Monday, March 17, 2014

Finally...the Divergent Series!

I've heard tons of wonderful things about Veronica Roth's bestselling series, Divergent.  So, I decided not to read it.  Why?  Well, its been my experience that I usually wind up disliking THE book that everyone LOVES (Room and Gone Girl are two such examples).  However, with the film version of Divergent being publicized constantly on TV, I was compelled to read the book.  After all, the movie trailer did make it look pretty exciting. Check out this trailer from YouTube:
Awesome, eh?  Well, I know I can't wait to watch the movie.  Of course, I want to finish the series first.  I'm already on the last book, Allegiant.  I've been dawdling a bit, because I don't want the story to end.  I also don't want to read about Tris dying.  Yeah, I heard she dies - how awful is that?  I'm assuming it has to do with the Abnegation part of her - sacrifice or something like that, right? Well, I'm sure I'll be sad at the end.  Anyhow, here are my quickie reviews of the Divergent series books:
In the first book, we meet Beatrice Prior (who eventually rechristens herself, Tris).  She's about to find out which faction she wants to belong to for the rest of her life.  What are factions?  Well, they are the five groups that make up Chicago - the dystopian world Veronica Roth has created.  There is Amity, Erudite, Abnegation, Candor, and Dauntless.  Tris belongs to Abnegation - there big thing is selfless-ness.  However, Tris doesn't feel like she truly belongs to her faction.  Nope, she admires the Dauntless and their fearless-ness.  When she takes her aptitude test, which is designed to help you decide which faction to join, Tris discovers a secret.  She is Divergent, which means that she doesn't fit into anyone faction.  Of course, being Divergent is dangerous - like, life and death dangerous.  So, armed with her secret, she chooses to go Dauntless and leave her family behind.  Talk about a life-changing decision!!  As Tris trains to become Dauntless, her mental and physical capacities are really put to the test.  Training is beyond tough and friendships are put to the test - like, I'm going to kill you type of test.  Plus, there is Four, the guy who has caught Tris' eye, and an impending war to deal with.  Life is getting more and more complicated with each choice Tris makes.  I have to admit that I loved reading all about the various factions, Chicago, and this idea of mind simulations - it was fascinating and scary at the same time.  I was surprised by some of the violence (like the brawling competitions between men and women during the initiates' training), but then again, I wasn't - people's lives are at stake (to become factionless is not an option - at least not in Tris' mind).  I'm not really giving all that much information, because I'm sure everyone's read the book already (or you haven't read the book and I don't want to ruin it for you).  Just know, that I loved this book and devoured in one sitting.  I downloaded the next two books as soon as I finished Divergent.  I was hooked!!!
The second book, Insurgent, picks up right where the first book left off.  Tris is dealing with the aftermath of what has just happened (her parents' are dead, she killed Will, and her relationship with Four is on the rocks).  Oh, and did I mention that war is looming again.  People are using people, betraying one another, and searching for the Divergent population.  Lots of drama ensues.  Now, I'm going to have to admit that this book was good, but it wasn't as great as the first book.  I guess Roth got a case of the sophomore slump.  Don't get me wrong, I still tore through the book like there was no tomorrow.  And the writing is still captivating and the story is still exciting, but it lacked the emotional impact the first book contained.  In this story, Tris is no longer a newbie, discovering some of the dark secrets/truths the world holds.  Instead, she is a bit stumped - focused on reliving her parents' and Will's deaths.  Plus, Four (Tobias) is not as likable - he's turned into somewhat of a selfish jerk who doesn't seem to trust Tris.  I have to admit that I was a bit disappointed with Insurgent - of course, that didn't stop me from diving into Allegiant.
Okay, so I'm still reading this book. I can't help it - I don't want the story to end.  No more Tris and Tobias - ACK!!  I can't deal with that!  Seriously though, this book is definitely better than Insurgent.  Roth is back on track and once again keeping me captivated with her thrilling storytelling.  I love it!!  In this final book, Tris and Tobias are now on the same page - of course this happens after some devastating and tragic events - thanks to Tobias and his new friends.  I'm at the part right now, where Christina and Tris sit by Uriah's bedside swearing to always be there for one another.  The doctor will take Uriah off life support in four days time - he's not improving at all.  Its pretty heartbreaking.  I'm excited to find out what happens next.  Will Tris and her gang succeed in their mission?  What will happen to Tobias' parents?  What happens to cause Tris to sacrifice her life?  So many questions!!!  I'm off to get the answers - Happy Reading!!


Meredith said...

If you were hooked, I probably would be, too. Your review, and enthusiasm are contagious. I wonder, is it very much like Mocking Jay and those? I did like the story, and imagination, though this genre is not generally my favorite.

Funny how you said what others have loved you have hated. Such as Gone Girl. Agreed, most assuredly.

A Bookish Way of Life said...

Bellezza, thanks! I really did enjoy these books - they were fun and rather easy to get lost in (which is just what I needed). They are similar to the Mocking Jay books. And, I figured you'd agree with me regarding hating the books loved by everyone - we seem to usually be on the same page with our reading :)

Unknown said...

I definitely preferred the first book, enjoyed the second, and thought the last book was good, but not outstanding. But the movie looks so good. . . I think Tobias (well, the actor who plays him) looks like a young James Franco - super hot!

A Bookish Way of Life said...

Rebecca, the movie was so much fun and really stayed true to the book (which I loved). And, yes Theo James is a hottie :) He does look like James Franco, doesn't he?