This review contains hints at SPOILERS, but not direct spoilers–I can only advise that you read at your own risk . . .
If I seem to not make as much sense as I normally do, know that I have just within the past ten minutes set this book down, and I’m still going through a little shock/trauma/grief over it. I feel this book, this ending so deep within me that I don’t know if I’ll be able to properly separate myself from it to type clearly, so please bear with me.
Here’s an official summary from the wonderful Goodreads to get the ball rolling:
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.
Now, let me start off my own thoughts by telling you that I know it has raised some rather harsh reviews from readers, and I understand why in only one aspect–that the ending is not what anyone wanted. But I think that was part of the point that was being made. Life isn’t fair, and people have to die. When I read a book and ultimately suffer the loss of a character–a person within the story that I am close to, a person I identify with and spend the entire series growing alongside, a friend–that has a tendency to invoke a complete and utter devastation to my psyche. So yeah, the series didn’t end how I wanted it to because I would NEVER actually want to lose that friend. But you know what? It made sense. It really did, which is why I can accept it–as slowly and painstakingly as my heart feels like it’s been ripped out and boiled in acid, I can accept it.
There were times when reading through the story I was getting so frustrated–at Tris, at Tobias, at EVERYONE–I was sighing and groaning and nearly pulling my hair out, pausing to cover my eyes like I couldn’t believe what was happening. But there were those times when I was so happy for Tris & Tobias, so excited for the next piece of the plot to come and then BAM! The next moment I’d be reeling from death and action. So much feels in this one book that left me analyzing myself, and how I would feel and how I would react, and who/what is right or wrong? What would I do? A true roller coaster of emotion that I will return to read again and again. And that’s part of what I like to judge a book on–the ability the story has to make that connection with me on more than just a reader-story level. When there’s no disconnect, when there’s a bond that ties me personally to the lives within the book and I genuinely feel attached to the characters, I know the story is worth it–to me, at least.
I really do realize that there are a lot of people who are upset with this book out there, and I’m not just here to pledge my blind allegiance (see what I did there?) to this series because of the books that came before–I truly love this story and was so wrapped up in it that I felt akin to what the characters themselves were feeling. I know that in my personal experience, every book I have ever read that has tied me irrevocably to its story forever has been one that has lost integral characters in the ultimate struggle, in the end. It keeps me feeling human, because it’s rare that everything you want will work out perfectly, tied up like a pretty package with a little red bow on it.
Sorry if this review seemed a bit preachy–remember when I warned you at the start about my working to process what happened? It may all still be . . . processing. But I firmly and without any regret–having used about fifteen Kleenex to wipe up all my tears–give Allegiant one of the most deserving 5/5 stars I’ve yet to commit 😉