on November 9, 2013
I devoured the first two books in the series, and I own them in book and kindle form, but I couldn't even finish Allegiant. As an English teacher who loves discovering books that will excite my students, I enthusiastically recommended Divergent to many people. While I still believe Roth is a talented writer who crafted an extraordinary world and beautiful characters, I now feel the need to apologize to everyone I encouraged to begin this series because I was so disappointed with its conclusion.
on February 5, 2014
I have three things to say about the Divergent Series.
1) It's a lot of fun for 2 and 3/4 books.
2) The last 1/4 of the last book stunk and ruined the entire series.
3) The love story is cheesy and gives the 11 to 14 year olds reading the series a skewed and inappropriate idea of what first love is like.
I always say that a book or a book series (which is really just one long book broken into parts) is only as good as its ending. What you are left with when you close the cover on the end means more than all the stuff that came before. As fun as the story of Tris, Tobias, and friends was, it means nothing when the ending makes me wish I hadn't read it at all.
You know what the kicker is? I even knew it was coming. I never, NEVER read spoilers. But this ONE time I did. I always wait to start a series until the last book has been written--I hate cliffhangers and waiting years for them to be resolved. I knew Divergent had a ton of fans and I was just waiting for the final book to come out, but when it did and the reviews were horrible I decided to investigate. I didn't want to read something I was going to hate! When I realized what had even the most passionate fans ready to rumble, I decided I wouldn't even start. But then Amazon went and had them as a Kindle Daily Deal and I couldn't resist. I wish I had. So there's that.
My other gripe is a bit harder for me to put into words. I read books both for me and for my kids. I want them to love getting lost in a story as much as I do. I know first hand how powerful words can be, especially how words in books can shape perspective, understanding, and expectations of things that someone has never experienced for themselves. If you have never been to Alaska read "The Snow Child" and you'll feel like you grew up there. Want to know what it's like living in small-town Mississippi? Read a John Grisham novel. Want to know how it felt to experience the 9/11 terrorist attacks in Manhattan? Read "Peace in Amber" and you'll think you were there. Its been 17 years, but I still to this day think I know what's it's like to be an 11-year-old girl because I read "Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret" when I was 10. So, do I want my 12-year-old daughter to learn what first love is like by reading about Tris (who is 16, has never even held a boy's hand, yet can navigate romance with the skill of a seasoned adult) and Tobias (who is 18, never had a girlfriend, and has super human control over his hormones)? No! No! No! Their relationship is not real. I'm sad for the kids who read about Tris climbing in bed with Tobias wearing only a T-shirt and underwear, wrapping her legs around him under the covers, making out with passion and feeling, rubbing hands on hips and up and down bare backs, and then chastely falling asleep together, Tobias protecting Tris from her bad dreams. So romantic! So ideal! So not real! Someone who has experienced love can filter the fantasy from the reality. But children who have Tris and Tobias to thank for their first experience with love are going to be disappointed when their expectations fail to meet with their reality. So, as much as my daughters and sons may want to read the Divergent Series, I'm going to insist they wait.
In fact, I'm going to be suggesting the skip the Divergent Series all together.
on November 10, 2013
Read books 1 and 2 then walk away and let your imagination write the ending for you.
Book 1: Suspenseful. Builds a fresh concept in YA dystopian books. Loved Roth's ability to create a microcosm that is exciting, engaging and such a page turner. Loved this book and recommended it to friends and family. 4.5 stars
Book 2: Continues to reveal more about the community and preludes to secrets beyond their little world. Builds the 2 main characters and lays a plausible foundation and leaves you wanting more. 4 stars
Book 3: Unbelievable, hard to distinguish the voices, meanders aimlessly, and has an absolute meaningless ending. Renders the journey pointless and leaves the reader wondering why she bothered. Poorly executed writing. Was it the same author? Did she have a deadline she couldn't meet? Where was her editor? 2 stars and only because the cover art was great. Book itself is drivel. I keep expecting a "Just kidding, here's the real book' announcement. The only thing weaker would have been "… and then Tris woke up and it was aaalllll a bad, bad dream."
on May 21, 2014
This is mix of both an angry rant and a review because i'm tired and stayed up until 3am reading this garbage.
