The Big Problem With "Divergent" Is "Allegiant"

    The third book in Veronica Roth's trilogy — yeesh. WARNING: Spoilers ahead. [Updated with the unwelcome news that Allegiant will now be two movies.]

    Update on April 11: Summit Entertainment will divide Allegiant in two movies, following in the franchise footsteps of Harry Potter, Twilight, and The Hunger Games. Allegiant: Part 1 will be released on March 18, 2016; Part 2 will come out on March 24, 2017. The rest of this post will demonstrate why that is less than welcome news to those who have read the concluding book in the Divergent trilogy.

    Did you see Divergent and like it?

    Maybe you're excited for more movies.

    I liked Veronica Roth's young adult book series too. And then I read the third book, Allegiant, which came out in the fall. WARNING: Stop reading now if you're spoiler averse.

    The whole book is a quagmire of faux-science nonsense about genetics. It's listless, anti-climactic, and you really get the sense that Roth didn't know where she was going with the story. Also, Tris dies — in a deeply unsatisfying, unnecessary way.

    She sacrifices herself for her brother in a suicide mission that is a key component to their final fight — but honestly, I can't even explain what she did or why. Also, I both hope and don't hope that people do this.

    In an interview with BuzzFeed, the movie’s co-star Theo James (Four) said he likes that Tris dies.

    Shailene Woodley (Tris) also liked Allegiant's ending.

    A lot of fans, though, don't agree with James and Woodley. Here are the three reviews voted "most helpful" that appear on the Allegiant Amazon page.

    But Tris' death, in and of itself, isn't the problem (though it may be for a movie franchise). In Allegiant, the meaning of the story disappears. What was the trilogy about? It's just a poorly rendered letdown. Roth certainly was aware of fans' wailing.

    She wrote a long post on her blog addressing readers' concerns (only about Tris' death, though, not about any larger critique). Here's her conclusion:

    She also gave an interview to MTV News in which she talked about Tris' death, Tris and Four possibly having sex in Allegiant (it's hazy in the book, and SHE STILL WON'T SAY), and other matters.

    Sigh. Can any of these YA franchises end well? Mockingjay doesn't; Breaking Dawn didn't. Maybe we should just watch The Fault in Our Stars trailer again.

    View this video on YouTube