Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Divergent, Insurgent, Allegiant Book Review

Allegiant (Divergent, #3)Allegiant by Veronica Roth
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Veronica Roth, if you ever read this review (ha) take what I say next as a compliment, if I ever meet you I'd pull a Dauntless and punch you in the face.


Reason being? I LOVED these books and highly recommend them to any and all readers. However, take the advice of two of my former students, "Prepare for severe emotional trauma." (Hence the reason for wanting to "punch her in the face" for getting me emotionally involved in a fictional story... ugh...) If you're anything like me, you fall in love with the characters authors introduce you to, or you hate them. In my case I have a serious dislike for Tris and I LOVE the character Tobias. I think the traits I most admire in people and in characters (based on my original top ten character list) is loyalty, devotion, sensibility, and selflessness and all those traits describe Tobias.

PLUS, Veronica Roth is a Christian. In each book her first acknowledgement goes to God and His promises. Also, she inserts Biblical truth throughout this story: depravity, life after death, devotion, God's sovereignty and our inferiority.

Depravity is the abandonment of all things good. Because of our sin, things will not get better. It's a fact of life. There is no good in people except from God. (That's Romans 1-3.) It's evident Roth understands this Biblical truth in her writing,
"One of the lines I remember from the Dauntless manifesto is, 'We believe in ordinary acts of bravery, in the courage that drives one person to stand up for another.'"Will sighs.He doesn't need to say anything else. I know what he means. Maybe Dauntless was formed with good intentions, with the right ideals and the right goals. But it has strayed far from them. And the same is true of Erudite, I realize. A long time ago, Erudite pursued knowledge and ingenuity for the sake of doing good. Now they pursue knowledge and ingenuity with greedy hearts. I wonder of the other factions suffer from the same problem. I have not thought about it before.Despite the depravity I see in Dauntless, though, I could not leave it. It isn't only because the thought of living faction less, in complete isolation, sounds like a fate worse than death. It is because, in the brief moments that I have loved it here, I saw a faction worth saving. Maybe we can become brave and honorable again." (p. 140-141, Divergent)
When Tris receives peace serum, which makes her loopy, Tobias states to the Amity leader that she must give all Amity members the serum in order to keep peace because...
"I'm not an idiot. Every member of your community has trouble keeping the peace, because their all human...." (p.63, Insurgent)
We are such dirty, rotten sinners that we want nothing to do with God. (Again, that's Romans ch.3.) In fact, Paul quotes Scripture that states, "No one seeks for God. No one understands." Scripture states that our "throats are open graves" and we seek destruction. There is nothing good in us because we are sinners. As a result we deserve death. BUT while we were still sinners, Christ died for us, and our faith in Him is our ONE AND ONLY ticket to heaven. (Romans 5:8) Isn't that an amazing gift?

Life After Death? 
Tris' (Beatrice) thoughts on life after death:
"I don't believe that what comes after depends on anything I do at all." (p. 379, Insurgent
Nope, it doesn't. Salvation is a free gift of God through faith in Jesus Christ alone. By believing in the gospel (that Jesus lived, died, rose again, and is seated at the right hand of God all according to Scripture) is our gift of salvation. That's it. By confessing and believing that Jesus is Lord, that He is who He said He was, we are saved from an eternity in hell. It doesn't have anything to do with us, so that no one can boast. We boast in Jesus and His work. Not ours.

A conversation had an an Amity religious ceremony:
"May the peace of God be with you," she says, her voice low, "even in the midst of trouble.""Why would it?" I say softly, so one one else can hear. "After all I've done...""It isn't about you," she says. "It is a gift. You cannot earn it, or it ceases to be a gift." (p.440, Insurgent
She's absolutely right in that the hope we have in God as a result of the gift of Jesus Christ (aka the peace of God) has absolutely nothing to do with what we can or cannot do. It is purely the work of God. Salvation is a gift!

"I used to think that when people fell in love, they just landed where they landed, and they had no choice in the matter afterward. And maybe that's true of beginnings, but it's not true of this, now.I fell in love with him. But I don't just stay with him by default as if there's no one else available to me. I stay with him because I choose to, every day that I wake up, every day that we fight or lie to each other or disappoint each other. I choose him over and over again, and he chooses me." (p. 372, Allegiant)
How beautiful is that? Love is a choice we make over and over and over again. It isn't an emotional experience. It is a choice. Perfect.

Our Inferiority? God's Sovereignty? 
"How big is it compared to the rest of the world?" Peter says from across the plane. He sounds like he's choking on each word. "Our city, I mean. In terms of land area. What percentage?" "Chicago takes up about two hundred twenty-seven square miles," says Zoe. "The land area of the planet is a little less than two hundred million square miles. The percentage small as to be negligible." She delivers the facts calmly, as if they mean nothing to her. But they hit me square in the stomach, and I feel squeezed, like something is crushing me into myself. So much space. I wonder what it's like in the places beyond ours; I wonder how people live there.I look out the window again, taking slow, deep breaths into a body too tense to move. And as I stare out at the land, I think that this, if nothing else, is compelling evidence for my parents' God, that our world is so massive that it is completely out of our control, that we cannot possibly be as large as we feel. So small as to be negligible. It's strange but there's something in that thought that makes me feel almost... free." (p. 186-187, Allegiant
We are small. Teeny. Tiny. In comparison to a God who holds the universe in His hand! He is in fact, in control of it all, and she's right, it's worry-free!

Despite Veronica's obvious attempt to transplant Biblical truth into her story, I would not consider this a "Christian" series. I highly recommend it because it is very well written! She has a knack for planting seeds while telling an excellent story. Prepare yourself, however, for a not-so-happy ending BUT also concluding with an ounce of unexpected hope.

View all my reviews

No comments:

Post a Comment