Monday, August 8, 2016

Review - Allegiant

Original Title: Allegiant
Series: Divergent, #3
Author: Veronica Roth
Published: October 22nd, 2013

Publisher: HarperCollins Children's Books


I can’t even explain how I feel. I’ve been unable to smile or laugh for hours. I can’t think of other things. Because now, I know what it is to have your heart ripped out from your chest, and crushed into a million tiny pieces of the most numbing pain I’ve felt with a book in, literally, years. Allegiant is the very definition of ugly crying. I know lots of people for whom the ending was spoiled (I was not among them), but one thing is having known it like that, and actually reading it in the book, passing the pages and trying to bite back your tears with every word confirming the truth of what happened. Until the last moment, I had the hope that something –anything– would happen, telling me that it wasn’t true, that what I just read had only been a trick. But though I’m pretending that I haven’t been stabbed in the chest, the pain is blinding, and there’s nothing I can do about it. I’ll do my best with this review, even in denial, as I am, right now. There was a lot of revelations in this book, but it is like the ending dominates everything, and I can’t concentrate.*Deep breath*. First things first.

I was originally going to give it a more negative review. But then I thought better, and I decided to be kind, not because I liked or disliked the ending, but because of the huge step that writing it actually meant. It is a big risk, but it put aside all possible cliches and platitudes expected from a YA novel. Veronica Roth was truly brave (dauntless, if you want) when she made the decision of sealing Tris’ fate like that, in despite of what we readers may think after it. We all can agree that it was a decision you don’t take lightly, and, in despite that I cannot stop thinking “She’s gone, she’s dead, she’s not coming back”, trying to wrap my head around it, I suddenly realize how much the characters in this story grew on me. Upon this ending, I discovered that this wasn’t just another book, that I came to love all of them in a way I didn’t even noticed during this whole journey.

Sometimes, all it takes to save people from a terrible fate is one person willing to do something about it

They say that there’s some fictional deaths you will never recover from, and I feel this is one of them. I loved Tris. Since the first book, I liked her more than I thought I would. But most of all, I respect her. She is brave, determined, honest, and kind. She proved she was more than what met the eyes, she honored her parents legacy, and to the last moment, she was true, and loyal, to her friends, and to herself. She truly earned the “heroine” title, and I will always remember her, and admire her for what she did. Her death is not the end, but the beginning. Reading those pages, I suddenly felt the tears in my cheeks, knowing that, even when I was begging it were all a trick to make us believe something that wasn’t real, I knew there was no turning back. But although I can’t help the pain, I know she wasn’t completely gone for those who loved her, proving that her sacrifice was worth it. 

I belong to the people I love, and they belong to me.

My already broken heart broke even more, if that was even possible, when they took her ashes and spread them in the wind from the zipline in which she felt so free, during the one that would be the Choosing Ceremony day, if the factions hadn’t been eliminated. I can’t even explain how much I cried. Because of her choosing that day she cut her hand and let the blood drop fall in the Dauntless bowl, things started to change. She was set free. And because of her, people were able find their freedom, and their chance to finally live instead of only existing in a couple of places and activities they didn’t even chose by themselves, determined by someone else. As I said before, Tris is a true heroine, and she earned my respect and my admiration. She truly gave everything for love, and for the greater good. In the first book, she called herself “selfish”, but now I understand things better. She may have been selfish in the little things, but in the end, she was who I saw she was since the first page of the first book, and since that first blood drop that fell in the middle of the two bowls, during the Choosing Ceremony. In the end, she was both: selfless, and brave, willing to make the ultimate sacrifice for those she knew it was worthy. Tobias said once “I have a theory that selflessness and bravery aren't all that different”, and at the end, Tris proved him utterly right.

As for the rest of the book, it is very good. There’s plenty of new villains, like Nita, and David, in addition to Evelyn and her iron-fist system in the factionless city. I had more questions about the experiment that weren’t answered. In the Bureau, they said there were other cities that were like Chicago, in which the government had installed the faction system as a way to control the population and try to perfect their genetic material, in order to improve human nature, but they didn’t give more information, except for what happened in Indianapolis; I wanted to know more, like if the factions were the same five we knew in Chicago, or if there were Divergents there, and how the people there dealt with Divergence... But there’s not much about them. Though I find very interesting the whole plot around their genes, and how things turn out for Tobias and his not-so-full Divergence. I noticed it was research there, and it was good to finally get some answers about the mysteries we came to read about both in Divergentand Insurgent

As for the love story, Tobias and Tris aren’t really my favorite couple ever (I actually liked better Tris’s parents love story). They fought a lot, which they wouldn’t have if they talked more, but I don’t want to say anything negative about them, not after the way they ended. Tobias’ despair and denial killed me, because even when they disagreed in many things, there was real love between them. Their night together was brimming with happiness, honesty, and pure love, and for that I knew something terrible was coming. But I have mixed feelings about them. I still believe their story shouldn’t have ended that way, but at the same time, it wasn’t the typical ending. It was painful, it was terrible, but it made the story all the more unique.

As for the other deaths in this story, I was really sorry about Tori, especially after I read her brother was still alive, and she had killed Jeanine to avenge his death. But more than her, I suffered for Uriah. I came to love him as much as his friends, and I didn’t want him to end up like that. But just like Tris, he was loved until the last minute, and forever remembered as the great guy he was. He didn’t had to die, but he did, and I hate it. However, I was able to make peace with other characters, like Caleb, after knowing that it wasn’t utterly his fault when he made the mistakes I hated him for. And Peter! What a coward! He choose the easy path, and the worst part is that he didn’t remember doing it. I thought I would like him more after what he did in the second book, but it didn’t happen.

I can’t say it was a happy ending, but it wasn’t a bad one. There was too many painful losses as to end this book with a smile. But, in a way, I felt all that sorrow was worth it, because, though the story doesn’t finishes with happiness, it does with hope. Tris’ sacrifice brings hope, and I would hate this story if it had been in vain. But it wasn’t. Her death brought the people in Chicago the chance to be free, to truly choose their own destiny, and be at peace with the world. One death brought the opportunity to live to hundreds of people, and I think that’s why I can deal with it, because otherwise, I don’t think I would accept it easily.

My applause and respect to Veronica Roth, she earned it! She did a risky, but brave move with this book, and in despite of how much it made me suffer, I’m glad I decided to read this whole trilogy. I’m sad, but not disappointed, that’s for sure!


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