Reading Peer Pressure and Thoughts on Allegiant

November 20, 2013 On blogging 17 ★★½

Allegiant by Veronica Roth
Series: Divergent # 3
Published by Katherine Tegen Books on October 22, 2013
Genres: Dystopia
Pages: 526
Format: Hardcover
Source: Library
Goodreads
two-half-stars
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.

Do you ever read books, not because you necessarily want to, but because you feel it’s your duty as a blogger?  This is what Allegiant did to me.  I liked Divergent and Insurgent well enough, but I did not feel any particular passion for them.  And since I read them before I started blogging, it was a choice, but not an obligation.  I would have been perfectly fine throwing in the towel after Insurgent, but all of the hype surrounding Allegiant made it impossible for me to do that.  I was worried I’d feel left out of all the blogger conversations about the book.  And TEATIME!!!  What on earth would I do when Margot and Aubry did their Allegiant-themed Tea Time???  So, I decided I had to read this book.  (If you need more evidence about how easily I can be swayed by peer pressure, check out my Veronica Mars Kickstarter post.)

There was a problem, though.  I barely remembered the first two books.  I didn’t have an interest in re-reading them, so I caught up by way of online synopses.  I picked up Allegiant on release day at my library, and I read about ten pages the first week.  Then maybe twenty more pages the second week.  And then the due date was creeping up on me, and I still had nearly 500 pages to go.  I forged ahead, even as I became increasingly disinterested.  If I could describe Allegiant’s plot in one word, it would be: SERUM.   So many damn serums!  Death serums, truth serums; it was serum on top of serum.  What?  Were you expecting me to describe the book with a word like rebellion, freedom, factions, or even simply, Tris?

In another month or so, I won’t remember much about Allegiant.  What I WILL remember, however, will be the ending.  You know, the ending that resulted in hundreds of one star reviews on Amazon and death threats to Veronica Roth.  Shall we discuss it a bit more?  It’s time for your:

SPOILER ALERT!!!

I somehow managed to avoid the online spoilers, even though I was on Twitter during the height of the death threat insanity.  But it was obvious: someone was going to die.  I figured it had to be Four, and not once did it occur to me that Roth would kill off Tris.  I appreciated the element of surprise, even though, in hindsight, it should have been obvious that Tris was a goner when Roth announced that the story would be narrated by both Tris and Four.  And it seems so obvious now that OF COURSE Tris would sacrifice herself – even (or maybe especially) to save her brother.  It was a fitting and appropriate end to Tris’s life.

I do wonder how the absurd rage directed towards Roth will affect other authors.  Any publicity is good publicity, as they say, and Roth sold a shitload of books, but I wonder if she anticipated the intensity of the reaction, and I wonder how many authors would be willing to accept the rage in exchange for massive book sales.  (Many of them?  All of them?)  What seems inevitable, though, is that it will be a while before another author will attempt the dual POV technique to handle an MC death, now that we know to be alert for it.

IT’S SAFE TO COME BACK NOW

I’d love to hear your thoughts.  Do you ever read books out of peer pressure?  And how did you feel about Allegiant – both in general, and about the ending, in particular.  (If you do comment on the ending, please be sure to note “Spoiler” at the beginning of your comment.)

Stephanie

17 Responses to “Reading Peer Pressure and Thoughts on Allegiant”

  1. Caroline

    First I have to ask if you’ve watched Veronica Mars yet? If not I’m using my pressure as a peer to insist you watch it! Lol. It’s so much better than it has any right to be! Go Veronica Mars! Ok. I’m done on the VM front.

    I definitely feel pressured to read books with a ton of hype surrounding them. Luckily I’ve really liked almost (the exception being Fify Shades of Gray ick!) all of them!!

    *SPOILERS!!!!!*

    Now for the ending of Allegiant. I have to say I missed the news of Roth’s death threats, but it’s sadly not surprising. Bibliophiles get crazy! I personally hated the fact that Tris died. I get why Roth did it, but I was just so pissed about it! I loved the first two books and was really excited for this one. It’s funny, I’ve been in a reading rut the last few weeks so even though I was excited I had basically the same reading experience as you. Got it from the library and took forever to read it and then read it very quickly before I had to get it back. Generally I try not to be too hard on authors when it comes to endings of series’ that I love because I feel it’s their story and I’m just happy to experience it, but Tris dying just made me mad. The whole story was hers, always, and then all of a sudden it was Four’s story and it weirded me out. The dual POV also detracted from Four for me. I LOVED him in the first two books, but he lost some of his brooding mystery with his POV. I also kept thinking the whole time that there better be a reason for this dual POV other than the fact it seems to be the new trend in popular books, but then once she died and I realized that was the reason I was most definitely not satisfied.

