This month the YA Book Club, hosted by Tracey Neithercott, read Allegiant by Veronica Roth. While I’m definitely feeling some dystopian fatigue, this book ripped me out of any feelings of complacency. I really loved being in this Chicago and in the head of Tris, overall. I really love Four. Okay, I mostly just love Four.
Let me start by saying I knew bad things would happen because I had seen psuedo spoilers like “Chapter 50—OH MY GOD” on Twitter so I knew something big was coming. Most people seem only mildly happier that what happened was with Tris because, with spoilers, everyone seemed to think that Four was going to be the one on the chopping block. I just thought maybe they’d be broken up because I’m brilliant like that. 😉
My initial reaction: I was mildly traumatized. There were definitely tears. I couldn’t believe the fate of the characters, but I didn’t hate it like everyone else in the world seems to. I don’t know that I felt it was the poetic justice that was intended, but, I didn’t hate it. What made that ending somewhat okay for me was what I felt was poignant moments from Four. I died a little more inside when he has the flashbacks–gosh, my stomach just did flippy flops thinking about him remembering her from her jump. Of course I wanted them to have their HEA.
The love: I’m glad Tris and Four were more loving toward each other in this book. The last YA Book Club that I participated in was for INSURGENT and I started off saying that I was fangirling all over it, which I don’t think is true, now. I think I was just really happy to have another piece of the Divergent puzzle once I’d finished it. Upon reflection, I think Tris was childish and pushed Four away a lot in that book. With ALLEGIANT, I think she showed those shades of immaturity again in this book, but after the early missteps from Four I really thought they were connected again, and I loved that.
Four: What I was more unnerved by was Four’s sort of emasculating behavior in this book: going against Tris and along with what’s her name in a rather flippant way, being so concerned about being “damaged,”–hell, he’s not divergent like his dad (Or mom? Or both? can’t remember), he should be happy, right? I know he needs a character arc and growth but I think I would have been perfectly fine with Four being static. 😉 I did struggle at times with the dual narration. Sometimes I found Four’s and Tris’ voices too similar. No matter what, I still love him and I’m excited to see him portrayed (what I think will be) well in the movies.
I feel that the whole “allegiant” uprising or that title is actually pretty trivial, as was the idea of having damaged genes versus pure genes. Who cares? Or, is it just easy for people like Tris not to care because she’s not damaged? I think that it just felt–to me–like there was some cult-like science club that had a god complex or something. I thought there would be a bigger deal about what was going on outside the fence.
I thought Tris was borderline shrill when she was right all the time and just expected Four to trust/follow/respect her when she had made pretty big errors in the past. I wanted to just think yes, she’s strong, she’s a martyr, she’s selfless and loving and that’s why she dies but mostly I was just sad she made the choice to go in over Caleb. I don’t know that a sibling could be THAT selfless, even in love. A parent, yes. Sibling, not sure. And I LOVE my brother! 😉