Instead of Talking about NaNoWriMo, Let’s Chat About ALLEGIANT

Filed under: Book Reviews, Check-it-out, Pondering, Publishing, Reading, YA Books, Young Adult (YA)

Yesterday I had this great dream and it was about today’s blog post. I remember being really excited about coming up with such a crazy awesome idea, but now…



Photo on 2009-10-22 at 10.17


So instead, I thought I’d talk about something that is not NaNoWriMo–which is hard–because when you’re focused on something it tends to be on your mind a lot. But I’m going to do it! Or not do it. You know what I mean.

Any hoo, next on my list of topics I’ve been dying to talk about is the last book in the DIVERGENT trilogy, ALLEGIANT by Veronica Roth.



Only I have a HUGE problem. I don’t feel like I can talk to you about it the way I’d like. There are spoilers I don’t want to slip and give away. But I still want to anyway because there are so many reasons why this  book is fascinating for me. There were things I loved, things I hated. Moments that were wasted and moments where I completely respected the author’s guts. Over all, the book itself had some high points and some not as high points for me. But it’s the response of the studio audience that I find the most intriguing, baffling, slightly horrifying, and completely fascinating. Readers have been up in arms about a variety of things, but particularly the ending. This passionate response raises so many questions for me. What is an author’s obligation to it’s readers? Has that changed with the accessibility of intimate contact through social media? Can anyone write a trilogy where all three books satisfy most readers? Is it the nature of the beast that some readers will always be unhappy? What does a controversial ending mean for the author’s next project? Are there “rules” that shouldn’t be broken? Will all the unrest increase sales or decrease them? Did you love it or hate it or were you somewhere in between?

If you’ve read Allegiant and want to talk about it–please do–I’m dying over here for stimulating ALLEGIANT conversation. But please be sensitive to others and speak vaguely or clearly post spoilers in the comments. And remember that no matter what your thoughts are on the book, Veronica Roth is a fabulous human being who gives so much to the kid lit community. Please be respectful of her . Thank you–you rock!!!!



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  1. I absolutely loved this series. I loved the ending and I am so amazed that a writer would do what she needs to do to close the series for herself, even if it might make her readers upset. Was I sad, sure I was, but I think Roth did what was necessary. It’s a Dystopian world, it’s not all HEA and people need to realize that. Sometimes things need to happen that readers might not like. Giving a HEA is sometimes a cop out, in my opinion. I felt this way with Clockwork Princess. The epilogue killed that book for me and I wish it didn’t exist at all. Clare was trying to make all her readers happy, commendable, yes, but not a smart move if you’re asking me. I want to be wow’ed. I want to be shocked. I want to watch the author take a chance and do what they feel is necessary to end their series. I have been very disappointed with trilogies lately (Unearthly, The Infernal Devices, Delirium) so I was really happy to be totally and completely thrilled with how this series ended. You can read my review here: I tried to keep it spoiler free, but I can’t make promises that it might not trigger things.

    • I’m a fan of the ending and felt exactly as you did! It was brave and right and I was supposed to feel the way I did. I thought the middle lagged for me. I think I wanted much more of what was going on in the outside world and less of the small unimportant dynamics between the characters. That could have happened in the extension of the world building. And there was one spot between Tris and Four where her attitude really turned me off. I think perhaps Roth was so focused on getting to the ending, she didn’t stop to see everything around her, missing some great opportunities, but I still really enjoyed the book and series. Now for the movie…

      • I agree that there was some lagging in the middle for sure and I would have liked to see more of the outside, show me what they were fighting for. And Tris did piss me off at times, b/c she got so selfish even though she thought she was being selfless. I have heard there are people boycotting the movie b/c they were so upset with this book. I will not be one of those people. I do think that they will most likely change the ending of the final movie if they continue to make them. I’m pretty sure people won’t want to see it if there is no HEA.

        • IMHO That’s just silly. I can’t wait for the movie and I’m always going to be a big fan of Roth!

          • I am in total agreement with you! I can’t wait for the movie and I will always be a fan of Roth and read whatever she writes. I have two or three friends who will not read anything written by her ever again! Seriously people? Give her her artistic license. AND, just because she ended this series one way does not mean she will end everything she writes in this way. It’s ridiculous!

  2. Honestly, I couldn’t get past the 13% mark of the book and quickly lost interest thereafter. I got online and asked people to spoil the end for me 🙂 I was really shocked with the quality of writing/editing. There was a lot of telling and very little showing, and it lacked the emotional and powerful imagery of the first book. I was pretty disappointed, and I hated writing the review I did on Goodreads (no spoilers) because I respect Roth’s vision. I have a major problem with her editors at this point. I don’t feel like they did their job.

