Divergent and Insurgent

Monday, October 21, 2013

by Veronica Roth

Let me start with a disclaimer: In the past year I’ve gotten so sick of YA dystopian novels and so I’ve been avoiding this series like the plague. I loved the Hunger Game trilogy, but the nauseating parade that followed seemed to suggest that there were no more interesting dystopian stories being told. After the Delirium trilogies and then Uglies (I could only stomach one of those) I was so burnt out on stupid love triangles and whiny teens. But in the end I gave this one a chance and I’m so glad I did.

Tris Prior is part of a society that is split into five factions: Abnegation, Candor, Dauntless, Amity and Erudite. Each one values certain characteristic above all else and the balance of their society depends heavily on the services provided by each faction. When individuals reach a certain age they must choose their faction. Sometime they choose to remain within the faction they were raised in and other times they choose a new faction. Tris must make that decision at the beginning of the book and the consequences throw her headlong into a new world of challenges.

The book is fast-paced and full of action. The stakes seem higher than in some of the other dystopian novels and that makes for a more interesting story. There’s also a lot less teenage moping and the characters have depth. Roth creates a world full of potential conflict and she doesn’t reveal everything at once. Instead of explaining every deal of the new world, we are propelled forward in the plot and uncover aspects of how their society functions as we go along.

BOTTOM LINE: It’s fair to say this one restored my faith in dystopian novels. I’m sure others might disappoint me, but this one was great.

“I believe in ordinary acts of bravery, in the courage that drives one person to stand up for another.” 
“Those who seek peace above all else, they say, will always deceive to keep the water calm.”

“Human reason can excuse any evil; that is why it’s so important that we don’t rely on it.”


by Veronica Roth

The second book in the Divergent trilogy picks up right where the first one left off. Their faction is in chaos as half of its members have sided with the Erudite faction and the other half are seeking shelter with Amity. Tris is broken both physically, from a gunshot wound, and mentally, from the death of her parents and Will. She is struggling to come to terms with who she is and what she’s done.

The action never takes a break in this one, which makes it an incredibly quick read. There were a few unexplained plot points or points that didn’t quite make sense and that bothered me a bit. We get the chance to learn more about the factions and all the characters' histories and motivations, which I love.

BOTTOM LINE: A good addition to the series. It keeps the pace moving forward at full throttle and I only wish I didn’t have to wait to pick up the final book.

“I think we cry to release the animal parts of us without losing our humanity.”

“People, I have discovered, are layers and layers of secrets. You believe you know them, that you understand them, but their motives are always hidden from you, buried in their own hearts. You will never know them, but sometimes you decide to trust them.”

**Allegiant, the third and final book in the series comes out tomorrow!


Sandy Nawrot said...

I totally agree with you, I am OVER all the whining, angsty YA crap filled with tragic girls and dreamy boys and love triangles and bleak dystopian worlds. Blah. I did read the first in this series, and have the second but keep putting it off for some reason. I DID like the characters a little more than I do in this genre.

Nikki Steele @ BookPairing.com said...

Maybe that's what threw me off with the second one. There was so much action and none of the world-building of the second that it felt off-kilter.

It was certainly a fun ride, though, and I loved reading the first one!

The Insouciant Sophisticate said...

Did you read these back to back? I read them about a year apart and had so much trouble getting back into the world until the very end of Insurgent with THAT ending, which ensured I will eventually read Allegiant.

Anonymous said...

I read the first one but haven't moved on yet. Glad to hear it has your endorsement, though. :-)

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

Sandy - I just feel like there are so many bad ones out there now!

Nikki - I'm excited to see how the final one goes. I hope it's good!

Bookworm1858 - I absolutely read them back-to-back, both while I was on vacation. I think that made a huge difference in my enjoyment. I let myself get caught up in that world and didn't have to refresh my memory about who anyone was.

bibliophilica - I thought it was a solid follow-up.

Alex (The Sleepless Reader) said...

I really liked Divergent, it hooked me immediately all the way to the end. Insurgent not so much. The sexual tension that never got anywhere and the constant whining got to me.

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

Alex - Reading them back to back helped, but I agree. I definitely perferred Divergent.