I finally finished it! I stayed up super late last night just so I could say I finally made it to the end. The end was a little shocking… I understand why some people were upset with how Roth ended the trilogy but I thought it was a bold move. I think it added a statement to the story that otherwise would have just been a fairytale happy ending. It reminded me a lot of how Libba Bray ended The Sweet Far Thing. In my opinion, I think Roth was trying to finally show how selfless, and Abnegation-like Tris actually was. During the whole trilogy she battles herself with wether she really ever fit in her faction. Caleb had always played a better Abnegation role but it turns out she really embodied all of the factions. She was kind, selfless, honest, smart, and brave, and I think that was the point of her last act.
I also thought the Epilogue was a good addition to the story. Seeing Four cope years later after the fact really made my heart hurt. How he still struggled being around people and memories of her but he finally went down the flying apparatus in her honor was sweet. It was also good to see that him and his mother were still trying to fix their relationship. That would have been harder to do with Tris around since they never liked each other.
Some other aspects I liked about the book:
1. Peter wanting the memory serum. I don’t think it was as selfish as Four was making it sound. I think Peter actually just wanted to be better and that was his only option because he knew his nature and all the bad he was already tainted with. More power to him I say!
2. Tris risking her life instead of sending Caleb to his death. Tris finally realized what it meant to be Abnegation and that she loved her brother, and that she would forgive his sins.
3. Tris seeing her mother as she’s dying. I thought this was a good touch. Tris had so many feelings toward her mother after finding out where she was from and how she participated in the experiment. I think this showed their connection and how they were similar. Other than their dialogue I really liked this.
Somethings that I didn’t particularly agree with:
1. The last dialogue between her and her mother as she is dying. Tris simply asking about her friends and her mother responding that they will look out for each other did not satisfy me as a reader. I feel like her last thoughts and her speaking with her mother again should have been more profound. She had so many questions during her stay at the compound with her mother and that’s all we’re left with? To me, it left a little to be desired.
2. Tris risking her life/her brothers life/anyone’s life for the sake of the peoples memories in Chicago seemed a little odd to me. It was very nice of them but she didn’t agree with most of the people who were left there and that doesn’t seem like a good reason to risk lives to me. I went back and forth with this one… because on one hand it seems kind and selfless but it also seemed out of character for Tris.
3. Tobias’ mother giving in and giving up at the end when he comes to give her the memory serum. This was a good happy ending for his struggles with his parents. (At least he has one that cares about him now!) However, this was also out of character for Evelyn. This was a woman who faked her death and abandoned her child and became a rebel leader. Throwing in the towel after all she had given up and created seemed not realistic. But good for them.
4. Uriah’s death. This was both a pro and a con for me. I think it was good in the sense that it taught Four a lesson but I also think Tris’ death overshadowed his and made it less sad. I guess both were in a way to teach Tobias to think for himself.
5. One thing I really wish wasn’t so vague in this novel is the government that controls the compound. Where is it? Who is it? How big and powerful of an institution are they? If they aren’t helping people in the Fringe and if they don’t agree with the GP/GD experiments then what EXACTLY do they do?
All in all, I give this novel 4 stars ****! WhWhat I liked about it outweighed what I was confused about or didn’t agree with. I can’t wait for the next movie.