Don't keep reading if you intend on starting and finishing this trilogy, which starts off as a thrilling ride and ends being a worthless train wreck.
I just finished reading the entire Divergent Series on my kindle, which is 18,067 kindle pages, in just two days. For the first two books of the series, I was enthralled. I spent every waking moment thinking about Divergent, reading Divergent, thinking about Insurgent, reading Insurgent and never wanting the pages to end. When I finished Insurgent, I happily began the third book of the series, Allegiant, thinking that all of my questions would be answered-- how does the society react to the video of Edith Prior? What does it meant for Tris? Tobias? Then I actually read it. I have to say that Allegiant, was the absolute worst, most disappointing, and SENSELESS ending to a series that I have EVER read. Veronica Roth built up a beautiful and exciting story about love and coming-of-age in a dystopian society and BURNED IT TO THE GROUND. I cannot believe she took a story with such promise and hope and turned it into a stupid garble of scientific nonsense. Everything that I read in this book was absolute GARBAGE and there were so many plot holes that I don't even understand where the story was trying to go. Actually I don't even think there could be plot holes in a book that had NO PLOT TO BEGIN WITH. I was confused the entire time. First it was Erudite vs. Abnegation. Then it was Erudite + Dauntless vs. Some of Dauntless, Abnegation and Factionless. Then it was Erudite + Dauntless traitors vs. Everyone. Then it was Factionless vs. Factions. Then it was Antifactionless rebels vs. Factionless. Then it was Allegiant vs. Factionless. Then it was Allegiant + Bureau vs. Genetic Deficiency. Then it was "whoops I guess genetic deficiency is all one big lie" so GD vs. Bureau. Then Allegiant + select non-psychopathic GD vs. Bureau.
Am I missing any? At this point who the hell cares. I was constantly confused as to who was the enemy, and if everyone they met was just going to end up being the enemy, why should I have invested in the people they met anyway?
Another thing I hated was the fact that Roth turned Tris into a psychopathic, naggy, know-it-all and Tobias into a little bitch. Their love story became absolutely DISGUSTING. They acted like a 40 year old couple who hated each other--they fought for absolutely no reason in 85% of the scenes they had together, and their make-ups were ridiculous. What on earth did they have to fight about?!?!? It was mostly "he said she said," "so and so told me so and so did this," "i'm jealous," and "why didn't you tellll meee thhaaattt"? To make it worse they both had the same stupid tone, so when I missed the POV switches a couple times, I became confused as to who was speaking. When I thought I was reading from Tris' POV, and all of a sudden she started saying things like "I pushed her hair back behind her ear, looked into her eyes, and grabbed the small of her back." WAIT WHAT?!?! *flips to the beginning of the chapter* Oh damn its Tobias. UGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHH.
Why would we even need to know Tobias point of view? He tells Tris everything he does anyway! Oh wait, here's why...
I've never truly felt depressed after reading a book. I was sad after reading My Sister's Keeper. I cried in the Fault in Our Stars. But I have NEVER put down a book feeling cheated and empty. That's what the ending of Allegiant did to me. In case you haven't already read five other reviews, here is it-- TRIS DIES. And before you say "the book would have been waaay too predictable if Tris would have survived," let me stop you right there. Plenty of characters die as you reach the ending, which is really annoying, but not unbearable. But Tris' death was literally the stupidest scene in the book. I wouldn't be upset if Tris dies pushing Caleb out of the way of a bullet. I wouldn't have cared if Tobias and Tris would have died in a hail of gunfire protecting somebody from something. I wouldn't have cared if Tris dies doing something that improves mankind. BUT NO-- Tris literally dies for no reason. Everyone has a set plan, Caleb is willing to redeem himself through sacrifice, and little Tobias is on his way to stop the big bad war. But little miss queen of selflessness Tris has to throw the entire plan away and needlessly sacrifice herself to save her brother WHO SHE HATES after some internal revelation. The always invincible "except for this one time" Tris dies at the hands of a man in a wheelchair who shoots her twice. Twice. Tris has been shot multiple times by guns, brushing off each bullet wound like a scrape on her knee and this is how she ultimately dies? ARE YOU KIDDING ME? I kept waiting for Tris to wake up, or Tobias to wake up from a dream or SOMETHING because her death was so random, sudden, and STUPID, but nope, Tris really dies. And Roth didn't even have the decency to write Tobias in that scene. Tobias isn't even there when the love of his life, "the reason he breathes," his "ultimate motivation" is killed for no reason. He learns later from Cara that "whoops I guess Tris didn't survive this awful plan, and just letting you know she told me to tell you 'I never wanted to leave you.' But on the bright side the memory serum erased everyone in the entire compound so the world is safe yay." WHAT?!?!?!?!?!?!
