Allegiant: Divergent, Book 3

Book review by
Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media
Allegiant: Divergent, Book 3 Book Poster Image
Controversial finale to a thrilling dystopian trilogy.
Popular with kids

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 8 reviews

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 62 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational value

More discussions about the way society runs, what a government should and should not do, and the dangers of genetic manipulation and dividing society into groups that are treated differently. Discrimination and prejudice are explored, as are the nature of long-lasting relationships, the difference between selfish and selfless sacrifice, and the importance of unconditional friendship and love.

Positive messages

There are some insightful messages in Allegiant about the importance of forgiveness; the idea that a steadfast, long-term relationship requires choosing to do the work to keep it honest and loving; the concept that there's nobility in working for the greater good; and the belief that identity means more than a bunch of adjectives but is about being a whole person with different personality traits, strengths, and weaknesses. Ultimately, this is a story of sacrifice, self-discovery, and love.

Positive role models & representations

Tris and Tobias/Four continue to act selflessly and courageously, but they also keep each other in check when they feel the other hasn't thought something through. Christina and Uriah are loyal friends to each other and to Tris and Tobias. Tris and Tobias have one of the most mature romantic relationships in young adult literature. They understand that love requires work, honesty, and commitment.

Violence

Like its predecessors, Allegiant definitely has a body count. Several characters whom readers know and care about are injured or killed. People are killed, paralyzed, or left comatose by explosions, gunshots, and/or poisonous serums.

Sex

There's lots of passionate kissing, making out, and musings on the nature of desire as well as one love scene that's more emotional than physical in its description.

Language

Infrequent cursing and insults include "s--t," "bulls--t," "damn," "stupid," and "fool."

Consumerism
Drinking, drugs & smoking

Some of the characters (who are still teens) drink -- and one of them is known for drinking heavily. Poisonous serums, which are injected or sprayed or inserted into food, have various effects, from pacifying people to erasing their memories to killing them.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Allegiant is the final installment in Veronica Roth's bestselling Divergent trilogy. Like the previous two books, Allegiant features a great deal of violence, including bombings, injuries, deaths, and memory erasures. Strong language is infrequent but includes "s--t," "bulls--t," and "damn." The central romance between Tris and Tobias grows into a mature physical relationship that includes some passionate kissing and more, but nothing's explicit. This trilogy should launch many a conversation about society, sacrifice, and love.

User Reviews

Parent of a 8, 10, and 12 year old Written bySLKbooklover January 18, 2014

Appropriate end to the series, but not as compelling as the first two books.

A little slower read than the first two books. Still good because you want to know how it all ends. You find out more about Tris' family and the whole se... Continue reading
Adult Written byWiseParent13 January 8, 2014

Concerned

The book should be for a more mature teenager like between 15 and 16 years of age not 13 because of the language and because of the love scenes.
Teen, 16 years old Written byrebma97 November 8, 2013

Disappointing conclusion

I was very excited to read Allegiant--I was such a big fan of Divergent and Insurgent--but after reading the first few chapters I was extremely disappointed. Ev... Continue reading
Kid, 12 years old November 16, 2013

read divergent

Veronica Roth emotionally wraps up the Divergent series.

What's the story?

ALLEGIANT picks up where Insurgent left off: Erudite control of the factions is over, and the Factionless, led by Tobias' mother, Evelyn, have emerged victorious. Those who helped the Erudite, including Tris' traitorous brother, Caleb, and Tobias' abusive father, Marcus, await judgment and possible execution. As the Factionless forcibly attempt to break down faction alliances, a band of revolutionary dissenters called the Allegiant hopes to depose Evelyn and reinstate a kinder, gentler form of faction rule. Tris and Tobias join a small group of Allegiant sympathizers headed out of the city to finally find out what exists beyond its borders. Once out of the city, Tris and Tobias discover that their lives and factions -- in what they now know is Chicago -- were part of something beyond their control. Told in alternating points of view between Tris and Tobias, the story follows them as they deal with new revelations, adversaries, and dangers that pose a threat not just to their relationship but also to everyone they left behind.

Is it any good?

Even if you've heard spoilers (and we hope you haven't!), the book is still worth reading to see how Roth ties up her loose ends. Final books in beloved series rarely go the "safe" route; they have to be memorable, and the authors often make risky decisions to give their characters and readers a worthy ending. Veronica Roth bravely closes out her trilogy by inserting a second perspective with Tobias' point of view and shakes things up with subplots and twists that force her characters into increasingly frustrating, confusing, and heartbreaking territory. It's clear that Allegiant, like Suzanne Collins' Mockingjay, is a polarizing finale, because in both novels external forces make characters act differently from what readers would expect, and in both novels the central love story is challenged by its biggest obstacles.

The change in perspective isn't smooth initially, and occasionally it's unclear who the narrator is, because Tobias/Four's voice isn't quite as distinct from Tris' as you might expect. But eventually it's clear why the double point of view works, and it's fascinating to witness how differently the characters process every new discovery. The author references moments from Divergent as a nod to her fans (as with Tobias teasingly calling Tris "Stiff," and both of them recalling the first time they touched or looked into each other's eyes). Tris and Tobias will forever remain one of the best-developed couples in young adult history and Divergent one of the genre's best examples of a series that has it all: action, romance, depth, and heart.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about loyalty and strength. What does it mean to Tris to be truly Divergent? What does her story say about being a whole person who accepts her strength, selflessness, courage, and honesty?

  • Tris and Tobias' love story is central to the book. What does Tris mean by a "choosing" vs. "falling into" a mature love? How are Tris and Four different from other teen-lit couples?

  • What did you think of the choices author Veronica Roth made for the sake of the story? Did you know what was going to happen before reading the book (due to published spoilers)? If not, what did you think of the plot resolution?

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