Arguably the two most popular YA fiction trilogies at the moment, Divergent and The Hunger Games Series constantly share the spotlight.
The recent release of Allegiant, the third installment of the Divergent series, has sparked quite a bit of controversy over the past week. Several disgruntled fans did not hesitate to voice their opinions about the book’s shocking ending. Veronica Roth, the author of the hit series, addressed the backlash in a recent blog post. She stands firm in her decision to kill off the main character, stating that the ending “shows what Tris is truly made of”. Despite the backlash, Allegiant is outselling Mockingjay nearly five to one, as reported by Amazon. I openly admit that I prefer Allegiant’s tragic ending to Mockingjay’s complacent one.
In both dystopian novels, the “good guys” come out victorious, despite some harrowing consequences for the protagonists. Tris loses her life, but Katniss loses her will to live. In last book of the Hunger Games series Katniss plays the role of the Mockingjay, knowingly contributing to District 13’s propaganda, until she realizes they murdered her sister in order to win the war. In a state of depression and desperation, she assassinates President Coin instead of Snow. The spark that once lit her fiery passion fades away. As time passes she finally regains her sanity and learns to live a life of lethargic acceptance of her situation.
Tris, on the other hand, refuses to be a pawn in anyone’s game. When she learns about the Bureau of Genetic Welfare for the first time, she doesn’t know what to believe about her situation. Everything she knew about the world is turned upside down. Tris hesitates to join Nita in the rebel cause and she definitely doesn’t buy into David’s “nice guy” act. She decides to go with her gut and take down the Bureau in order to achieve equality among the genetically pure and the genetically damaged. She finally understands the true meaning of bravery and self-sacrifice when she takes her brother’s place to release the memory serum on the Bureau. She keeps fighting up until her last living moment.
Although I was devastated by Tris’ death, I understood Roth’s reasoning behind it. In these unstable dystopian worlds people die. No one is immune to violence. I found Katniss’ situation to be much more unfortunate. By the time I finished Mockingjay I was relieved. When I finished Allegiant, I didn’t want the story to be over.
Which YA trilogy do you prefer?