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Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Divergent Trilogy ~ Veronica Roth

I'm currently suffering the effects of a book hangover.....
and I am blaming my friends.

That's right, I am blaming YOU people who kept asking me if I had read the Divergent series yet.
(You know who you are!! ;)  )

The good news is......

I have read it now!!

Now, considering the fact the movie is already in theaters, it was only right that I should bump this series to the top of my list.
Now that I have read it, I am like 'WHOA'. (For lack of a better description)
I'm currently trying to make plans to catch the film while it's still in theaters. Lucky for me, handsome hubby wants to see it too. (Date night!! Cue romantic music!)

So many of you asked if it was worth reading, others wanted my thoughts.......Considering only 20minutes ago I finished reading the novel and ran to my nearest computer to start writing this..... I am more than willing to give them to you.

First off, if you do not even KNOW what Divergent is about, than you're in luck if you are reading this blog.
(And please know that you are forgiven for not knowing what it is about, because I haven't even read Hunger Games yet....these things happen....)

My Thoughts:

Okay, so like usual I really don't want to give any spoilers and it is very hard not to!!
The entire series is a crazy ride. I honestly hadn't even seen the movie trailers or read a description of the novel until I picked up the book, so I really didn't know what to expect myself.  My ten year old daughter (who's friends had seen the film) was constantly chasing me around "I know what happens! My friends told me" (Great, here's a pat on the head, now hush and let me find out myself)

Beatrice Prior, the lead protaganist makes some choices that will change her life, but even she has no idea what the impact of those choices will be, and how quickly she will need to grow up. Finding out she is considered a 'Divergent' and needs to hide it....her natural curiosity for the truth sends her on a wild adventure. Never mind in the meantime, she ends up involved with the mysterious, sexy and edgy 'Four'.....
(Which by the way is now my new favorite number....meee-ow)
Beatrice is probably one of my favorite heroines I have ever encountered to date. She's incredibly brave, selfless but has that youthful innocence going for her. I loved how the balance between girl to womanhood played out. She grows into her own person as the series progresses, and her character comes full circle in Allegiant.

Now, the whole concept of the series surrounds the 'Factions' that their society is divided into.
Abnegation, Amity, Candor, Dauntless and Erudite.
Each one represents a type of personality and they work together using their talents to maintain a 'perfectly' functioning society. (Or so they think)
You can be born into one Faction, but after some tests, based on those results you choose which group you will live in, and that can ultimately change your life, as it did for Tris.
"Faction before Family" is what's preached... and heaven forbid you become "Factionless" or worse....let it be discovered that you are "Divergent".
While I never, ever in a million years would ever want to live in such a world..... I found the politics and concepts fascinating. Anyone interested in social sciences, here's a Dystopian read for you to dissect. I wish that this book had been on the reading list when I was in high school. I would have had a field day with the book report! (So any teachers out there, do your students a favor and get this on the required reading list...there are lots of great questions in the Divergent Bonus Material section!)

While the majority of the series is a roller coaster ride, there is a romantic story line. I found it less cheesy than other young adult romances in popular novels. Tris and Four put sense of duty ahead of their relationship which causes some tension and continued frustration for the two. (Can these crazy kids make it work?) Regardless, they are adorable together. (swoon....sigh)

Divergent is the slower paced novel of the three. It gradually picks up steam as the story goes, but don't think that because I say it is 'slower' that the others, that I mean it's boring or uneventful....because that is not the case. I found Divergent enthralling. We learn, we watch the story  unfold and by the end of it I was on the edge of my seat....
For me I would compare it to climbing to the top of the first hill of a roller coaster and whooooooosh....down it goes into the next novel....(This is what led me to skip dinner and run to the store to buy the next two installments)

In the second novel Insurgent, we really are inundated with knowledge and this is where the whiplash starts to kick in. We learn more and even more twists, turns and action are thrown our way....It was a reading rush....

Allegiant, the third book..... well, usually I am never fond of the third installment of any series....and I will admit in this one, I didn't exactly like where the story went.....However, I did like the book and felt it was well done. Gah! I am so conflicted!!
This novel really frustrated the hell out of me and I find that I don't 'want' to like it.....but I did. (I hate myself for that)
Another tidbit, while the other novels are told from Tris's POV, the third book is told from both Tris and Four's perspective. It was nice to get into his head and see what was going on....
That is all I am telling you. Read it for yourself.

Word of Advice: If you haven't read this series yet, than definitely read them all in one shot. Do not read these novels out of order!!

All in all, I saw a fantastic story about why we shouldn't discriminate or label, not to mention on how trying to become 'pure' or 'perfect' is disastrous.
I hope that people walk away actually thinking about the real meaning of the story....and not just how awesome of a thriller it was or how cute and adorable Four is..... 

(And he really really is........*sigh*)

A Bit of Fun:
After reading this series, I decided to take two separate "Which Faction Do You Belong To?" Quizzes.... (They are easy to find using your favorite search engine!)

The first Online Quiz had these results for me:

The second quiz came from my Divergent novel's bonus material. While the quiz was similar (but worded a bit different) and I somehow ended up with a three Faction tie....
Oh oh...perhaps I should have kept that a secret! (shhhhhhh)

Do I recommend this series: Hell-to-the-YES!

I have to say, I am on the fence about the age appropriateness of letting my 10 year old see the movie or read the book as she is bugging me to do, but I did purchase the trilogy as hard copies, rather than e-books so I could eventually let my daughter read them. I'll make that decision only after I have seen the film first. Until then, her friends can keep telling her all about it.

So what are you waiting for? Buy them, read them, go see the film.....and as much as I hope the film version does the novels it wrong of me to wish they'd rewrite the third installment?

Happy Reading.

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