Showing posts with label veronica roth. Show all posts
Showing posts with label veronica roth. Show all posts

Allegiant: What I Liked, What I Hated...

Allegiant: What did you like? Hate? Click to read post on

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I finished reading Allegiant, the third and final book in the Divergent trilogy by Veronica Roth, and would love to discuss it with you! We started a conversation on my Facebook page, but I thought the comment section below might lend more room for more discussion.

Tell us what you liked about the final novel AND what you didn't like (or hated). If you don't have an opinion you want to share, post anything about the series you'd like to share, or feel free to dispute mine (below).

Allegiant Spolier Alert!   from

** The following contains spoilers. **

Read no further if you don't want the novel/series ruined for you!

Here are the top four things I really liked and I kind of hated (maybe "hated" is too strong...definitely "disliked"):

1. LIKE: I like the "genetically damaged" vs. the "genetically pure" conflict that is exposed in Allegiant. It is a perfect example of how a group of people (i.e. the government) can convince a nation that one group is superior over the other.
  Sound familiar? White supremacists successfully delivered (and continue to deliver) the absurd message that all other races are inferior to whites and should not be allowed the same privileges. In fact, the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) is one of the leading groups in America that still preaches genetic purity.
  I think this conflict in the novel creates an opportunity to discuss how easily we can be manipulated into believing these warped ideologies. "Scientific proof" (i.e. the DNA analysis in Allegiant) can be extremely dangerous in promoting hatred toward a group of people. Science can prove many things; while it does show differences between people in DNA, it is the human interpretation of those differences that creates biases. For example, we can easily interpret the facts to show how diversity makes a person stronger rather than weaker.
DNA - image by Caroline Davis2010
Photo credit: Caroline Davis 2010
   HATE: While it offers up great discussions and learning opportunities, it can be confusing to the reader. Being "Divergent" (having a more diverse background that favors multiple factions/personality traits) is synonymous with being "genetically pure" (or "GP") in Allegiant. In real life, "genetic purity" (most often used in agriculture referring to seed quality) refers to genes that are not diverse–or have not diverged from their origins. It's confusing to reverse that thinking while you are reading.
  On top of that, the Bureau members don't treat Tris and the others differently. Why aren't they divided up into GPs and GDs? Why aren't they acting superior toward Caleb and Christina? We see Matthew acting that way toward Tobias, then Matthew turns out to be a supporter, so that doesn't really help reinforce that theme. The reader needs more examples of David or the other GP Bureau members acting superior to the GDs in Tris's group. For example, show us a scene in which Caleb is treated badly and Tris witnesses this. That would have helped Tris (and the reader) feel something other than disgust for her brother, and would have helped us hate the Bureau and eased the reader into Tris's final decision to sacrifice herself for him.
  I also think one of the GPs needed to address the fact that Marcus is GP, yet he's violent. How do they explain that? I would have liked Tris or Tobias to challenge David or Zoe or someone on this point.
2. LIKE: I like the idea of the dual narrative, having both Tobias and Tris's points-of-view. I kind of grew tired of Tris, so I welcomed seeing things from Tobias's perspective. That said...
   HATE: I can't tell the two narratives apart! Their voices are too similar, their thoughts practically interchangeable. I needed a more authentic "voice" for Tobias.
  Also, I don't think either perspective was deep enough (or deep at all). Often, Roth repeats facts after switching narrators, but is that really necessary? The repetition became so boring I really didn't want to continue reading.
3. LIKE: We find out what is outside the fence! And it's not Panem! ;)
What if what's outside the fence is Panem? Divergent-Hunger Games humor   HATE: Perhaps Panem would have been more exciting... I felt like 500 pages were devoted to a bunch of teens hanging out in a hotel room not talking to one another. I mean, seriously, no one talks to each other. What is wrong with these kids?
  And what exactly does this hotel room look like? Is it one big room? Does it have a kitchenette? Do they all have cots or do some characters get the hotel beds? Why don't any of them confront Peter and Caleb for their past behavior? It's so uncharacteristic of teenagers.

4. LIKE: The ending. Yes, I am OK with Tris's fate. Perhaps it was because I grew so tired of her by the end. That sounds so cold, so let me say that I did cry when she died and when Tobias found out.
   HATE: The length of the book to get to the end. I think it could have been half the size or shorter. The whole time I kept thinking the book was a ploy to sell Four's short stories rather than a novel to finish telling Tris's story. It felt contrived.

  So now it's your turn! Please comment below and share what you like/don't like about Allegiant. And feel free to dispute any of my comments. I will not be offended!

Thanks for reading and sharing!

How To Spend Your Extra Hour This Weekend

Daylight Savings: How Will You Spend Your Extra Hour?  from

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I love getting an extra hour in the fall; it comes at the perfect time when I always feel so far behind at school and need an extra 60 minutes to grade or plan lessons.

But this year I decided I'm going to devote an extra hour just for myself to read a book. Of course, as I sat up late last night reading Insurgent by Veronica Roth–the second book in the Divergent trilogy–I wished I could have an extra hour every single day just to read. (I've been dying to read the final book, Allegiant, but hadn't made the time to read Insurgent.)

Not sure how to spend your extra hour? READ. It made me wonder... Why do English teachers–the ones who stereotypically love to read literature the most–have the least amount of time to read? Case in point: the day I received Allegiant in the mail I lent it to one of my students knowing I wouldn't be able to read it yet. That same day one of our science teachers came in to my classroom at the end of the day to borrow a copy of Divergent (the first book in Roth's trilogy). Then he came back the next day and said, "OK, I need book two." What!? How did he have time to read an entire book in less than a day? And guess how long it took him to read Insurgent? Yep, less than a day. So he basically finished the entire trilogy in three days. Three school days, mind you.

Wanna know how I spent those three school days and nights? Skimming student responses to the novels we are reading in class, reading and offering suggestions for college application essays for some of my seniors, entering grades into our school's online grading application, uploading my online journal questions, typing up new bell-ringers for the week, and writing test questions for the novels we finished up in class last week. None of which I'd rather do than read.

So last night and today, my friends, I am going to READ. For pleasure. And the papers that need graded this weekend will have to wait one more day. Sorry kids.

So how will YOU spend your extra hour? 
Share in the comments below.

What are you reading, by the way? Share that, too!
Divergent Trilogy (Divergent, Insurgent, Allegiant) by Veronica Roth -

Are you ready for the release of Allegiant (Book 3 of the Divergent series)?

Allegiant by Veronica Roth (Book 3 of Divergent)  - Released Oct. 22

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Just in case you've forgotten: Allegiant, the third and final book of Veronica Roth's Divergent series, comes out Tuesday, Oct. 22.

I have been waiting to read Insurgent until the date got closer, and now I don't know if I'll have time to read it before Tuesday. But I have a class of seniors who have just devoured Divergent, then most have read or are currently reading Insurgent, so I am sure they will not mind have a day of in-class reading this week!

After you finish reading, comment with your thoughts (NO SPOILERS, please!!) on the series final. It's always sad when a series ends, but I'm always anxious to see how the author ends it.

By the way, Roth has been busy putting out short stories from Four's perspective. Check those out here:
"The Transfer" was released in September. The rest will follow later this year and in early 2014.
"Free Four" was released August 2012.
Free Four - The knife-throwing scene from Four's perspectiveThe Transfer - Divergent prequel from Four's perspective

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