Review – The Divergent Series – Veronica Roth

DIVERGENT_B_Format_UK.indd

 

 

Society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue, in the attempt to form a ‘perfect society’. On her Choosing Day, Beatrice Prior renames herself Tris, rejects her family’s Abnegation group, and chooses another faction.

 

 

 

 

 

I HAVE DONE BAD THINGS.

I CAN’T TAKE THEM BACK,
AND THEY ARE PART OF WHO I AM.13480671

Tris has survived a brutal attack on her former home and family. But she has paid a terrible price. Wracked by grief and guilt, she becomes ever more reckless as she struggles to accept her new future.

Yet if Tris wants to uncover the truth about her world, she must be stronger than ever… because more shocking choices and sacrifices lie ahead

 

 

 

 

Allegiant_DemiJacket_WetProofTest.inddThe faction-based society that Tris Prior once believed in is shattered—fractured by violence and power struggles and scarred by loss and betrayal. So when offered a chance to explore the world past the limits she’s known, Tris is ready. Perhaps beyond the fence, she and Tobias will find a simple new life together, free from complicated lies, tangled loyalties, and painful memories.


But Tris’s new reality is even more alarming than the one she left behind. Old discoveries are quickly rendered meaningless. Explosive new truths change the hearts of those she loves. And once again, Tris must battle to comprehend the complexities of human nature—and of herself—while facing impossible choices about courage, allegiance, sacrifice, and love.

Told from a riveting dual perspective, Allegiant, by #1 New York Times best-selling author Veronica Roth, brings the Divergent series to a powerful conclusion while revealing the secrets of the dystopian world that has captivated millions of readers in Divergent and Insurgent.

Review:

I decided to review these books as a series rather than individually because I read them so close together. Plus, I didn’t want to stop, I needed to know how this series would end.

Divergent:

I’ve been meaning to read this series for ages, but I kept putting it off. Until I sat and watched the film. As soon as the end credits rolled, i bought the first book on Kindle and began reading. I like a well written YA Dystopia. I devoured The Hunger Games in a few days. Since then, I haven’t really found a dystopian series to grab me in the same way – The Maze Runner was ok, but not brilliant, in my mind.

Then I  started Divergent.

I won’t go into all the factions and what they represent in society, that’s explained better than I ever could in the book, but throughout, I kept thinking that it was entirely plausible. A good dystopian makes the reader think “what if?” or “What would I do in that situation?”, and like The Hunger Games, Divergent did just that. Although, as much as I loved The Hunger Games, I think I preferred Divergent because the characters are limited into one city rather than spread across an entire country. The fence and their education encourages them not to leave. Fear is instilled into every person in all factions.

I think the main draw of this book is Tris. She’s meek, mild, and unsure of who she is. Thanks to the 1st person POV, we as readers, alongside Tris, learn about the world she lives in. We grow with her as she moves through her Dauntless training, gets stronger, finds loves, and realises there’s more to the city she calls home, than anyone ever realised.

That’s not to say she is the prefect character. Far from it. She makes stupid choices, sometimes for the right reasons, but most of the time her emotions lead her.

Then there is Four. A Dauntless instructor.

He keeps himself to himself, yet is drawn to Tris. He helps her when she becomes that little bit too cocky or reckless. He is not your typical swoonworthy book boyfriend, but there is something about him that draw us, the reader, and Tris to him.

A solid start, with excellent world building, Roth has created believeable characters such as Will, Christina, Al, Peter, and the others who we relate to, love, hate, and laugh with. They live in a world that could quite possibly be in our future, one we hope would never come to pass. The serums and the simulations that the Dauntless initiates face are absolutely fascinating.

The moment I finished the last page, I picked up the second book.

Insurgent:

Starting pretty much where Divergent left off, the second book follows Tris, Four and their companions head out to speak to the other factions about what they have learned. Their first stop is Amity, yet they aren’t welcomed with complete open arms and acceptance.  Throughout their time in Amity, and after they leave, we learn more about the history of the factions and how they were implimented to keep the peace.

