I did it. I finally got around to reading Allegiant, the final book in the Divergent trilogy. I was excited for this book long before it came out, because I liked the first two books in the series and I couldn’t wait to see how it ended. Then, when it released and the interwebs exploded, I knew I had to get my hands on it fast before it got spoiled for me. It took all the willpower I possessed to not skip to the end of this book, something I have never done but have desperately wanted to do on more than one occasion. This was one of those times. I held myself back and was ultimately glad I did. I’m going to borrow the summary from Goodreads, since I don’t want to give anything away:
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.
There were several things I loved about this book. First and foremost is that we finally get the full backstory. What happened in the Purity Wars. What’s happening outside the fence, and how did Tris and the rest of her community get inside the fence. What does it really mean to be Divergent. Who was Tris’s mother really. Lots of questions were answered. We also get to see Tris and Tobias (Four) work on their relationship. And actually work on it like real people, not just have some magical teen romance. They still have problems, but they actually sit and talk about them more-or-less like adults, and even if they don’t stop having problems, neither of them are just whining anymore.
Bad news was, there were plenty of things I didn’t like about this book. Lots of reviews I have read have been raving about the dual-perspectives, and how we get to read the story from both Tris and Tobia’s POV. I’ll admit I was excited about this when I first heard about it, and it could have been cool. But it wasn’t. Tris and Tobias pretty much both spoke with the same “voice.” I kept having to flip back to the beginning of the chapter to see who was speaking, they sounded so much alike. That was a big disappointment. I was also a little disappointed that Tris and Tobias face pretty much the exact same problems outside the fence as they did inside the fence. Nothing new there. I guess I was expecting a little more excitement. And the “love story” was so cute I could gag. I mean, I know sometimes I complain about too much sex in YA lit, but this was PG to the extreme. If I read about how wonderful it was to kiss a collarbone, or how exciting it was to have someone’s fingers in your belt loops one more time, I was going to throw up, haha.
Then there was the ending. I read some reviews before I read this book, which I almost didn’t do because I didn’t want any preconceptions, but I knew the ending was going to be controversial, so I didn’t mind too much. It looks like most reviewers fell into two camps. The first was OMG-how-could-the-author-do-this-to-me-I-hate-her-for-this-ending camp. The second was the I-didn’t-like-it-but-I-can-see-why-she-did-it camp. I think I fall somewhere in between. I never really buy into the whole “this is the only way the author could have ended this story” thing. I heard enough of that after the atrociously bad ending of the Hunger Games trilogy. But on the other hand, we knew this couldn’t be a sunshine and butterflies happy ending. I didn’t love the ending, but I didn’t think it was awful, and I felt satisfied even if I was sad.
Overall, I just didn’t think this book was as strong as the first two. I would have preferred the whole thing be narrated by Tris, with maybe a few chapters told by Tobias, if any. I think that would have made it much more enjoyable. A good, satisfying ending ending to the series though.