Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Allegiant - Veronica Roth

Summary:  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(Summary from book jacket cover and image from http://annerileybooks.com/.)

My Review:  (ATTENTION: SPOILERS!  I'm afraid I can't write this review without giving away little bits and pieces, sometimes unknowingly, about the book.  You've been warned.  The further into the review, the more likely I'll spoil something for you.  Or not.  You decide.)

I've noticed this book is getting quite mixed reviews.  I probably don't stand in the majority with my opinion, but I felt this book was the perfect capstone to the Divergent series.  Dystopian lit is not all flowers and romance.  In fact, flowers and romance are rarely reliable in dystopian lit.  Therefore, those who are disappointed with the ending, I'm afraid, are the those that like everything to end happily without any realism or 'get your hands dirty' real life components.  And that is why I liked the book; it feels real, like what real people experience in this journey on earth.  That's not to say I didn't cry--it's embarrassing to be getting a pedicure, tears streaming down your face because you have to keep reading but it's just so dang sad!  (Side note, and probably not important to most of you, but my husband gifted me with a pedicure and I gifted myself this book for Christmas, thus the combination.)

That right there, me crying, is another indicator that this was a great book with a 'just-right' ending.  I don't cry, hardly ever.  Probably only 3 or 4 times a year tops.  This book had me crying, gulping down huge lumps in my throat as my children watched me devour this in 7 days--it should have been faster, but I do have 3 children.  Their confusion, and my husband's, as I teared up almost every page for the last 50, also reveals Roth's ability to create a real-life romance, real-life heartbreak, real-life sorrow.  There is nothing perfect about Tris and Tobias' love, and yet it is perfect because it's real: full of frustration, miscommunication, hurt, sacrifice, passion, kindness, and forgiveness.  For being teenagers, Tris and Tobias sure act more like adults in their maturity and willingness to work at a single relationship.  And that was refreshing.  In a world of the-next-best-thing and the 'grass is greener on the other side', it was reassuring that there are still those out there that realize that sometimes what you have right now is just right, no, even more than that: the best thing.  A quote from the book that epitomizes this in the book for me: "The person you became with her is worth being."

Is this a literary masterpiece?  Probably not.  As far as eloquent writers go, she isn't up there with Dickens, Fitzgerald, Bronte, etc.  But, in terms of story-telling, realistic and complex characters, and depictions of both the beautiful and ugliness of life, Roth is brilliant.  I finished the book satisfied and heart-broken all at once.  I wouldn't have it any other way.

Here are a couple of my favorite lines:
"I suppose a fire that burns that bright is not meant to last."
"You know, there's a word for big, strong men who attack women, and it's coward."
And my favorite:
 "There are so many ways to be brave in this world.  Sometimes bravery involves laying down your life for something bigger than yourself, or for someone else.  Sometimes it involves giving up everything you have ever known, or everyone you have ever loved, for the sake of something greater.
 But sometimes it doesn't.
 Sometimes it is nothing more than gritting your teeth through pain, and the work of every day, the slow walk toward a better life.
That is the sort of bravery I must have now."

For the sensitive reader:  Violence and a handful for swear words, one scene that hints at two characters sleeping together, but that is debatable. 

Rating: 5 Stars

Sum it up: The when-it-ends, how-it-ends, to a complicated and spell-binding YA-dystopian story.

1 comment:

Kristian said...

I completely agree with your review. I didn't think that Allegiant couldn't have ended any other way. Dystopias aren't supposed to be 'happy' and 'overly fluffy', which is what I believe the genre is becoming because of the popularity of writing them. They are dark and have some sort of satiric message.

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