    • It had some slow spots for me and maybe I don’t remember the details correctly, but I thought Roth’s voice was consistent in how she wrote in all three books. But this time I felt there were a lot of missed opportunities with the outside world and her characters. It reminded me of the last Harry Potter book where the kids were wandering around for so long in the woods. I just wanted more to happen in both. But ultimately I enjoyed reading it and I did love her ending. It worked for me and I was impressed she had the guts to do it her way–true to her writing. I also read it on audio because of my son, so maybe that played a roll. I’ve heard that people who were reading thought the voices of Tris and Four were too similar, but that wasn’t an issue with the audiobook.

      • There was so much “I feel” “I see” “I hear”. I counted over 30 instances in the first 10% of the book, and those are warning signs that she is telling the story, not showing. It read like a report of events, instead the prose she worked so hard on for Divergent. I read the first chapter of Divergent again after giving up on Allegiant, and it was clear that she had lost her way, writing-wise, by the third book. I’m very critical of such things, though. I want to feel what the characters are feeling. Don’t just tell me “I feel anxious”, write “My heart beat faster, and my palms broke out in a sweat.” I bet if you read the first chapter of Divergent and then the first chapter of Allegiant, you’ll see the difference.

        • I can see that–I’m not super sensitive to that but I understand. I also can only imagine the pressure that came along with that book. So, as long as it didn’t take away from the story for me, I was fine with it. But I completely get it, especially when the standard to get your foot in the door is so high.

  3. I did not read it yet…it’s on my to read list. But I do agree with you that Veronica Roth is an awesome human being. Just from a writer’s perspective I don’t think you can ever please everyone. You have to write what feels right to you so because the reader is not in my head with me how can I know what feels right to them? And that wasn’t an invitation…I have enough people talking inside my head! LOL. Oh, and love the picture 😉

    • You’ll have to let me know when you do read it. Before SCBWI in Feb. so we can chat about it LOL!

  4. I would post what I did say in one of my friends’ review. I do understand your stance, Mom and Brooke, but it had a different impact on me:

    I had my copy the day after it was released and I was just so excited though it pained me beyond what I was expecting. I wouldn’t say I hate V. Roth, I was partly-disappointed on what she did at the ending. It just crushed me. Shattered me, even. I was one of those that really did not agree with the ending. Well, I still can’t. I got an open-mind about it after V. Roth had stated her explanation on why she did such cruel ending (this is solely my opinion, no backlash please)… I understood. I accepted why she did it but it doesn’t mean I got to like what she did.

    Yes, it did show how brave, just everyone was. How realistic V. Roth had done in it. She did say, that it showed how brave Tris was, and I agree. After everything, she said it was just appropriate that was the ending; that after she had read Divergent, from that first book she already knew how she will end it. And looking back, the ending did suit what happened. Tris was depicted as brave, she overcame everything. But it just pained me deeply on how V. Roth ended it. That I even considered that (the ending) was somehow a pyrrhic victory. I am still deciding if I’ll take that back… well not really, as much as they were brave. As much as how it ended, I pity the one who was left behind. That after all that person had gone through, it felt almost empty because the one that you were fighting for was… gone.

    As for Tobias, kudos to him. I cried hard for him. I felt his pain, I felt his healing. *I am freaking teary-eyed just talking about Tobias*

    As much as I am tolerating the ending, because I have no choice but to accept it. I would still say I do not like the ending. As much as it was realistic and “appropriate” (as V. Roth said), I would totally dig a different ending, I mean the alternate HEA ending (well not really HEA, the one could had still survive) could be possible too, right? Look at Mockingjay, even if I didn’t like it that much, at least Suzanne Collins had putted an epilogue that suits it. They overcame everything, which if you want to be an optimist was a good thing. Plus, AFTER EVERYTHING. AFTER ALL THOSE DEVASTATION. STILL “THAT” FOR AN ENDING? I just can’t accept it that much. Like what I said, tolerable. At least, I’m in that part that I am trying to accept it. Even if it twists my gut every time I think about it.

    Cheers to Tobias! To Tris, Uriah, and everyone at the trilogy!
    Kudos, V. Roth even if you shattered my heart to bits.

