Before I go any further I have to admit that I read Allegiant at least one month before writing this review. Since I read it on my Kindle I kept forgetting to write a review. There is no way I am piling my Kindle in a stack of books waiting to be reviewed. I might want to read another book before getting down to the work of reviewing.
With that disclaimer, I still don’t like this series by Veronica Roth half as much as I love The Hunger Games. But, unlike the Twilight series, I will probably reread it at some point. To be honest, I’m a little fuzzy on the plot now. I remember feeling like it dragged. My oldest had to refresh my memory yesterday in great detail, even after I remembered.
Tris, Tobias, and their group get to the outside world and figure out that they are just part of a genetic experiment being run by the government. So far so good. Tris finds out that she is genetically pure and Tobias is not. And that is a problem because she can make a place for herself and he’s stuck at a certain level, a second class citizen.
Allegiant tries to become a book that focuses on overcoming discrimination and prejudice, all wrapped up in an amazing fast pace story. To an extent it succeeds and is successful. Millions of people have read it, and it’s going to be a movie. But I think it fails to be engaging enough to make a person think really deeply about the subject. My daughter was wrapped up in the disappointing ending and hasn’t mentioned a thing about the meatier subjects that could be introduced. A month later I can barely remember much except the disappointing ending. This is why it fails for me.
Books that have a lasting and crucial message speak to me in way that popular fiction doesn’t always. I know that The Hunger Games has been wildly successful, and I spent days thinking over some of the things Suzanne Collins had to say. While I might not be able to rattle off every detail of those three books, I can easily tell you the basic plot and lots of things that I found to be significant. The details and actions that made me think set the series apart from other series in popular fiction.
Maybe the reason I don’t like Allegiant as much as most people is the fact that as the series progressed the author beginning slipping in social messages. I think she began to see what it could have been and tried to make it that way. I don’t think she was as adept at it as she needed to be to create a seamless product that entertained and educated at the same time.
I felt that the discussion over genetically pure and impure was heavy-handed and uneven. I think it was laudable to introduce the subject because it can make people address the way they think about racism and class prejudice. On the impure side you have the extremists who want to blow people up. You have the ones living in abject poverty being apathetic fearful. But there wasn’t a real leader of any worth among them. Even Tobias gets swept away into the rhetoric instead of trying to use his obvious intelligence at find a solution. To make this subject really work there needed to be at least one clear-cut level-headed leader of the genetically impure, and I don’t remember there being any.
However, I did enjoy the story mostly. I see no reason not to read it again. I think that most people will enjoy it. There certainly was a lot less drinking and tattooing in this book, although I think Tris managed to lose her virtue. It’s vague, but it made me a little uncomfortable. Call me old-fashioned, but books for kids and teens should not have that in them. Actually neither should adult books.