    Ok. Sorry. That was a ridiculously long rant. I haven’t written anything yet about Allegiant on my blog so it feels so good to get it all out.
    Caroline recently posted…Shalini Boland’s ‘The Perimeter’ Book Blitz: Author Interview & GiveawayMy Profile

    • Stephanie

      I have not seen a single episode of Veronica Mars yet. It’s on my to do list, especially since I went nuts during the Kickstarter campaign and bought tickets to the premier. Can you say…buyer’s remorse???

      One thing I forgot to mention about the dual POV was how hard it was to tell who was narrating. It seemed like Tris and Four were the same person!

      Thanks for sharing your rant. 🙂 It sucks to be disappointed, and I’m sorry that was your experience.

  2. Whitley

    “it will be a while before another author will attempt the dual POV technique to handle an MC death, now that we know to be alert for it.”
    Now they’ll wait until after the death to give us the other POV. Oops.

    I’ve read books due to peer pressure before. (Well, in addition to the ones I let people vote on.) Generally I end up disappointed, but I keep doing it anyway. I get the feeling the next book that I just HAVE to read because everyone else already has will be These Broken Stars.

    I stopped reading after Divergent, and I had no desire to continue. The utter lack of logic that book displays makes me laugh at all the people who cried WTF in Insurgent and Allegiant. I kept thinking “well, what did you expect?” I might have been able to overlook the logic gaps and enjoy the stories anyway, but the descriptions of Tris’s “training” just sent me into too much of a rage. Then again, having been through basic training myself, I have special reason to find those parts glaringly faulty. (BUT SERIOUSLY, YO, DON’T EVER POINT A GUN AT SOMEONE JUST FOR SHITS AND GIGGLES, LIKE, EVER, YOU DO NOT DO THAT, EVER EVER EVER EVER.)
    Whitley recently posted…Vampire Academy versus House of Night. Which do you pick and why?My Profile

    • Stephanie

      I haven’t read These Broken Stars yet, but I’ve heard nothing but raves. Let’s hope that we’re not disappointed!

  3. Tiffany

    I read ALOT of things based on peer pressure and it usually doesn’t work out for me. I have not caved on this series yet, but my sisters are trying. But…I did watch and love Veronica Mars and HATED how the series ended, so I can’t wait for the movie. But I will warn you, the first season is far and away the best!
    Tiffany recently posted…XYZ: A Detective Story: 4 StarsMy Profile

    • Stephanie

      Uh oh – That makes me a little nervous to watch VM! It’s no fun when the first season is the only good one, because you keep hanging in there, waiting to experience the magic again.

  4. Greg

    SPOILER

    On the one hand I admire the author for having the guts to kill her MC if that’s where she honestly wanted to go with the story. I can also understand the outrage among fans, although the more extreme reactions are puzzling. I DO know that I probably won’t read this series anytime soon, knowing what I know, and that’s OK. I was on the fence anyway, kinda wanting to read the series before the movie but not really feeling any urgency (other than feeling out the loop when everyone talks about it).

    It’s been interesting to see all the goodwill this series had before Allegiant, and then THAT happened and everyone is now horrified and or pissed. Roth must have known she would take some heat for this, although she probably didn’t anticipate how much. Similar to when GRRM killed off Ned Stark, people talk about throwing their book across the room. 🙂 There must have been something about this series that generated so much love for it, at least the first two times around.

    At this point I’ll probably just see the movies and call it good. 🙂 I feel bad for readers who really loved that character though…
    Greg recently posted…Review: BlythewoodMy Profile

    • Stephanie

      Did you find out the ending of Allegiant intentionally? I hope so! I’d hate to know that it was spoiled for you in the event that you decide to read the series.

      And you’re right that Roth probably did not anticipate the crazy reactions. But it was an unusual choice for a YA book, and it will probably make other authors considering the same think twice.

      I haven’t read the Song of Ice and Fire books yet, but I’m obsessed with the show. I was completely shocked by Ned’s death on the screen, and I’m wondering if reading it will have a more powerful impact, even though I know it’s coming.