    • Hey girl of mine–
      You own that, no backlash here–ever. V.R. should be honored you loved her characters so darn much. I did too. <3

      Some moments I think this partially comes down to WHY WE READ and WRITE. And there is a broad spectrum of reasons, many overlapping. It changes all the time. It's fluid like emotions. Sometimes I read because I want to be entertained or fall in love. Some days I read because I'm trying to find the answers. But there are also days when I read because I'm trying to find the question. Reasons to write are very similar. They come from a similar sampling of motivations. My best guess is that in order to be true to herself, V.R. was writing to get where SHE needed to go. Personally, I have not stood in the place where I have enough readers hanging on my every word to worry how that effects the future words I put on the page. But what I can tell you is that it reminds me very much of what a friend told me about parenting. She said…One way or another, your kids are going to therapy some day to complain about you. Isn't it better to be able to look them in the eye and say, sure--maybe I was wrong. But I believed in that decision. I owned it. I felt it was right. That resonates with me as a person.

      Some of the books that have stuck with me the longest in my life have been the ones that have wrecked me--but perhaps it's because they have allowed me the chance to rebuild something in myself along the way.

      Cheers to Tobias! To Tris, Uriah and everyone in the trilogy! Kudos, V. Roth because you shattered my heart to bits.

      Love you little one.

      • Hi Mom! 🙂

        Thank you, Mom :”> We both loved her characters <3 I love a story with a stable ground, a plot that is exciting, twists that can make me say: “I didn’t expect that!” but mostly, the characters. Honestly, in my opinion, the characters are the ones that get to navigate the stories. That’s why characters have a special part in my heart and mind *cheesy, I know* But these characters also are the ones that makes or breaks a story. A story might be beautiful but if a reader cannot connect with the characters or a particular character, wouldn’t that just feel too uninteresting to read?

        Moving on, I agree with you, Mom, about “Why we read and write.” Like you, I read for leisure, for entertainment and to find a question. I rarely read Dystopian, this was the second trilogy of that genre that I had read. So I really didn’t have any expectation other than compare it to The Hunger Games. So bear with me when I did (and still) say that I really was expecting a HEA (of some sort). I understand, V. Roth did write for what she thought was the best. Like what my friend said, V. Roth took a risk. In which I added, a risk that was not too welcomed; and a risk too much of a consequence to handle. Since I am still in that level where I am still swallowing the ending since I can’t help but choke on it or forcing it down to fully accept the ending… I get her. I know why she did it. But I still feel that aching in my chest whenever I remember how it ended, yes, for that person who was gone, that had been well-deserved. How brave that person was depicted but for the one left behind, how about that person? Then I realize, that maybe it wasn’t really a phyrric victory. That person won but not as shallow or empty as I thought. Yes, that person had too much to bear from the past to the present and the future but that person was depicted as brave too. The person was taken away and it shows, how will that person left behind survive? Can that person do that? The epilogue showed it. The epilogue said what was needed to be said. As much pain I can feel and console with that person. Even if I can’t still believe THAT happened, THAT ending. I’m having a more thorough look about what V. Roth was saying. But then again, still a tolerable ending for me.

        And oh, Mom, I comprehend that relation to the parenting skills. Like V. Roth, she believed in that decision. And I respect her for that. 🙂

        “Some of the books that have stuck with me the longest in my life have been the ones that have wrecked me–but perhaps it’s because they have allowed me the chance to rebuild something in myself along the way.”
        – I think you just said everything in that sentence. It also gives another door to look at another perspective. It was unexpected, well for me. But then, I’m thankful she did that. As much as I still didn’t like the ending, she did show that it is realistic. And for example, a cancer patient: that patient can be a survivor or not, but in the end, that patient was called brave. We all know that it’s painful and to know they’re fighting it was what made them courageous just like the characters there.

        I still have my mind welcoming both sides. I understand the other party and the other one. I can say, yeah, I was in that side who can’t accept it, but come to think of it, can you change it? No, right? So I’d say, like me, try and tolerate it. I’m not saying that they should like it. I mean, I didn’t like it either but I get what V. Roth was saying. What her stance was. Why she did it. She clarified it in a video: I was watching and listening every word she said. And that was an eye-opener for those who didn’t understood it at first. I admit I was one of those who was shaking my head (with tears, of course) and saying: “Why, V. Roth? Why did you do that?” (I know I posted that on Facebook and Twitter). But it goes to show that as a reader, it made an impact to me. All those that I was looking for in a book was given to me by V. Roth. She triggered my emotions, negative at first but bottomline, it just goes to show how much it affected me. I wouldn’t feel the disappointment if I didn’t connect with the characters and the story. I felt shattered because it somehow made its way to ingrain in my mind and my feelings on how and what happened in the book. I vaguely remember a quote/saying before: You feel something because you start to care. And as a reader who unconsciously captured by the books, I would say I care. Because I felt sorry for that person who was left behind. I was cheering for them to fight. Lastly, before it ended, as much as pain as I had been carrying. When the person who left behind tried to move on, tried to survive the years that had passed. And utter those last sentences *pauses and stares at the ceiling to try and stop the incoming tears*… I felt the character. Noticing, that I also tried to put my shoe in that character and felt what he was feeling and overcoming.

