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on October 12, 2014
This set includes the trilogy, along with the extra book titled, "Four". I actually recommend reading Four first. It's the comets set. My 13 year old triplet boys started reading this series in school. They couldn't stop talking about it, so I bought this series for them, and I even read it myself. It's very, very good. The movie is pretty good too; although, the books are a lot more detailed. I highly recommend this series. I would caution for younger readers as the two main characters have some heated moments. Nothing that heavy, but on the line. I wouldn't want my 8 year old reading something like that. I hope this review has been helpful for the parents out there. All in all.. Definitely a great series! A Must Read!
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on April 9, 2017
I had never heard of these books and accidentally watched Insurgent the movie one day and thought it was kind of weird and confusing. Later I learned that it was actually a trilogy and I had watched the second one first and had no background/basis for any of the story. I am one who likes the books 99.9% of the time so I decided to go ahead and buy this series so I could read it and I did in 2 days (all 3 books plus the Four mini books).

Divergent - Like many others, I really enjoyed this book and loved the world that Roth created with all the character background. I feel like I need to go into a ton of detail since I'm late to the party and a lot of people already have. I totally bought into the romance between Tris and Tobias/Four (enigmatic, strong, but broken young man attempting to be courageous and try to save others, including those who hurt him).

Four - I really liked this addition, it's probably my second favorite of the 4 'books'. Since I am a girl, I don't know how men think inside their heads, but I really enjoyed the prequel and additional explanation of the world - faction, initiation, why Eric and Four didn't get a long and their initiation class, etc.

Insurgent - The book was interesting, but I still liked Divergent best. It did hold my interest and I continued to read it even though I did get annoyed with some of the characters. I liked learning that there were more divergents and that there were brave people attempting to infiltrate the Erudites/rebel-Dauntless and fight for 'freedom' or order in their world. Tris was a guilt-ridden teenager who kept it in instead of talking about it with others which is what I would have done, but I supposed she has learned to be more introverted from her upbringing.

Allegiant - Honestly, I was not a huge fan. I thought it was a let down experience after this world was created and built up only to have it be a complete fabrication and something that could be 'reset'. It would have been cool for them to go outside the wall and had the fringe people come back and fight with them or something of that sort, but just having this all powerful government in the ORD airport was really weird. I just couldn't get into it. Also, knowing there were other cities that weren't 'experiments' allowing them to just do these huge experiments on thousands of people didn't sound plausible. Even though Four got all weird and kind of pathetic in the middle of the book, I still hated him hurting so badly at the end. I did like that Roth added some parts about love, that Tris realized she chose him and chose to love him no matter what and they chose each other through the good and bad times. I did not understand why Tobias would ask for Tris' opinion and then not even care what she said, but also, she should have worked on her explanations and been more open with him also - perhaps I'm expecting too much of 2 teenagers that have been traumatized and probably have PTSD.

Overall, I just got them a week ago and I read all of them in the first 2 days (hard to do working full time and having 2 babies but I hate not knowing what happens... then after Allegiant I was like meh... I guess I kept hoping that it would get better but then it was over and I felt kind of empty/unsatisfied with the ending/how their world was utterly destroyed and made into something fictional even in it's own book. Since I finished I read Roth's blog on why she ended it the way she did and I understand why she had Tris' part the way it was, but I still think their world could have been built up more instead of suddenly becoming an 'experiment' and being confusing. I feel like it was like the Truman Show but nobody was flipping out other than Four about it (and his lack of real divergence which was weird too) and if my whole world was a hoax, I think I would have had needed some serious time to figure out how I felt about it all.

After I read other's reviews, watched the movies in order, I re-read Divergent and Four and I still like them, but I would probably not read Allegiant again since it kind of ruins the whole experience for me as it tears their whole world apart and doesn't really feel 'finished' when the book is over. Something would have happened to the people running the experiment, they couldn't have been the only ones who were concerned about pure/damaged genes since someone obviously was funding the project. Confusing and inconclusive but I'll probably re-read Divergent and Four again... possibly Insurgent but avoid Allegiant.

I liked Allegiant the movie better than the book, Four still was manly and determined to save everyone. I did like the Divergent book better than the movie. I can't really decide which version of Insurgent I like better, but I felt like the movie was kind of confusing, especially if you had no background from the first movie/had not read the books.

They should definitely make a Four movie though featuring Theo James, he was a great Four character.
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on June 11, 2014
I liked Divergent. It had potential. It was interesting, suspenseful, sappy. A good start to a good series. I knew it wouldn't be like my favorite series but I felt I would miss the world and characters when it was over.

Insurgent was a disaster for me. A ruined series at this point. Tris was annoying as heck and she stressed me out cause she was stupid and I got really bored of the constant action. It got mundane and repetitive. Hated insurgent. I read it as fast as I could to get it over and done with. The characters didn't get developed as well as I thought they could have and story line was weak list in a billion other side plots. And it got to the point I was trying to remember who everyone was and what everything stood for that I couldn't pay attention anyways to the story or lack there of. It was a book needed to link the 3rd book to divergent but totally could have linked them in 10 chapters.