Four’s father has more of a role in this book, and he is definitely a character with secrets. I think, in this book, he is the reason the readers turn the pages. We want to find out what he knows.

I have to admit, both Tris and Four/Tobias irritated me in places during the story. They made choices throughout the book that felt completely out of character for them, and in places felt as if it were just to move the story forwards, but after a couple of chapters, they made more sense. This created more tension for the couple, but it was realistic. How can a couple survive if they are either keeping secrets from one another or don’t trust each other fully?

As the story moves on further and further, the action ramps up further and further, particularly once Tris makes a choice that puts her in the direct line of fire. From this moment, I couldn’t put the book down.

There are quite a few moments in Insurgent that made me gasp, like the emergence of the truth about Jeanine and what she is trying to accomplish with the serums and how she wants to control the factions. The twist at the end, segues perfectly into the third, and final, book of the series. Yet, again, Tris makes a choice that is out of character and completely blew me away.

I felt that this book, more than Divergent, was a lot more visual and descriptive. I have never been to Chicago, having only seen pictures of a bustling and vibrant city, but Roth’s Chicago is completely different. Through her words, I can see it’s is run down, the streets are in ruin, with greenery growing anywhere it wants and can. Transporation is virtually non existent yet electricity and technology has continued to move forward. The world she has created is at odds with itself, and that is no hard to imagine as you read.

Allegiant:

I have, since starting the series 3 days ago, good and bad things about this book. Some felt it wasn’t the best completion to the series, while others believe it to be perfect. I refused to read any reviews, not only to avoid spoilers, but also to keep an open mind. I’m glad I did. For me, Allegiant was the ONLY way the series could have ended.

When reading the first two books, it’s hard to remember that the main characters are between 16 and 18 years old. Yes, they may have adults with them, supposedly in charge, but in reality, Tris, Four, and their friends are the ones calling the shots, particularly after the shock announcement at the end of book 2.  Up until this book, we have only followed Tris, and her POV, but in Allegiant, the story is split between both Tris and Tobias. While their voices are very similar, and in places not very distinct from each other, I never got confused between them. I was, however, confused as to why Roth did this only for the final book, but that becomes extremely clear by the end of the book. *Tissue Warning*

Taking us out of Chicago, even more secrets about Divergents and the factions are revealed. The mysterious ‘Bureau’ is the main setting to this book, naturally suspicious, Tris isn’t quick to trust. I found this book had more of a “Nature Vs Nurture”, with the bureau leaning towards nature causing problems. The research they have done into genetics harms or hurts a lot of people, and puts a twist on the whole “hunt divergents” that these people have been taught before.

Tobias and Tris are given this information, and react to it differently, giving us a mature and quite powerful story. The characters we have come to know and love (or hate in some cases), work their way through many problems, not all caused by the impeding war. At times, I felt as if I wanted to slap both of the main characters, but seeing the story from both sides opened my mind as to why they act the way they do.

While Tris continues on her path to protect as many people as possible, as is how she has een throughout, Tobias is faced with a personal issue that plagues him. He has always been focussed, strong and Dauntless. But now, he’s not sure what he is. His Abegnation tendancies seem to show much more in this book, but this proves him to be resilient. He takes his “deficiency”, couples it with all of his experiences, both as Abegnation and as Dauntless and uses them to his advantage, to do the right thing.

Then Tris… her decisions up until now sometimes confused me, but this time.  No, this time it was the perfect choice she could make, the only choice she could make.

While the dystopian elemnts of this series serves almost as a warning. No one person should control an entire city/country/whatever, the love and friendship elements to this series is mainly about acceptance, love, and sacrifice. It’s about how people grow in a short space of time when faced with something seemingly beyond their control.

This is one of the reasons I love YA. Tell us a love story, or a story about ‘finding ourselves’ and package it up with a lesson. That lesson may be immediate, or it may not. But, it is wise to heed it.

Definitely a series I will reread multiple times.

 

 

 

 

 

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Filed under contemporary, Dystopia, Favourites, Review, Romance, Series, YA

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