I often think that I am too lenient on the series that I really love. There is one notable example in the past where I didn't love the finale but raved about it anyway. I was so afraid of being disappointed that I wouldn't admit that I wasn't thrilled with how it ended.
I was really afraid that this would be the case with Allegiant. It's, perhaps, cynical of me to go into a book expecting to be disappointed while simultaneously being terrified of it. But there it is.
I really didn't need to be worried.
Also, SPOILERS. Oh, the SPOILERS.
After finishing this book I spent twenty minutes wandering my apartment with my hands pressed to my chest. I needed the time to recover. It was only after that that I could even touch the book.
I'm not recovered. But I have put the cover back on it.
I still can't open it.
I know a lot of people who won't like this. It's not quite like the others. There was one point in it that I was afraid I would have to give it four stars instead of five. Then it proved itself beyond my wildest imagination.
But it shattered something in my chest. And I'm having a hard time writing this post without dissolving into tears. I'm not a huge crier but I do tend to get hopeless wrapped up in books.
It's easy in hindsight, and maybe for people who read books always trying to predict what will happen (I don't do that), to see how so much of the series was leading to this. But I think Roth made the moment that much more unbearable by the all of the little moments. When others told Tris how good she was for him. By not giving them a goodbye-goodbye. By this being the book where they realized how hard it would be but how worth it it was for them to be together. It was really the perfect ending but my heart is so broken.
The moment when Tris died didn't seem real. It's not until Tobias learns what happens that everything comes crashing down Roth did such a stunning job of holding that moment back. It hits so hard and it lingers. It's especially hard that she survives the death serum to be shot (though Johanna's comment about living by the gun comes to mind).
I was a bit skeptical about all of the genetics in this book. It was a definite turn away from the focus on humanity. I mean, the focus is still there but it's clouded by the science, by the technicality of it. But I think this makes the emotional, human moments that much stronger.
I love Tris. Love her. She's so strong but the amazing combination of certain and uncertain of herself. She makes mistakes and has problems admitting them but always sees what she has to do. Sacrificing herself was perfect. But it was palpable how much it hurt both her and Tobias to do it. I've always found it way easier to identify with her than a lot of other YA heroines. And even when we're in Tobias' head I stand by her.
Getting into Four's head was really interesting. We already knew that he saw himself differently than Tris saw him but getting to see that first hand was different. He really doesn't see himself half as strong as Tris sees him. And I understand not being Divergent is a blow to him and seeing him struggle is such a contrast to seeing Tris remark how perfectly Abnegation and Dauntless he is and that is a perfect comment about humanity. But I love him and his struggle to reconcile himself. To trust other people's judgement and know when the right time to act is.
One of the things I really loved about this book as an ending is that it's not perfect. They never found a perfect solution. It's still problematic. As Four points out what they did isn't much better than that the Bureau planned to do. But it was the best solution that could come up with.
I want to say so much more about this but I'm keep crying and maybe I need a little bit of distance. But I don't think I'm going easy on this.
So, without a doubt, I give Allegiant a rating of Beyond Epic.
Writing this I've noticed that I can't call Four Tobias unless it's in relation to Tris. Because that is how it works.
I am already dying to reread this but I can't do it yet. I can't bring myself to reopen the book. Not until I can think about it without sobbing. I mentioned after I read Divergent that I realized what a five star book really should be, that it reminded me. Allegiant did that too.
Also, obviously I didn't read Wuthering Heights. I realized with my family visiting I would never finish it before Allegiant so I waited.