I was disappointed by Divergent, but that was only because I was expecting it to be more like Insurgent. The amount of action in Insurgent is insane! I kind of want to class them as parts one and two of the same book because that is what it felt like. Here's a quick summary.
In a post-apocalyptic North America, sometime in the future, Chicago has been separated into five districts. The districts live by different values: Candor are truthful; Erudite are intelligent; Abnegation selfless; Amity are kind; and Dauntless are brave/fearless. When children turn sixteen, they undergo an aptitude test to see which of the five factions they should belong to. After the test they can choose to transfer faction and leave their family and friends behind, or remain in their original faction. Most people only get one result during the aptitude test.
Then along came Beatrice. She's sixteen and has equal aptitude for Abnegation, Erudite and Dauntless.
I was so impatient to get to some action in Divergent, because I knew it was coming up and I just wanted to know what they were training and training for. It was so obvious that the initiates weren't going to get to choose jobs but I was still thinking, what would Tris want to do? She wouldn't want to be a Dauntless leader, and I couldn't imagine her doing anything technological.. Anyway, it all just seemed to jump on me so fast in the end. There she was in her fear landscape, and suddenly she's waking up to a sleepwalking army of Dauntless. But I was glad it happened, and so so sad about the ending.
Technically speaking, I know why Roth did it, and she set up the second book so well in my opinion. This first book is all about getting to know and understand Tris's behavior.
I liked that Roth didn't use overly complicated terminology and she set it in a real city (which I have never visited but would really like to).
This is a really intelligent, gripping series with so much to offer fans of the genre and those new to it. Roth is a brilliant author and for her first novel, this is first class. Definitely worth buying and I would recommend it to everyone. My only complaint is my impatience for the payout!
On to Insurgent!
This book starts where the last one left off. Very little time has passed.
I absolutely adored the second installment. The action was almost non-stop. Tris was running from faction to faction, hiding. And - oh! - the ending! It was fantastic! Such a massive twist!
For me, this really sealed the deal. I will read anything by Veronica Roth if her storytelling ability is as amazing as demonstrated in these two books.
I loved the depth of the characters. Beatrice/Tris really grows as the book goes on, and in a very natural way. Her eyes are gradually being opened, and she does reject ideas and concepts which is such a natural human thing to do. I think sometimes authors can forget how willful people can be. Ahem, Stephanie Meyer.
I liked that she realized the different qualities that each faction had could also be shown by other factions, if that makes sense, for example when Tobias is explaining how being selfless can also be brave. Another time is when she used her brain (Erudite trait) and climbed the Ferris wheel. Urgh, I hate heights. I was so scared when she was climbing the ladder. I would never do the zip-line either!
She really proves herself when she selflessly submits herself to the will of Jeanine. She is not thinking of herself at all. Tobias has said he'll leave her if she goes, she will die if she goes, the state of the world as they know it could be destroyed, but she goes to stop innocent people plummeting to their deaths.
This story answered a lot of my questions, yet posed more. The Divergent question was answered, the questions about Tobias's parents and abuse, my musing on Tris's grandparents was interestingly brought to light. The next installment is out in October, not too long! Cannot wait to find out what they do with the factions and the factionless. Allegiant sounds like a brilliant title!
I'm really glad to have read this book but I have such a mental block on how to approach talking about it! The only thing I can think of to say is read it!!!
This is my perfect book. BOTM. BOTY.
Thank you, Veronica Roth.
Thank you for the hype that led me to read it.
I cannot wait for the movie now. I love Shailene Woodley. I'm not sure she's the perfect casting but I can't wait to see what she does with the role!