Monday, November 18, 2013

Allegiant (a Book Review)--"Am I Done Yet?"


Allegiant by Veronica Roth

The Magic Violinist, book review, Allegiant, Veronica Roth, Tris dies,

Released: October 22, 2013
Publisher: HarperCollins
Pages: 545

What if your whole world was a lie?
What if a single revelation—like a single choice—changed everything?
What if love and loyalty made you do things you never expected?

Review: When I first got this book (and I was lucky enough to be the first one in my library to get it), my immediate thought was, "YEEEEEEEESSSSSSSSSSSSS!!! FINALLY!!!" It only took me a few pages to realize that it was all just going downhill from there.

And it did. It was boring, confusing, and too jerky. While I liked seeing things steadily "wrap up," I think Veronica was trying too hard to jam too much information into one book. There were too many plot twists (such as the Allegiant and the Bureau--shocker!--being a hindrance instead of a help, and Tobias not truly being Divergent) that have been done before in her earlier books.

But I think the ending made up for that.

Most every single review of Allegiant that I've read online has said that they were extremely disappointed and devastated at the end of the book and wanted to throw their book at the wall (some did). I disagree.

Veronica's ending was raw, emotional, powerful, and full of hope. It was not only realistic, but in my eyes necessary that Tris stay true to her character by sacrificing herself to show that she truly loved Caleb and to save everyone else. One death for millions of lives. This was foreshadowed earlier in the book.

While I bawled my eyes during every scene after Tris's death (causing me to miss important details, which I reread the next morning--I cried again), especially the bits with Tobias right afterwards where he's standing still and remembering how the Stiff had jumped first, I've come to terms with the ending. Tris's death not only showed how truly amazing Veronica Roth is as a writer/storyteller, made me realize how much I was going to miss Tris, and cause me to instantly Google "Tris dies" to see if others felt the way I did (not many did), but it made me realize that Tris had to stay true to herself. And she did

When Tris first "sacrifices" herself in Insurgent, she screams, "I'm not done here!" because she realized that she wasn't. She still had a job to do. She still had her friends and Tobias to protect. In Allegiant, moments after she's shot and sees her mother, she asks her, "Am I done yet?" Her mother says, "Yes. My dear child, you’ve done so well." Tris's journey came to a close at the right time, the exact moment it should have. She'd finished her job and only went into her mother's arms after she asked about her friends being okay. She was selfless and brave until the end.

Tobias's unusual hurt, weakness, and raw emotion is what hurt me most. His short chapters, his numbness, his slow healing. But in the Epilogue, two and a half years later, he's facing his fears by scattering Tris's ashes while going down the zip-line and he's mending with the help of Zeke, Christina, and all of his friends. As he said, we're all damaged, but, "We mend. We mend each other."

So to me, Tris's death was not only necessary, but tastefully done. It was noble, she was honored, and in that moment she was truly Divergent. She was honest (Candor) by being true to herself, she was intelligent (Erudite) by making the right choice, no matter how hard it was, she was kind (Amity) by being true to herself and by saving those around her, she was selfless (Abnegation) by sacrificing herself for the greater good, and above all, she was brave (Dauntless). In her life and death, Tris was never once too afraid to carry on. She was always brave.

Be brave, Tris. Be mended.

What are your thoughts on Tris's death? Share in the comments! :D


Emily Foley said...

We had a lot of the same thoughts. I read all three books this week and finished the last one last night. I told Dave that the double narrator was bugging me, that Roth should have kept it to just Tris, but that should've been my first clue that she was going to die. Also, I was devastated when she died but I agree--it couldn't have ended another way. She could not let Caleb die for her, that's not who she was. It takes a brave writer to kill her main character. Even Rowling wasn't that ruthless. But man did I ever bawl when Tobias went down that zipline. And while I know that people die and those that live have to move on, I was slightly devastated that he actually did move on, even though that's natural and it was taking a long time. I also bawled when Uriah died, he was my favorite.

The Magic Violinist said...

@Emily I should've picked up on that, too, though a lot of writers change up how they format the last book of a dystopian trilogy. I guess I thought she just wanted to do something different. I was glad when he moved on, because Tris wouldn't have wanted him to be miserable for the rest of his life. She died to give him a chance to live. I was happy to see him healing at the end. :)

I think I was still too numb from Tris's death to really cry over Uriah. Like I said, everything was a blur and I had to reread the last twenty pages!

Dr. Mark said...

Excellent review. I really enjoyed reading this. Sometimes taking some time to let a book sit in helps us to get a different perspective and it sounds like that happened to you. I remember reading one of my recent favorite books and being completely shocked when a very main character was killed off. I've recovered, but it still stinks.

If you want practice at dealing with the death of main characters, I have a long list of books you can read and process! ;)

The Magic Violinist said...

@Dr. Mark Thanks! :D Can I take a wild guess at the book you read and say that it was a Game of Thrones book? ;)

Dr. Mark said...

And you would be partially correct. Five books in the series so far and too many main characters have died to count. I'm also talking about a lot of other books I've read through the years. A lot of them are classic American literature.

Boquinha said...

I know you and I have already talked about this, but I just want to say again - WOW. Unschooling at its finest. This is a GREAT book review/report. We've done very few formal lessons on book reports - like next to NONE - and you, on your own, sit down and write this? HOLY CRAP. Very reassuring to us as your parents - I think we're doing right by you guys with homeschooling. Weeha!

I really enjoyed reading this review. It's excellent. Love talking books with you!

Cait said...

*finishes sobbing grossly* Yeah, yeah, I'm VERY late to this party, but at least I've finally read it right? ;) I (as you know, hehe) ADORED the ending. It was so right. But I also loved the whole book. I was shocked about what was outside the fence. It turned it into more of a Matched book then a The Hunger Games, which I did like. (Something different.) It got confusing in the middle since everyone was back-stabbing everyone. But I loved Four's chapters. I actually thought HE was going to die...but then, yup 80% when they were going to let Caleb die? I knew Tris would die for him. It was so. right.
I kind of wonder if we, as writers, appreciate the ending more because we can see the beautifulness of the writing? I would do that in my book. Oh wait....I already did in one... >_<

The Magic Violinist said...

@Cait Yeah, I didn't see it coming at all. ;) I was so stunned when I read it. I read it three times. And I still didn't believe it. Then I cried and cried and cried . . . yeah.

I was thinking the same thing. :) A lot of people hated the ending, but all of my writer friends loved it. Tris was so in character with what she did. As much as I hated that she had to die to stay in character.

Ha ha! I don't think I'm quite ready to be brave enough to do something that huge to my characters. ;) Secondary characters? Absolutely. Protagonists? ... Not yet.