I don’t think I’ve ever been broken and put together so many times as I have when reading this book. I’ve been left with extremely mixed feelings. Overall, I really liked the book, but I just didn’t feel as compelled to keep reading as I did with Divergent and Insurgent. It took me over a week to read the first 150 pages, because I just couldn’t get into it.
I think the main reason for this to start with was the change of character. Throughout Divergent and Insurgent we are used to seeing everything as Tris, her thoughts and feelings and actions. But now the chapters flick back and forth between Tris and Tobias as narrator. It took a long while to get used to that, and to start with I kept having to flick back to the chapter title page to remember who it was we were with now. But after I’d gotten over that and I just decided to buckle down and read, I was riveted by about page 200 and I really just couldn’t bear to stop reading.
Tris and Tobias are now in a world where the factions have been destroyed and it looks like their world is about to fall about with a rebellion on the horizon. Unfortunately for Tobias, his mum is on one side of the rebellion and his dad on the other. But Tris, Tobias and her friends are offered a chance to go beyond the fence and find out why the outside world so desperately needed the Divergent to come out and save them. And what they find is most definitely not what they expected, shaking them to the very core of their existence and leaving them questioning if their lives back in the factions were in fact completely meaningless.
After Tris and Tobias go beyond the fence, they may have been expecting some simple and easy life to await them, but they couldn’t have been more wrong. And so starts my understanding of why Roth used a duel perspective for the story, allowing us to dig in deeper to all parts of what is going on, and to see the conflict that both Tris and Tobias are feeling, to get right in with their emotions and feel very single bit of pain that they feel.
If I’m honest, the book left me feeling empty. Empty and crying alone in my room wondering why a young adult author could leave a book with such an unconventional ending. If you’ve read the book, you’ll know exactly what I mean and you’re probably feeling empty just like me. If you’ve not read the book, I’m not going to say any more and spoil it for you, because you need to feel that heart ripping jolt just like the rest of us, the kind that makes you feel like raw to the bone and makes you want to rewind time back to before you read that moment so you can pretend it never happened.
I would give this book a full 5/5 for the stupendous plot and the way that I could never predict what was going to happen when I turned the page, but since it took me so long to initially get absorbed into the book, I’m going to go for 4/5 instead.