I was just about to start reading ALLEGIANT, the last of the DIVERGENT trilogy by Veronica Roth, when the news broke that the book would be broken into two movies. To say I was surprised that Lionsgate, the company behind splitting the final books of both TWILIGHT and THE HUNGER GAMES, was splitting the final book of their latest cash cow would not be true at all. In fact, I was surprised they hadn’t already announced it.
The news, though, came with a deluge of opinions about whether or not this was just a bad idea or the very worst idea known to man. It was apparent that it was one or the other, and nothing in between. Given that the internet will never be a spoiler-free place, I came very close to accidentally letting myself be too influenced by what other people think. So I stayed strong and bookmarked the articles, and vowed to read them after the book.
Having now finished the book, I can say this:
The internet is 95% full of people who seriously overreact for no good reason.
Either that or I’m part of the 5% that tends to under-react.
I’m good with it, any way you look at it.
I do get that ALLEGIANT contained an awful lot of telling rather than showing and I get that there wasn’t as much action and I get that it probably didn’t have the ever elusive but always important happily ever after that the young adults the book is intended for probably wanted.
It was still a fantastic book.
Because of what it’s flaws, I really do think that was part of the reason I liked it as much as I did.
If there’s one common theme of Roth’s writing in these books I think it is that life isn’t perfect. It’s gritty and it’s rough. Even when love and hope shine through, there is always a chance that the other side will show up and tear everything to pieces. That was set out in DIVERGENT and it’s how ALLEGIANT finishes. The point of it all seems to be that what really matters is what you make both of the grittiness and of the love. If you can make the best of both, and not everyone will have the same “best”, then you can live your life with your head held high.
I do admit to three or four fistfuls of snotty tissues when I stayed up until two in the morning finishing this book. There were times when I couldn’t see the page through my tears. That’s what I like in a book, though. I like to feel raw emotion. I like it when not everything is tied up with a pretty bow. I like it when characters, people, I’ve grown to care about can take the worst thing known to man and stand tall above it. Even if it costs me a sleepless night.
That’s what makes a book for me.
And that is why this series of books is one I will return to again and again.