Book Review: Allegiant by Veronica Roth

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.

My Rating: 3.5 cupcakes

After seeing countless reviews that claimed that Allegiant had ruined the series for readers and having a pivotal scene spoiled for me courtesy of Facebook friends who don’t understand that not everyone was able to read it on the release date, I was a bit nervous about starting this book. After finishing, it seems as though I’m a black sheep on this one: Allegiant took me on an emotional roller coaster ride, but it was one that I certainly enjoyed.

The narration in Allegiant is told from two perspectives: Tris and Four’s. A lot of other reviews have complained about how “weak” Four appears in this book, but I see it as the complete opposite; after getting a glimpse into Four’s head, it’s clear that he must be strong to shoulder all of his burdens and demons by himself. I really enjoyed getting a glimpse at his motivations and deep-rooted insecurities as they served to make him more real. While I did enjoy the dual POV and understand its necessity, Tris and Four’s voices were often indistinguishable, to the point where I occasionally had to flip back and see whose perspective I was reading from. It didn’t take away from my reading experience by any means, but I do wish that there was tighter writing in some places to give Four a distinct voice.

I loved Roth’s exploration of all of the characters, and how well fleshed out they were. Grief, loss, and desperation have changed them all from the characters that we first met in Divergent and I felt for all of them – including Caleb, which was a bit of a surprise for me.

The plot was well-paced and interesting, though a few parts at the beginning seemed to consist mostly of info-dumping. This did cause the beginning to feel rather slow, but this information was necessary to put the final touches on the world-building. There’s so much going on in Allegiant, multiple threads of a storyline that are all building up to one big event: the climax. Roth holds nothing back as the characters are tested and caused to question their morals and beliefs. She doesn’t write the ending that the reader wants; instead, she writes the story that needs to be told. It’s a heartbreaking yet beautiful finish and, in my opinion, is the only way that this series could have authentically ended.

As a sidenote, if you’ve finished reading Allegiant, you should take a look at Veronica Roth’s blog post regarding why the series ended the way that it did. It’s a beautiful explanation.

Top Ten Books On My Fall TBR List

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly book meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week, she posts an idea relating to books and encourages other book bloggers to respond with their own top ten lists.

This week’s topic is “top ten books on my fall tbr list.” This one was so difficult to narrow down to only ten items, since there are so many books that I want to read, and there are so many fall releases that look excellent. Here are a mere ten of the books that I’m excited to read:

1. Perfect Ruin by Lauren DeStefano
I loved the Chemical Garden trilogy, so I can’t wait to read Perfect Ruin. The synopsis sounds interesting, and all of the snippets that Lauren has been teasing us with via her twitter account just make me even more excited to read this!

2. The Naturals by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
I’ve read a lot of early reviews of this, and the general consensus is that it’s an excellent book. I love CSI-type stories, and the fact that teenagers are working with the FBI in this makes it even better!

3. Vicious by Victoria Schwab
I’m seriously so excited for this one. I was able to preview the first 100 pages through Netgalley, but of course the story left off at an incredibly interesting part — which means that I’ve been impatiently waiting for the release date ever since. I need more morally ambiguous superheroes in my life.

4. Allegiant by Veronica RothI’ve had this book on pre-order for what seems like forever. I can’t wait to see how Tris and Four’s journey ends, and I’m incredibly excited to see part of their adventure from Four’s perspective. Of course, I probably won’t be able to read it until early winter (thanks, university) but just knowing that it will be at home waiting for me upon its release makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside.

5. More Than This by Patrick Ness
It’s no secret that I’m in love with Patrick Ness’ writing. Between A Monster Calls and the Chaos Walking series, Patrick Ness has made me feel every possible emotion, and his words have impacted my life in a meaningful way. I’ve seen a few glowing reviews of this book, so I can’t wait to read it!

6. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
This book is basically about my life, so even if it weren’t by Rainbow, it’d certainly end up on my to-read list. Of course, the fact that it is a Rainbow Rowell book makes me want to read it even more — after reading Eleanor & Park and Attachments, she’s definitely near the top of my “instant-add to tbr” list.

7. The Year of Shadows by Claire Legrand
This book looks so good. I love middle grade books and I love books about ghosts, so this sounds like the perfect fit! Claire Legrand is also pretty fantastic, so I’m really excited to (finally) read one of her books.

8. The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater
I know, you’re probably all thinking, “but Erin, this book has been on so many of your lists, how have you not read it yet?” I’m thinking the exact same thing. It was (finally) published today, so you can bet that I’ll certainly be paying Gansey and my Raven Boys a visit sometime soon!

9. Fortunately, The Milk by Neil GaimanI know that this is a children’s book… but it’s written by Neil Gaiman, so it just has to be on my to-read list. Seriously, I’d read his grocery lists. It looks like such a cute, fun, and strange story, and I can’t wait to read it to the kids that I babysit!

10. Just One Year by Gayle Forman
I can’t wait to read Willem’s story – taking a peek into his head is going to be such a fun experience! I’ve seen excellent reviews for this, so I’m sure that it will be just as good as Just One Day.

Which books are on your fall to-read list?3