So this is why we had Tobias' point of view in the first place?
Switch to Tobias' POV A.T (After Tris):
"My life is over. I loved her. She is gone. Oh woe is me. Let's drink this memory serum to forget her. Oh Cristina says I shouldn't. Okay." ````Two years later``````. "Hi mom I no longer hate you and i'm a politician. I still hate Caleb. What ever happened to Peter? Or Marcus? Oh well its Tris' funeral two years after she died. Lets go zip lining with friends." *Opens urn so ashes fly out* "Oh yay Tris did this to feel like a bird. Oh look here comes Zeke, probably flying directly through Tris' ashes which are still floating in the air. Thanks friends I can survive this, we will all move on."
The gist of Roth's reasoning for Tris death is "Tris finally learned the true meaning of sacrifice and therefore did not need to go on?" Get out Veronica, just LEAVE.
Garbage. This is garbage. I am so angry I wasted anytime reading this sorry excuse of a book. I could go on forever about how much I despised this book but I'm tired of spending anymore time on it.
To Veronica Roth- I've read better fanfiction endings to Allegiant than you could ever write. GOOD RIDDANCE I will never read another book by you again. You can also count me out of seeing any of the movies. I will not buy the paperback versions. I will not recommend these books to my friends. The only thing I will do is submit this review so others can be warned, and go take a nap to catch up on the sleep I lost last night.
on December 7, 2013
Would not recommend this series because of the third book. The first two were great. The third just leaves you mad and upset that you got so connected to the series in the first two! And also .. it's cheaper to buy them seperate!
on January 4, 2014
First off, it's actually cheaper to buy these book SEPARATE (at the time I'm writing this it is cheaper), so you might want to check the prices of the books separately before you buy this. I don't want you to feel ripped off, like I do!!
I absolutely loved it! I couldn't put it down. It was suspenseful, engaging, and the characters were lovable and so different from one another. Tris is a strong female character, who is unique, well developed, and I can really relate to the decisions she makes to leave her faction and follow her heart. I love the world they live in, and the reason why they live in factions is very interesting.
More is revealed about the world they lived in. The relationship between Tris and Tobias builds, and the characters develop further. I didn't love this as much as the first, but it left me wanting more.
WOW this was extremely DISAPPOINTING. For some stupid reason, it is written from Tris and Tobias' perspective, which doesn't make sense to be, because the first two novels are from Tris' perspective only. I understand the concept of having two perspectives, so the reader can dive deeper into their world, but it is so poorly done. I can not differentiate between the two characters - when I am reading a chapter by Tobias, it could easily be Tris. There is no difference in the writing, it's like they are the same person - especially as it is written in first person.
I really wish I could give this 5 stars, because the first 2 books were excellent, however the last book was a let down, and I struggled to finish it. When I finished the last book, I felt disappointed. There was a beautiful metaphor in the ending, and yes it was a good ending...but it just didn't leave me happy. The ending made me sad. Sad for the characters, who really came to life for me, and sad because the last novel was such a let down.
on March 31, 2014
Some spoilers ahead!
I'm torn. There were some things I liked about this book, but it also felt kind of anticlimactic. I was at least expecting a big epic battle to overthrow the whole system and government, especially after being disappointed when there was no epic factionless uprising. I mean, why aren't people more upset and generally PISSED OFF that their whole existence was monitored, that their whole lives and society were basically fake? Instead they just accept it. Other reviews mention several plot holes and factual errors concerning the genetics and I do agree with osme of them. Roth definitively should have done some more research in this area. As a result, there is a sort of unfinished and rushed feeling to the book.
