Wow. I don't even know where to begin. I suppose the beginning would be a good place to start. Here goes.
I decided not to provide a summary for this book, simply because it would contain spoilers for Divergent
. Because I chose to exclude this, my review is 100% spoiler-free.
While I enjoyed the book, there were several points of confusion along the way. The most frustrating of these was the switching POV. Tris and Tobias took turns narrating the story, switching between the two at the start of nearly every chapter. Their narration sounded very similar; I tended to forget which character was recounting the story at any particular moment, frequently flipping back to the beginning of the chapter to check. I much preferred the single, uniform point of view in Delirium
because it eliminated unnecessary confusion. The series may have flowed more smoothly from one book to the next if Roth had chosen one method and stuck with it for the entire series. Additionally, I was baffled by the introduction of several new concepts, such as a distinction between the Genetically Pure (GP) and Genetically Damaged (GD), which readers are forced to keep track of throughout the book. So much information was revealed in a single sitting that I only absorbed about 60% of it. And of course, a good portion of this information was proven false, adding to the confusion.Allegiant
was built on the relationship between truth and lies. Many of the basic foundations that were introduced in the first two books were deemed untrue, causing readers to question what they know at every turn. Characters revealed their true allegiances, forming new friendships and breaking old ones. I loved the depth and realistic qualities these characters possessed, despite their numerous betrayals, arguments, and poor decisions.
Over the course of the series, Tris experienced dramatic growth character-wise. The meek, timid Abnegation transfer is hardly recognizable as the strong, independent protagonist in Allegiant.
This transformation, although gradual, affected Tris' words and actions, influencing her every decision. Roth's writing style provides readers with an excellent glimpse into Tris' thoughts and emotions as she matures and embraces her future. Undoubtedly, Tris was wise beyond her years; the horrors that she experienced aged her significantly, making her wary of those around her and causing her to constantly demand the truth. Despite her hard and somewhat intimidating demeanor, Tris is portrayed as vulnerable and flawed. These characteristics make her realistic and relatable, bringing her to life.
Her relationship with Tobias was a bit rocky throughout the entire book. They were both a bit wishy-washy around one another, as if they were unsure of how to proceed. One second, Tobias was giving Tris the silent treatment and the next, he felt the sudden urge to kiss her. I wasn't particularly enthralled by the romance in this book, and it paled significantly compared to that in Divergent
Therefore, I was a little disappointed in this respect, to say the least. The lack of romance certainly left something to be desired.
This brings us to Tobias. The series as a whole portrays Tobias' complex, many-sided character. He constantly engages in internal conflict, questioning his choices and decisions at every turn. Despite this indecisiveness, he grew as a character throughout the books, finally learning to embrace his past. He refuses to let his troubled childhood stand in his way of working for the greater good. While I didn't agree with all of his decisions, his bravery and determination were admirable, conveying his true Dauntless-inclination.
I must've read the last page over 20 times. It left me with a numb feeling, in a state of shock and disbelief. And I have to admit, it left me in tears. Now that's a rare occurrence. I can't even remember the last time I cried over a book. The final chapters, while bordering on predictable, pack a punch. Roth has received quite a bit of criticism for her ... nonconventional ending, but I found it to be a refreshing change from many other popular dystopian series.
Oh, and I can't forget to thank the Goodreads user who spoiled the ending of the book for me. Yes, that was a hint of sarcasm. While I'm not going to mention your name, you know who you are. And no, I don't enjoy receiving spoilers via PM.