A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
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.
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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?
- Author: Veronica Roth
- Genre: Science Fiction
- Topics: Friendship, Great Boy Role Models, Great Girl Role Models
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
- Publication date: October 22, 2013
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 13 - 17
- Number of pages: 544
- Available on: Nook, Audiobook (unabridged), Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
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