        The person left behind was healing. And I hope those who read it (and those who hated V. Roth – stop, please) listen or read that last sentences or the epilogue. Feel being healed or mended. Because it was what that person did: lamented, accepted and moved on.

        Love you too, Mom!

        P.S. So sorry that it was that long :p

    • So here’s the difference between what you have posted and what so many others have posted, you still give Roth the credit she deserves. Despite the fact that she broke your heart, you do allow her that creative license. From what I have seen of others, they just bash her and say that she’s a terrible author. This is not so. She is a wonderful writer with unique and amazing ideas who took a chance and made some people angry and others understood. If someone can realize that they might not have liked it but still allow others to enjoy it and still understand that the author did what she felt was needed, then I am impressed by that person. So I am impressed by you and how you handled it. I can’t say so for so many others. Tell me this, will you read other things she writes or do you feel like you can’t now because she might disappoint your or make you upset?

      • Thank you, Brooke. I think that I could not fathom not giving V. Roth the credit; after all it was still beautiful. I know I didn’t like the ending but it was still justifiable. I wouldn’t say those (bashing her – I did say I was disappointed and had that monologue of: “Why, V. Roth? Why?” and “That was such a cruel ending.”) But then again, those were just my opinions. I questioned “Why” and I did accept the ending, at first. But that video really was an eye-opener, I would take back that it wasn’t a cruel ending because like what I had mentioned and replied at Kim’s (*hi Mom*) reply, it was my second Dystopian read, and I know it’s not good to compare a book from another but of course, my interest was “What will be then ending? Will it be like The Hunger Games? How will their future be?” So when I read the ending. I was lost. I felt somehow betrayed too. That’s why I said it was cruel because I was “expecting a sort of HEA” scene and I didn’t receive it. But I would never question her writing – that she’s awful or something, that’s just downright derogatory. It was still beautiful, I am trying to accept the alternate (not usual type of) ending. After reading the ending for nth times and what Mom said on her reply: it was what she think was the ending; and so be it. She made it dramatically realistic. If a reader opens his or her eyes more and try to push the overwhelming emotions he or she felt from the epilogue (or even before the epilogue), he or she will see it was plausible. It was suitable and showed how brave all the characters were. Even the characters of Tobias’ Dad…

        “If someone can realize that they might not have liked it but still allow others to enjoy it and still understand that the author did what she felt was needed, then I am impressed by that person.”
        – This was like what Mom said. And I applaud you too. Because you both already accepted the ending from the first time you read it. You respected what V. Roth did. Thank you yet again because you said you were impressed by me and how I handled it. And the two of you made me more open-minded on what V. Roth was really saying. What she wanted, I as a reader, to know. I was too consumed by my emotions that I let it get the best of me. But then as I try to put the pieces together, it fits. The ending was good, superb even; because as much as that risk took her with such consequence, it worked. Yet, I’ll say (again), tolerable ending because I did say, if there would be an alternative ending I would still snatch that sort of HEA. But for closure wise, V. Roth did well. I hope those readers, who closed their minds regarding that matter will see this convo and have a metanoia (well-partly, since I’m still in that swallowing mode of taking what was fed at me). 🙂

        As for your question: Yes. Yes, I would definitely read what she’ll have next. This wouldn’t affect what she will be writing in the future. The Divergent trilogy would be closed by then. I would, like the person left behind, will be grieving for the lost that had come, then try to accept it to fully move on. This would be like J.K. Rowling, she was somewhat gotten that backlash for The Casual Vacancy, but those people should have put in mind that that was another story: not related to Harry Potter. So again, yes, I would read another V. Roth story.

        Oh gosh, sorry it’s also long!

        • Love you, Jassie. So glad we could all chat like this. This is one of the coolest things about books–the conversations they bring and the connections. (((((hugs))))))

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