I actually really like Allegient. The ending surprised me and I was actually upset what happened to Tris. It wasn't suppose to end that way. Yet when all was said and done it ended good. I couldn't picture Tris and Tobias settling down with a normal life and heading up the rebuilding of Chicago. I was upset they didn't get to be together but I really liked the Epilogue.

I gave this trilogy a three stars because I give 1 and a half stars to Divergent and 1 and a half stars to Allegent but none to Insurgent. If I could give a half star to Insurgent I might just cause of the connection but I hated that book. I won't be reading the series again just to avoid that book but I will see the movies. Just for curiosity and that I like the two books. Not that I usually read series again anyways. Three and a half stars is my final answer.
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on June 18, 2015
These books were amazing! I just could not get enough of them. I also purchased the book, Four (purchased separately and highly recommend to add to this collection), to continue this amazing journey with these characters. The pace of the story was perfect. I didn't feel like I was dragging through any parts of the books.
I purchased the hardbound, boxed set of this trilogy. My only negative comment about this purchase has to do with how the books arrived. The top of the outer box came with some damage that was very disappointing to me. I take great care of my books and this was a major bummer. Other than that, I think that many people will enjoy this series. You won't want to put these books down.
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on September 13, 2016
I read that the author originally started writing this from Fours point of view. But then decided she wanted a female lead. When I saw the first movie i of course rushed out and bought this set. I tend to do that.

The books almost always give so much more than the movies and these are true to that. I do have to saw the visuala in the movies are very good. And the books did not ruin the movies!

I woukd suggest read Divergent, then Four before continuing on to Insurgent. Four gives you so much more to the Divergent and doesnt go past its time line. I think it would have turned out well being from Fours perspective but the author was probably right in deciding to create it from Triss's. I usually read series I love more than once. This one I have only read once because it really got to me at the end. I do get invested into the characters when I read, but the end of this series really got to me. I highly recommend this set!
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on October 10, 2014
Originally posted on my blog: Tangled Up In Books

Insurgent picks up exactly where we leave off in Divergent and from there the roller coaster ride begins. Friends become enemies, enemies become allies. Lines are drawn, lines are crossed. The major thing I've discovered now that I'm two books in and sitting here nervously eyeing Allegiant is if you ever feel like you know what's going to happen next or whether that character sitting there smiling sweetly at you is for sure friend or foe, 3/4 of the time you're most likely wrong. Well at least that was the case for me. This one was packed full of surprises. The number of times I stared at the page wondering, sometimes aloud, just what in the hell is going on I couldn't count on one hand. The heart pounding intensity was just as strong in this one as it was for me in Divergent. I think the only difference would be that there was a darker tone here. One thing was for sure, there is no case of the sophomore slump here.

In the first book I came out of it feeling like up to that point I really only had a strong grasp on two of the factions and a partial on a third, though by the end of this one I feel like I have a better grasp on all five. Each one of the factions absolutely fascinates me. I love learning new things about them and seeing how they operate. I also started to see that it is true what's been said before that not one faction itself is bad. There's going to be good and evil within each one. Though I still feel like some of them have the scales tilted just a bit more towards evil than the others...

It's quite easy to become attached to most of these characters. I only say most because there are quite a few I would gladly put a bullet in their head with no remorse whatsoever. They are all so full of depth and they're part of what intrigues me so much about the different factions. Each person really embodies the personality of their chosen faction. It's so hard when characters are so likable, especially in a book such as this one. People are going to die. People are going to betray one another. Some of those deaths and betrayals hit me really hard. One in particularly I am steel reeling over.

Tris had me in a big spiral of emotions through basically the entirety of this book. Actions taken at the end of Divergent completely flipped her world upside down. It was hard to read and watch her go through the guilt and blame taking on top of all the other heartache she was going through and slowly sink inside of herself. It was frustrating and hurt to watch her go from this total ass kicking girl from book one to a shell of what she once was with a nonexistent self worth, yet still being able to see small sparks of her old self trying to break through.

If going from book one to book two is any indication of what I have in store for me next I am both excited and nervous to see what comes next and ends the series. The ratings are all over the place from one star to five and that honestly terrifies me. I fell in love with Divergent and Insurgent just deepened it for me. I don't have the best track record for being happy with series enders but I'm hoping and praying that it won't let me down. Please...please...please... *Crosses self* I'm going in...
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on February 20, 2015
Divergent is the first in a series of novels of a future world created by Ms. Roth. And boy, has she created an fascinating look at one possible world having twists and turns as the story unfolds! It is fairly accurate with the movie of the same name. For me, I watched the movie and decided I would read the book. I kept imagining the characters in the movie although Ms. Roth does a fine job describing the main characters as well as many faces of the others faction members. I'm now on the third novel in the series. If you like a fairly fast paced, somewhat telegraphed storyline in a good adventure love story, give this a read. Notice by the way, the huge numbers of reviews. It is no accident it made the movies. I just found out the second in the series is coming out in the theaters next month. Ms. Roth has done herself credit with her new world she has created for us. Enjoy!!
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on July 24, 2015
Wow, what a twist and disappointment. After reading the first book, I was impressed how closely the movie followed along, and I could see why. It was well written, perfectly paced, and for the movie to stick so closely was a testimony to how little room for improvement was left with Divergent.