      • Greg

        Yeah, I spoiled myself- wasn’t really seeking the spoilers but didn’t avoid them either. I knew I wasn’t going to read the books imminently, so when I saw some early reviews pop up I clicked on ’em since I was curious. 🙂

        You’re in for a treat with Ice and Fire. Ned’s memories, which you don’t really get in the show, are interesting and hint at deeper things. And there’s so much more to Jon’s story- well everyone’s really. I’m a fanboy for this series if there ever was one!
        Greg recently posted…Review: Tintin in TibetMy Profile

  5. Diane

    I read Twilight because of peer pressure and have very much regretted those hours I will never get back.

    SPOILERS

    Ok, I LOVED Divergent. Loved it. Loved Four. Best male YA character I had read in a long time. Insurgent, was ok. It wasn’t good and wasn’t bad. It didn’t do anything, just served as a way to get to Allegiant, or so I thought.

    Allegiant. Ugh. Terrible. From not being able to differentiate between Tris and Tobias from chapter to chapter, to the all-over-the-place plot, to the unjustified killing of the main character – this whole book needed a re-write. I wasn’t so invested in Tris that I cared if she died or not. However, if you’re going to kill your main character, please do it for a reason. There are about a million other ways Tris could have died. The set up was weak. The fact that Caleb wasn’t able to redeem himself was weak. The fact that SERUM. Seriously, enough with the serum. Even if Tris could beat the death serum, why? Why would she sacrifice herself. Her brother doesn’t love her, and even if she does love him, and thinks she’s invincible, still no reason to not let him TRY. If only Caleb had tried, if only he had been killed in action, if only Tris’s only option was to do it herself. If only that, it would have been a justified death. But no.

  6. tonyalee

    Yes, I have def been pressured to read books as a blogger. I read both books in this series before blogging but I have NO interest to finish the series. Honestly, I want to read it more now that I know the ending. But my closet blogger friends and other blogs I frequent, all feel the same way. So, I don’t think (pressure or not) that I will even read it at all.

    I heard about the ending and I applaud her for taking such a gamble on doing it. I have heard it wasn’t done.. in the best of ways though haha and it has caused a lot of people to be pissed about it. *shrug*
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  7. Nikki @ Foil the Plot

    I sort of felt the same way about this series as you did–it was entertaining but not mindblowing. At first I thought it was because I read them right after The Hunger Games when I had a serious THG hangover, but when I went back and re-read the first two, I found myself not all that impressed. It’s hard because you WANT to like/love them as much as everyone else then when you don’t, you wonder if there’s something wrong with you (or atleast, I do).

    Allegiant was probably my least favourite of the series BUT I do give Roth majour props for that ending. That took some serious balls to publish. I know it’s not very popular with the super fans but at least she raised the stakes while staying true to the MC. A lot of popular authors tend to make the MC’s invincible so we never truly fear for them when we SHOULD be fearing for them. And this is why I have mad respect for authors like George R.R. Martin and Roth — they have the guts to make us FEEL things, even if those things aren’t always happy things. So yeah, not my favourite book but Roth earned some street cred with me for her boldness.

  8. Isa

    Spoiler

    I really liked Divergent and Insurgent, despite it’s many flaws it was still highly entertaining and enjoyable and Tris was a character I was drawn to. I loved reading about it her, you would think the end of Allegiant would be the most upsetting thing for me but it was the world building. Honestly, by the end I didn’t even feel anything towards Tris which is extremely unfortunate. I couldn’t grasp the world or the characterizations of the adults and I couldn’t ignore the gaps and plot holes in this book, it was overwhelming. LOl yeah there were so many serums, is that just the cure all for everything? *sigh*

    Twitter was blowing up about Allegiant, when John Green had to defend it I was like “Whoa what the hell happened”. The death threats were so extreme and undeserved.

    Anyhow, the books I’m currently feeling pressured to read are The Darkest Mind and Throne of Glass…even Shatter Me is popping up in my head occasionally. At least, I’m interested in The Darkest Minds but Shatter Me sounded like something I would never pick up but the hype, I can’t escape it. Sometimes, it’s not so much the pressure but the curiosity as well, why is a book hyped the way it is.
    Isa recently posted…Review: AllegiantMy Profile

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