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Divergent Series Four-Book Paperback Box Set: Divergent, Insurgent, Allegiant, Four Paperback – January 19, 2016
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About the Author
Veronica Roth is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Divergent, Insurgent, Allegiant, Four: A Divergent Collection, and Carve the Mark. Ms. Roth and her husband live in Chicago. You can visit her online at www.veronicarothbooks.com.
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Beatrice is about to take the test that will determine which of the five factions she will go into for the rest of her life. The five factions are: Candor (the honest), Amity (the peaceful), Erudite (the intelligent), Dauntless (the brave) and Abnegation (the selfless). Each of the factions carries out certain job throughout the city. Those without factions do all the dirty work and have no rights in society. Born into Abnegation, everyone thinks she will stay in. On the day of the test, Beatrice learns she is Divergent. Fitting into not just one, but many factions. She chooses Dauntless and is told to keep her Divergent identity secret. In dauntless Beatrice renames herself Tris, and she is tested to determine who she really is. Her failure could leave her factionless. Her testing will reveal that she is divergent if she isn’t careful. Being divergent might just get her killed.
I can’t believe how spot on the movie was. I could completely picture the scenes while I read this book. There were only a few details left out of the movie Divergent. This book was really addictive. Even though I knew what was going to happen, I couldn’t stop reading the story. There were a few interactions left out and we get a more in depth look at Tris’ struggle to leave Abnegation and her whole family behind. The development of her relationship to Four made much more sense in the book and he was instrumental in the end. We also get more of an explanation of Tris’ fears and why Four was so different from his peers when he graduated.
I really enjoyed the character building, getting to know her friends and her fears. The author is able to draw in the reader right from the start. The location of this story is a dytopian Chicago. I liked the gradual world building in this story. The whole society is cut off from the outside. The idea that people are either of 5 personalities was really problematic for divergents because they have characteristics from more than one. The struggle to pick just one thing for the rest of your life is something a lot of young adults can probably relate to as they make career choices, so this story may feel close to home.
I came into Insurgent expecting more of the same. Man was I grossly disappointed. I actually saw the movie first and thought it was very well done, so I was excited to dig into the book expecting a similar storyline but some deeper character insights and the juicy bits you get from the book that just don't translate onto film. What I got was a ragtag, at times completely nonsensical, rambling, all over the place mess. It left me scratching my head wondering if these were even written by the same author. Anyway, here is the breakdown, as always Pros first.
1) The best pro was a carryover from the first book. The worldbuilding in this series is brilliant and innovative. I really like the deeper look inside Candor, and to see the dichotomy even between those houses like Amity and Candor who should have been allies in standing up for what was right. This really was the only high point in the book.
1) Inconsistent characters. It was like some of the characters from Divergent developed multiple personality disorder. Tris turned completely unlikeable in this book, and given that readers are trapped in her head due to the 1p POV, that is not a good thing. Other characters seemed to act in ways contrary, or at least inconsistent, with how they were written in Divergent.
2) Story. Things sometimes happened for no reason. Characters acted in unfathomable ways. Sometimes obviously courses of action were ignored by otherwise brilliant strategists. All in all this felt like a REALLY BAD fanfiction written in the Divergent setting.
Since reading and expressing some of my displeasure at the drop in quality between Divergent and Insurgent, I have heard rumors that the third book drops even further so I should go ahead and lower my expectations. I think I will pursue another course. Given how much quality stuff there is piling up in my reading queue, I think Insurgent was bad enough for me to do something I rarely do...leave the series unfinished and give the third book a pass.