So, I tried to title this so that no one would accidentally click this but just in case…
Now that that is out of the way…
A while ago, I read Allegiant by Veronica Roth and added it to my long list of reviews to write. As I thought about it, I realized that my entire review was being warped by my response to the huge backlash that followed the edge of the series. I know I’m late to the party, but I still want to talk about this because I’ve been using Allegiant as an example of something in a lot of conversations lately.
I am the first one to tell you that I like happy endings. Sad books make me … sad, of course, and really unhappy. When I get invested in characters, I want those characters to make it. I want those characters to survive. I want their endings to be tied up in the end with a bow and–if I’m lucky–a wedding and seven kids. So of course that’s what I wanted to for Tris and Four.
However, here’s the thing about that ending: it’s what I expected.
What struck me–after I was done sobbing over the end–was exactly that fact. If Tris hadn’t made the choice she did, THAT was what would have thrown me and made me upset.
Authors have the unenviable task of appeasing their readers and staying true to their characters. Sometimes, those wishes coincide and everyone leaves happily. Sometimes, this is not the case and the choice the author makes will have the biggest impact of the entire book/series/what-have-you. For me, it is more of a betrayal to have the characters betray themselves then “betray” the ending the readers would want.
Tris wouldn’t have been Tris if she had let Caleb sacrifice himself. Veronica Roth–thank God–understood that. I can only imagine how heartbreaking it was to write that scene, when I’m sure she too just wanted Tris and Four to run off into the sunset. If this had not been the ending, I think my overall impression of the series would have been “good.” But because Roth stood by her characters like this, I think I’ll have to give it a “great” recommendation simply based on how much I respect this decision.
Okay, disclaimer time. Much of the motivation to write this post comes from my desire to talk to someone about this ending. So, seriously, comment and tell me what you think!