Editor Showdown: Debating the End of Veronica Roth’s Allegiant
WARNING: THIS WEEK'S EDITOR SHOWDOWN CONTAINS ALLEGIANT BOOK SPOILERS. DO NOT READ ANY FURTHER IF YOU WANT TO REMAIN SPOILER-FREE!
Alright you guys, it's time to take on a serious issue in this week's showdown — the ending of Allegiant. Closing the literal and figurative final chapter of any YA franchise is always tough, but this one was especially bad since — SERIOUSLY, WE'RE WARNING YOU, SPOILER ALERT! — Tris, THE BOOK'S MAIN PROTAGONIST, dies at the end. *gasp* We've seen plenty of deaths throughout this series, heck, YA series in general, but this was a huge blow to Divergent fans.
While some were devastated (like my cohort, Kaitlin) by the tragic ending, there is a small minority (including myself, a.k.a. Amanda) that believes the ending completely serves the series justice. Let's discuss in detail, shall we?
Amanda, Editor: Let me start this off by saying I haven't read the book yet, but I was NOT able to stay spoiler-free. (Ugh, yes, I know. I'll read it soon; I JUST bought it!) I hate surprises, I want to know how everything ends right away, so it was my choice. With that said, when I found out the ending of the book (though, I still am not 100% clear on the circumstances around it, only that Tris essentially does it to "save" everybody), I thought, "What a poetic way to end the story." Why, do I think that, you ask? Well…
The beginning of Divergent is all about Tris being a member of Abnegation — the Selfless faction. Hello, is there anything more selfless than sacrificing yourself for the ones you love? It's what Tris' parents did in the first novel, and the idea of her doing that seems so full circle. Also, she chose to be in Dauntless in the first novel, which honors Bravery. Sacrificing yourself for the greater good? That seems to be the perfect combination of selflessness AND bravery.
One thing that really sold me on this was Veronica Roth's interview with MTV's Josh Horowitz. She explains everything so beautifully and defends her decision. In fact, she's had this ending planned out from the beginning!
Also, I know I'm not alone in thinking this, as Shailene Woodley — who will star as Tris on the big screen — recently revealed that she loved the ending, saying: "I think it's awesome, and the coolest decision that's ever happened in the young adult novel world. I'm such a fan!"
I am too, Shailene. I am too.
Kaitlin, Associate Editor: Like many other Initiates, I was counting down the days until the conclusion of the Divergent trilogy. On release day, I even went to a launch event where Veronica Roth gave miniature spoilers on the series finale (along with Ansel Elgort and Christian Madsen, squee!), yet I still was ill-prepared for what was to come…
Overall, I was disappointed by the novel's overly-political plot. The government's always been a part of the story, but the focus seemed to stray from true action, not to mention Four and Tris' love. And in the moments where the central couple was together — including the possible sex scene? Can't really tell if it happened or not. I hate that it was left to interpretation; I wanted it to be spelled out! — everything seemed like an afterthought. Lame.
But we're here to talk about the ending, right? So here we go… I get the whole full-circle thing; yes, Tris did the same thing her parents did in the first book. However, since Caleb volunteered to sacrifice himself, I don't see a legitimate enough reason why she didn't let him go through with it. He practically led his sister to her execution in Insurgent, so what the eff? I understand that she didn't know if he was motivated by love or guilt in volunteering for the task, but either way, he was totally okay with her dying for Jeanine's sake, so why should he be granted with the privilege of life, while Tris is laid to rest?
Now, there's an unmistakable void — a bit theatrical, I know — for those who were looking forward to Tris and Four, post-drama. No one said they needed to have a cookie-cutter ending and live happily ever after. But after Veronica promised that Four would make it through to the end of the franchise, for fear of teenage-girl backlash, you would think that she wouldn't kill off the story's main character for the same exact reason.
Who do YOU agree with? Did you like the ending? Or were you not a fan? Start the debate in the comments section!
Watch the first full-length Divergent trailer!