This might be more of a ramble than a discussion but I felt like putting my thoughts out there. I can't review this book--I'm too emotionally drained and, honestly, how do you even review this?-- but I still want to talk about it. So, if you haven't read Allegiant, stop reading now.
I was aware of the controversy surrounding this book even before I read a single page of it. To be honest, all it did was terrify me. I knew that readers were less than thrilled with the way the series ended and they have been very vocal about it. Most of my friends on Goodreads have been unable to rate it, claiming that they have to process it and come back to it later. I only received the book yesterday, a day after its release day, but everyone's opinions were clouding my own before I even opened the box. I know some spoilers were posted on Tumblr (which I didn't see) and people did not respond very well to them or to the book.
Now I'm going to tell you why I don't agree with most of you out there and why I feel like Veronica Roth made the right choice. Please don't hurt me:
For starters, I think the ending is thought-provoking and fitting to the world and the story. I've never felt like Veronica Roth has sugar-coated anything. You know that their world is not ideal; that it is corrupted, tough, and deadly. Also, I feel like the ending is meant as a way to start a conversation. I just finished the book so I've only seen a very small amount of feedback about it but I know that everyone is very shocked and some are very pissed off. I think these reactions are great! It means that you care enough about the characters and about this series to be deeply affected by the way it ended. I understand that. I just feel like some people can't see that the heart-wrenching conclusion makes sense.
Did I want Tris to die? Of course not. Did I think she was going to die at the end of Allegiant? Yes. When I heard about "the big spoiler" and people's reaction to it, I knew that only one thing could enrage so many fans: the death of a main character. So, it was either Tris or Tobias. I felt like the end of one of them (or maybe both) was imminent the second I found out about the two POVs. I didn't see any other reason for it. While I wasn't sure which one was going to die, the second part of the book made me lean towards Tris. I don't know about you but I think her death makes sense. Yes, she was the main character. Yes, her relationship with Tobias was...difficult yet beautiful. Yes, I loved her. But none of that matters. To me, her death is realistic. Sometimes you lose people you love, people you care about so much that you can't imagine living a single minute without them. We are well aware that so many important people die in this series. Veronica Roth is not shy about killing characters and I think it adds a special and realistic layer to her stories. Just because you're the good guy doesn't mean you'll survive, you know? It just means you're willing to die for the greater good. She shows you the pain of those left behind, first when Tris loses her parents and then when Tobias loses Tris (which just about broke me in half). I can't even think about Tobias and that last moment they had together. I still get emotional when I replay those chapters in my mind. It reminded me that you never know what'll happen tomorrow, or a week from now, or if you'll ever see that special someone again after saying goodbye. It hurts because the pain is so real and I completely understand why Veronica chose to end the series this way.
What I love so much about Tris is that she's a strong female character. She's selfless, brave, passionate, stubborn, and so very broken. Her last scene represented every aspect of her personality so well. She sacrificed herself in the same way her parents gave up their lives for her. I'm not going to lie, I put the book down, walked away from it, locked myself in the bathroom, and cried like a baby. I'm not even ashamed of this. I learned so much from her bravery and her journey that I felt like I knew her. I think that's when you know a writer has done an exceptional job at creating a character and a world that any reader can get claim as their own. I'm still going over the entire book in mind and I'm heartbroken. However, I like that I have such strong emotions about it because it means that it touched me in a very deep way and it'll stay with me for a long time. I won't dismiss it as a just-another-happy-ending series. I'm going to reread it next year, think about it, dissect it, appreciate it for what it is, and embrace the good, the bad, and the ugly.
If you read it, what do you think? Do you have a favorite (or least favorite) scene? And, most importantly, did you cry?! :)
Edit: Veronica Roth made a blog post about the ending of Allegiant. Check it out here.