My rating: 2 of 5 stars
After the events in Divergent and Insurgent, Tris, Four and their friends find themselves facing a very important question: do they cross the fence? For years, their society has told them not to, placing fear in their minds of what they might find behind it. But now that the factions have fallen, and with it its demanding rulers, more and more people are standing up for what they themselves want. Once the group ventures beyond the fence, they realize a lot of things have been kept from them.
Note: tiny spoilers!
I borrowed this book from a friend quite a few months ago, right after I had finished Insurgent. I wanted to finish the trilogy once and for all. I really enjoyed Divergent and Insurgent, but after hearing all the criticism surrounding Allegiant – and with it, all the spoilers – I was very hesitant to start reading. It took me all my willpower to start. This, I think, added to the end result of me not finishing this book. I’ve stated before that I will always try to finish a book, even if I don’t like it. I’ve changed my opinion on that very recently. If the book and its content are boring me or offending me, I will at least attempt to read as much of it as I can to form a good enough review, and will then move on.
This is what happened with Allegiant. From the very beginning, there was so much information to process that I had trouble understanding what was going on. For the longest time, I struggled to remember what had happened in the other two books and why they were doing what they were doing now. On top of that, Veronica Roth decided that Allegiant would have different point of views. Normally, I’m very excited about this, and I was when I started Allegiant. It became a problem when I was reading a chapter thinking I was inside Tris’ mind, when in fact it was Four’s.
I don’t know why Tris and Four sounded almost exactly the same in their characteristics and manner of speech, but they did. They seemed different from the way they were in the previous books. Four was a lot weaker than he was first presented, which – I’ll admit, a part of me realized well enough that Four’s exterior is only that: an exterior. You don’t know what someone is really like until you’re inside their head. What I felt during Allegiant however was that I never saw the old Four – his entire attitude changed and he became weak in everything he did. I was really excited to potentially read the novella named ‘Four’, just so I could get inside his head, but now that I’ve seen that apparently ‘inside Four’s head’ is actually ‘inside Tris’ head’, I’ve lost interest.
I ended up calling it quits around page 180, because I couldn’t focus anymore and I enjoyed making status updates more than actually reading the book. I was bored and I was continuously annoyed with the way things were handled. During the escape to beyond the fence, Tori dies – but the event is mostly glossed over because, well, plot progression! I get that a lot was happening and that they couldn’t start an entire funeral there and then, but it simply wasn’t mentioned again until the plot called for it. Then, suddenly everyone realized just how heartbroken they were over it. Geez, were you really? You never mentioned it once ever since it happened!
The relationship between Tris and Four ultimately became very weird as well, and that’s coming from someone who stopped just before page 200! Roth spends a third of a page describing a young scientist in detail, which made me frown and think, “If he’s getting special detailed treatment, why isn’t the rest?” only to have that explained a few pages later when Four gets hit by a hard cold case of jealousy. The exact same thing happened the other way around: a young woman named Juanita gets a section describing just how pretty she is before she is seen comforting or talking to Four, and Tris loses her cool. My response? What. The. Hell? I found it so incredibly unnecessary and out of place that I could only roll my eyes at it. You’ve only been together for three whole books, but yes, suddenly now your partner is probably interested in someone else. Unnecessary, in my opinion.
Like I said, I stopped around page 180 because I just wasn’t interested. I’ve read other people’s (spoiler filled) reviews so I do (roughly) know what happens in the rest of the books and who dies or doesn’t die towards the end, but even with that knowledge I don’t feel like I’m missing out on much. This could’ve been a really great conclusion to a series, but at the end of the day I should’ve listened to my gut. I didn’t want to read it and I shouldn’t have read it. It was (to stay in the Divergent-y feel) like a train that wouldn’t pick up speed. Very unfortunate.
Marked as dropped and/or abandoned, I ended up rating the 180 pages that I did read as two stars out of five and I will leave it at that. Allegiant was just not for me. Don’t, however, let my review keep you from reading it, as there are many people out there who actually did enjoy it a lot. Read their reviews as well (if they are spoiler-free, of course!) and make a decision then, if you haven’t read this book yet. This is where the Divergent train ends for me.