I just finished this book so I may have to come back and amend this review later, but I feel robbed and horrible enough to share it with others who are still reading this book for the first time. I heard that this ending was going to be "shocking" and so have been avoiding GoodReads, Pinterest, and my other reader Facebook friends all week so nothing would be ruined for me and it wasn't. Maybe expecting "shocking" enough was enough to ruin things for me though, because I did predict what would happen, I just really hoped I would be wrong.
I feel robbed. This book was not anything what I had been expecting and anticipating. Compared to the exhilaration of just sitting down reading Divergent and Insurgent, this book was boring. Tris and Four find themselves out of one rebellion and into another. There is a lot of explanation for all the plot holes in the first two books, so many that parts of the book begin to feel like a lecture. It's not until the last segment of the book that the pacing picks up and begins to even approach the intensity levels of the previous books. Not only was the book boring, but I also felt like all of the things I liked about the first two books were taken away from me. Understanding that the books were originally designed to be written from Tobias's point of view makes it a little easier to understand why she ended it the way it did but I still don't get it. I don't get why the shock effect was more important than the messages that were so strongly promoted in Insurgent.
Don't get me wrong, I still love the series and can't wait to re-read them. I love Tris, Four, Uriah, Christina, and all the rest of the characters and the complexity of their relationships. I love the grittiness and dark-side of the story. None of the characters in this series have it easy. They survive and then they deal with things- there's no glossing over the violence or pain just because it's a popular young adult book. Most of all, I love how these books investigate the flaws in our own society and leave readers mind's reeling.
But this last installment...I just don't get it. I think fans of this series in general are going to be disappointed for all of the reasons I listed above. And also because the ending is plain nonsensical. This is not a review out of bitterness but definitely out of disappointment. I am often a huge fan of non-"happily ever after" endings (I'll be honest, part of me was hoping back when I read Divergent that one of them would die eventually, and after Insurgent, I hoped it would be Four)...but only if they make sense, and this one doesn't! There is nothing that makes me grind my teeth more than a book riddled with conflict that works out perfectly and everyone ends up HEA. Because when the world is written as a dystopia, it reflects the real world where things aren't perfect and people don't get happily ever afters. But Veronica Roth isn't George R.R. Martin who writes anti-HEA on purpose, this series was written to send the message of survival, staying true to yourself when the world around you falls apart, moving on with your life when shitty things happen, finding a love that will outlast all the crappiness...at least, that's what I got out of Insurgent...maybe I'm just wrong? Maybe I liked this series for all the wrong reasons? Maybe I didn't get anything the author was trying to say in Divergent #1 and #2?It would have been one thing if Tris had died from the death serum saving her brother for it...but she didn't. She over came that, like she has overcome every other challenge in the series and is shot. Why? She sacrifices herself to get to the weapon that will erase people's memories...I agreed with Tobias that the plan was stupid and hypocritical. I kept waiting for Tris to come up with something better and was disappointed. And then she died for the dumb plan...I just didn't get it. I think her and Four leaving the compound and the city and making a life on their own would have shown more sacrifice.
Sales for the book, however, will probably spike once the ending starts to leak and people who didn't really get into the series want to see how it ends, since it hasn't really been done before in any of the popular literature (for a reason, Veronica Roth- although George R.R. Martin seems to be doing well for himself). Still, I think the author showed a lot of potential for being so young (I had no idea until today she was my age!) and I will definitely keep an eye on her future works.