Divergent Trilogy #2: Insurgent by Veronica Roth

Read: 11 August, 2014

In the second installment of the Divergent trilogy, we find Tris on the run from Erudite. As she travels through the factions and the factionless areas of future-Chicago, she seeks both revenge and to understand why Erudite attacked Abnegation.

As I read the series, it keeps occurring to me that Divergent is really just a speculative fiction version of The Breakfast Club. Everyone has partitioned off into little cliques that rarely mix, each has its own narratives, it’s own traditions, and each has its own (false) beliefs about the types of people in the others. Then something happens and members of each clique are forced to spend time together, and to recognize their shared humanity. Sounds familiar?

Then I was describing the plot to my darling gentleman friend and, when I got to the part about choosing factions, he asks, “did they wear a special hat?” That’s when I realized just how much of Harry Potter is in here, too. I don’t think I even need to bother talking about The Hunger Games, ’cause, yeah. That one is a little too obvious.

And that’s all okay. Divergent isn’t great literature. I’m borrowing the books form the library and I won’t be bothering to buy copies of my own because I doubt that I will want to reread or reference or just build book forts out of again once I’m done with the series. And that’s all okay. It’s proving to be a fun read, if cringe-worthy at times.

It’s the kind of serious I like to refer to as “filler.” It’s a series you read between two amazing, impactful books when you just need to give your brain and your emotions a little rest.

As a side note, here is a hilarious Honest Trailers about the first movie:

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Divergent Trilogy #1: Divergent by Veronica Roth

Read: 17 March, 2014

Sixteen-year-old Beatrice must make a choice that will shape the rest of her life – she must choose her faction. Though she grew up in Abnegation, she simply cannot see herself living as Abnegation for the rest of her life. Yet choosing a different faction means betraying her family and losing everything she’s ever known.

I quite enjoyed Divergent. The premise is a little brow-beaty, but it worked once I settled myself into a solid state of suspension of disbelief. I also felt that the ending was rather rushed. There’s a slow exposition process, a mystery, a number of characters working on solving the mystery, and then the Big Bad just starts cackling and reveals the whole plan. The turn around from plotline to resolution felt too quick, too brutal (in a literary sense though, of course, it’s brutal within the story as well).

All in all, I felt that the book would have benefited from another draft, but it was still a good bit of fun. I’ll definitely be grabbing the next book in the series.

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