One thing I did enjoy though, was the romance between Tris and Tobias. I was really rooting for them and so I was even more devastated when Tris died (I kept fearing for Tobias to die) and they never got to explore their relationship further in a (at least more) peaceful setting. Reading about Tobias' reaction and what followed was just heartbreaking.
That being said, to some extent I understand why she felt like she had to sacrifice herself. At the core of herself, all Tris really wanted in life was to make her parents proud of her and in the end she did. But it was also SO STUPID!!! There would have been plenty things she could have done in honour of her parents were she alive! More even. And also: never ever EVER DROP YOUR WEAPON IN THAT KIND OF SITUATION!! I mean, come on! Seriously!!
Then again, I guess it's more realistic and (this word comes difficultly, bitterly) better if the ending is not 100 % perfect with everyone surviving, being happy and generally deciding that even though they endured gut-wrenching, heartbreaking and mentally straining duress it was a good day all in all.
As a whole: I have mixed feelings.
on March 28, 2014
People almost universally love the first two books and I agree so I'll leave it at that. Many people hate the 3rd book for two reasons: the ending, and lack of differentiation of the two main characters. I disagree concerning the ending. It was quite complex, very human and a real commentary on war, conflict, human society and healing. I just wasn't Hollywood. I slightly agree about the two main characters not being differentiated. The narrators voice is quite similar to Tris, so when we are in Tris's head, it feels quite natural and you get lost in the character. When the narrator moves into Tobias's head, the voice doesn't shift enough, isn't distinct enough. This made it difficult to feel that you were experiencing a different character. However, this error was mitigated by the fact that the 3rd story was just as engaging, just as complex as the first two. For this reason, I remained engrossed in the story though I recognized that there was a problem with the differentiation. It just wasn't a big enough problem to separate me from the experience of the story.
on August 20, 2014
(SPOILER FREE, as much as possible) Where to begin …
I really enjoyed the first book, liked the second well enough, but the series fell flat in the third installment.
DIVERGENT (5 STARS) The first book is interesting and the character development strong. I enjoyed all of the characters, even the more despicable ones, as the author did a great job of making dynamic primary and secondary characters. The world she built is interesting, and felt real and alive. I loved seeing the growth of the characters as the new experiences broadened their horizons. The ending was fast paced and poignant. I really enjoyed this book and would recommend it, but…
INSURGENT (4 STARS) I enjoyed the second book, but not as much as the first. We are introduced to more of the factions and begin to get a stronger feel for the strengths and weaknesses of each faction, as well as the faction system itself. Seeing more of this broken world was fascinating. I became frustrated with the Tris and Four, but still enjoyed their journey. The end, though good, left me feeling like "haven't we done this before?". The world crumbles, where to go next. I enjoyed the second book, but …
ALLEGIANT (2 STARS) I agree with every review regarding the POV. I have read a number of books in which the point of view switches in order to get a broader picture of the conflicts and situations at hand. Most succeed. Roth did not. Tris and Four sound so similar that it was difficult to remember which was narrating. The plot itself was ok, but I expected more … well, just more. The plot becomes ridiculously complex, while at the same time under-explored. And the introduction of so many new characters, settings, etc. distract greatly from the development of our now robotic main characters. Whatever growth of character we found in the first book and, to a lesser degree, in the second, is completely absent in the third installment. The strong characters we know and love have been replaced by shadows of their former selves. We see an abundance of weaknesses, with very little growth. I was disappointed in the ending. It left me feeling flat. It drags what could have been a memorable series into the realm of mediocrity. I had read reviews warning me not to read the third installment, and I wish that I had heeded those warnings.
on September 22, 2014
The initial book is interesting, if a bit formulaic. After the author finishes fleshing out the world, it becomes clear the author didn't think things all the way through. Like the rest of the dystopian young adult fiction out there, the society could not possibly exist with the numbers of each caste we're shown. Economics and sociology are conveniently forgotten in order to allow the author's heavy handed philosophy to work.
The female protagonist is the typical young adult blank slate and follows a rather dull love story throughout the books. In the third book, the author suddenly decides to abandon narrating only from the main protagonist's POV and alternates following the female protagonist and her male love interest. The second and third books manage to rehash the same theme (and even some of the plot points) from the first books a la Hunger Games.
Leave this book for the young adults.