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.

Pros:
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.

Cons:
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.
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on April 2, 2013
Divergent is a straight-forward young adult drama-turned-action utopian story set in the near future. It has been oft compared to The Hunger Games, and that is a fair comparison if only for the fact that it involves a supposedly-perfect society in the future and centers around an adolescent girl with blooming, previously unknown potential.

The story takes place at some undefined time in the future in a `fallen-and-restored' version of Chicago, Illinois (this is never expressly clarified, but the hints are there. Plus, it's the author's home city). In this society, there are five factions or sub-cultures within the culture, each with their own traits and chosen ways of life. The factions each have elders that make decisions for all the people as a whole, though there is no president or sole person in charge. When a child turns sixteen, he or she is tested for what faction they would best fit into, which may or may not be the faction they were born in. The test results are only for evaluation and reference, as the child still has the option of staying in their home faction or moving on to another, regardless of suggestion.

The book opens with Beatrice on her testing day, and the faction-choosing day that follows. This, if you hadn't guessed, is where things take a turn from the norm. It's also where this `Divergent' term comes in, but I shan't ruin that part.

To be honest, the plot takes a little while to get moving, even after Beatrice chooses her faction and begins training. If the book has one flaw, it is the author's lack of detail. When I sit down to read a `sci-fi' novel describing a version of humanity's future that differs greatly from our present, I want to know, in at least moderate detail, how things are different. What advances have been made technologically to improve life? What does the architecture look like? How do people dress? A small amount of this information is revealed as the story progresses, but I failed to get an accurate, overall picture of what this future really looked and felt like because the plot is largely dialogue-driven. Through the speech, one gets hints of the surroundings and situation of life, but the scenes are frustratingly acute in their focus.

I realize that this is, after all, a novel written primarily for teens, so you may perceive I'm expecting too much from a young adult novel and feel tempted to suggest I go read some Tolkien. I understand that; I'm saying the lack of detail is blaring in this story, and it was a bummer because it could have been stellar. Other readers may not be so bothered by it.

Alright, on to the good stuff: the plot is pretty original, or at least it tries to be. It would be hard to be completely original in the wake of books like 1984 or Brave New World, as most books of this sort of kind of trickle-down copies of one of those, including The Hunger Games. But Roth still makes it fun to read, and once you really become familiar with the different factions and what they stand for, their society (and it's flaws) start to gain some depth. The characters are enjoyable and diverse, especially the chemistry between Beatrice and a faction trainer named Four.

This book has been criticized for it's violence, but I did not find it to be excessive or unnecessary. There is no more violent content than can be found in the later Harry Potter books or Hunger Games. Plus, it's presence in the story is tasteful and makes for compelling action. Additionally, the `simulation' scenes, in which characters literally face their fears in a virtual-reality type setting, are among the most creative and exciting sections of the book. They are intense, widely varying, and some are undeniably creepy.

I got the feeling that there is something big and weighty buried beneath the subtext of this book; something larger than the lives of these kids in factions, something that could shake their reality forever. This is the first of three books, so I reckon that the author is building up to something epic which will unfold later. Divergent does have an ending of it's own with an exciting climax, and while it doesn't exactly end on a cliffhanger, there are definitely some threads intentionally left unconnected. Also, the villains (the ones who aren't blatantly obvious) are being hinted at all through the book, but never fully acknowledged, so I'm sure they will come into play later as well.

For what it is, Divergent is a good book full of interesting ideas, a writing style that is easy to read, and events that keep one tearing through large chunks in one sitting and coming back for more. A fun little piece of escapism with promise of greater things to come.
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on January 21, 2017
This book is the first in a popular dystopian young adult trilogy. Dystopian societies are not my favorite setting. I had read very little about the series, so for me it was interesting to gradually realize that the described crumbling world was Chicago. The story begins with our heroine at 16 making a momentous choice of her faction. It has elements of The Hunger Games with young people fighting to the death and malevolent political powers. The violence is unrelenting. The picture of humanity is repellant with our heroes and heroines hard to admire. Obviously, no one would want to live in this world. The dominant character trait of each faction (truthfulness, fearless bravery, selflessness, studiousness, etc.) is carried to extremes. At those extremes, the traits become perverted, cruel, and unbalanced. The society certainly seems beyond redemption. Our divergent heroes are not much more balanced than the faction members since they have been so damaged by the society in which they were raised. There is some romance among the teenagers, but it is of a chaste and innocent variety. They are more timid with sex than with brutality. Katness Everdeen is a more interesting and more sympathetic character than Beatrice. Because the bulk of this book was so violent with little in the way of strategic thinking, grace, or kindness, I am less inclined to read on in the series. Nevertheless, congratulations are due to Ms. Roth for writing such a successful book at such a young age. I am not her target audience so perhaps it is not surprising that the book did not capture me.
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