I just felt like it wasn’t the same author, characters, or series as the first two books. I don’t know; something just felt off to me. I also felt like the pacing was really slow, and I was forcing myself to read for most of the first 71%. For a 544 page book, that’s a long time!
At 71%, everything picked up, and I was really invested and flipping the pages feverishly. I had to see how things turned out and how they’d save the day. (I mean, I assumed they’d save the day. In any book, it’s always possible that things won’t go as you expect.) I loved the build-up and the tension, but unfortunately, the resolution didn’t work for me. I felt like one story line ended way too easily and the other was just unsatisfactory.
I really didn’t like the ending. I mean, I understand it, and it sort of makes sense with the story, but it didn’t work for me. I wasn’t happy with it, and I didn’t feel like it fit properly. If you’ve read Allegiant, you know what I’m talking about. If you haven’t, that’s really all I can say.
I will say this about Allegiant: I’ve seen a lot of people dislike it so much that they’re going to stop recommending the series. That’s not me. I was not fully satisfied with Allegiant, but I thought it was a decent book, and with the strength of the first two books, I can’t not recommend the series. Divergent is still one of my favorite books, and I loved Insurgent. At that point, with only one book left, how do you not finish the series? I’d say to read Allegiant but to not expect to love it as much as the others. That way, you hopefully won’t be disappointed, and maybe you’ll even be surprised and end up loving it. I have seen some people love it!
When I first started Allegiant, I was thinking I was going to need a reread of the series soon. When I first finished, I was so unhappy that I thought I’d never reread the series. However, now that I have some distance, I’m thinking that a reread is in my future, though I’m not sure how soon. I feel like the big gap of time between reading the first two books and Allegiant didn’t help matters, and I’m wondering if knowing where the story is going will help me better appreciate it. I know when I first read Harry Potter, I gave the books 3-5 stars, but rereading, they’re all 5-star reads to me, so it’s definitely possible.
I’ve said just about all I can say, and I’m still struggling with the rating. I know this review seems really negative, but I didn’t hate Allegiant. There were some things I really didn’t like, some things I really did like, and some things that were just okay. None of my options really seem appropriate, even with half-stars. I can’t really say it was just okay, but I can’t really say I liked it either, but 2.5 stars just doesn’t seem like enough. Though it pains me to do it, because I loved Divergent, I guess I’m going with 3 stars.