Saturday, November 30, 2013

Allegiant by Veronica Roth

How much does the ending of a book influence whether or not you liked that book?  I try not to make that the deciding factor, but I am discovering that may be impossible for me.  Remember when I whined about the ending of These Is My Words by Nancy E. Turner?  I loved that book, but the ending made me angry, not just because I had come to care about the characters, but because I didn't understand why an author would choose to take such an important character away, both from the readers and the other characters.  Yes, yes.  I know it's fiction, but you know that's not the point.  You and I both know we read because we love immersing ourselves into the lives of these characters and allowing them to become real to us. 
In Allegiant  by Veronica Roth, the third and final book in the Divergent series, Ms. Roth makes what I am sure were some very difficult decisions.  Writing is a complicated process and sometimes characters take the writer on a journey he or she never expected.  I can understand that.  I can also understand that a writer often has very good reasons for his or her actions.  You can even read Ms. Roth's explanations here if you would like, but please be aware that the spoilers are significant.

So what can I tell you about this book without dwelling too much on the ending (too late!)?  Well, I will tell you that even before I got to that part, I was a little disappointed in the track of the story.  It just felt like it was missing something, depth maybe.  At one point, I really felt like perhaps the author had gotten off on a tangent.  Of course that could have all been brought to a resolution that would have been wonderful and I would have been thrilled with the twists and turns if it had all turned out in the end.

Okay, it's time to face it.  I am one of those nerds who needs a happy ending.  I don't expect everyone to live happily ever after, but I do think that someone should be happy.  That's why I read fiction, after all.  There is enough unhappiness in the world and I just want to escape for a bit, go on an adventure, be saddened or angered that a secondary or tertiary character dies and then smile through tears when the main characters go on to live happy lives.  Is that too much to ask? 

I am, of course, not alone in my feelings about this book.  Twitter and the blogosphere had fits about it.  I saw one tweet that said, "I feel like I should wear a badge today saying 'I finished #Allegiant.  Hug me.'"  I liked that one.  One reader said, "I feel betrayed by the author."  Another claimed that she would never reread this series again because, while she loved the first two books, they have been ruined for her.  Forever.  From what I understand, there have even been death threats.  Now that is craziness.  Let's take a breath people.

So what part will this play with the success of the film being released in March?  That is a good question, but my guess is that six months is just the right amount of time for people too come to terms with the end of the series.  Have you read it yet?  What did you think?  Do you need a book to have a happy ending to feel it was worth your time?  What do you think about the fan reaction (excepting of course the death threats- we all know those people are nut jobs)?

No comments: