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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
44,331
Divergent / Insurgent
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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 March 17, 2015
I have to start by saying that watching the Divergent movie made me want to read the book. I really enjoyed the movie and I thought for sure there was more in the book. Movie goers didn’t miss as much as I had hoped.

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.
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on May 6, 2015
First Impression: The Movie was Better!

***

Divergent, a book review

I picked up Divergent on the recommendation of a friend of mine. I had already seen the DVD of the story of the same name so I thought I’d give it a try. Actually, the movie was better!

Story & Plot:

Basic themes of family, groups, betrayal and self-sacrifice pepper the story. Unfortunately you have to also put up with the main character’s whiny self-deprecating, clueless dialogue throughout much of the story.

But I Digress:

A city in the Midwest, Chicago perhaps, is a remnant of its former self. To survive, a large wall was built around the city and a civilization was built based on four merits that cancel each other out. They’re divided into factions: Dauntless, Abnegation, Candor and Erudite. The words speak for themselves.

Beatrice belongs to the selfless group Abnegation and wants to be free of restrictions and go with Dauntless, which seems to be having all the fun. Airhead that she seems to be, she chooses Dauntless rather than the family group Abnegation, thus upsetting her parents and her brother (who also abdicates Abnegation and goes with the smart guys, Erudite.).

Faction before Family is a slogan that is also strewn about the novel and as in the movie is cause of tension between the factions.

Beatrice (Tris) is just a clueless 16 year old in this book. She falls for one of the leaders, “Four.” Yep, that’s his name and don’t give him a hard time about it, darn you!

He falls for her too, but when they see each other in the Dauntless cafeteria, he ignores her. She gets all introverted and wonders why he did that and then comes up with a wrong conclusion.

She does this a lot. Makes a bad call and acts on it.

This character is more frustrating than Bell on “Twilight”! (Actually, I take that back: No one is as bad as Bell on Twilight!).

Movie & Book

The movie is better. In the movie, Tris is naive but not clueless. We get to the end with her in conflict with the bad girl who wants to raise an army of Dauntless mind-controlled zombies. Tris handles it. The end, with a door open for the next film.

In the book, Tris does NOT handle it, but runs away on a train. Oh boy.

I’m leaving a lot out. The point is, you won’t be missing much by skipping the novel and watch the films. Way more entertaining.

And you don’t have to put up with the clueless conclusions of one dizzy Dauntless dame!
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on September 22, 2014
The initial book is interesting, if a bit formulaic. After the author finishes fleshing out the world, it becomes clear the author didn't think things all the way through. Like the rest of the dystopian young adult fiction out there, the society could not possibly exist with the numbers of each caste we're shown. Economics and sociology are conveniently forgotten in order to allow the author's heavy handed philosophy to work.

The female protagonist is the typical young adult blank slate and follows a rather dull love story throughout the books. In the third book, the author suddenly decides to abandon narrating only from the main protagonist's POV and alternates following the female protagonist and her male love interest. The second and third books manage to rehash the same theme (and even some of the plot points) from the first books a la Hunger Games.

Leave this book for the young adults.
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As with many trending "It" series, I was brought into the world of Divergent by my sister and her fellow book loving friends. Honestly, I was easily hooked and quickly read through Divergent followed by Insurgent, which leaves you hungry for more. So when I realized that there was one to come and it was to be the end of the trilogy with all the answers, I couldn't wait to get my hands on it. I even pre-ordered a copy so I didn't have to wait on a friend's copy like the last two. Sadly not even a third into the last book, Allegiant, I found myself regretting staying up till midnight awaiting its release.

Living in dystopian Chicago among one of the five factions, Beatrice Prior is at the age where they must take a test which will reveal her true faction. Born in Abnegation (the selfless) Beatrice wonders if she is in fact Candor (the honest), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), Erudite (the intelligent) or simply still Abnegation? However when her results come back inconclusive and read as Divergent, Beatrice is told to keep it a secret and choose for herself or else . . . Yet during Faction initiation Beatrice chooses a new faction no one expected, the Dauntless. A new faction means a new family and new name, she becomes Tris. It's in Dauntless that Tris finds out more about herself and learns the truth of how the system everyone trusts is failing. Tris eventually leads a group of friends to help stop the corruption of the world they live in and the world around them, while learning and showing what it means to be Divergent.

Overall, you'll love the trilogy then hate it. The first two books are great but the last book makes little to no sense. Allegiant basically needs another book to explain itself, but the first two are worth reading again and again, hence the conflicting feelings about the trilogy. Tris as a character is relatable being constantly different and yet willing to be strong, plus when the time comes she doesn't just rely on her hot BF, but takes action herself. The sad thing is in the last book you lose some of that strength of character as Tris looked to others too much and ended up making rash decisions in the end. Plus there are a few other issues, but I'll not spoil too much. Divergent and Insurgent were told only from Tris' perspective, but Allegiant was split between Tris and Four which wasn't executed properly since their voices ended up sounding the same and Four lost all his manly appeal. There is also a HUGE controversial plot point in the end of the trilogy which I'd actually be okay with IF the scene had been better crafted and the rest of the story better explained to give meaning to the huge moment. So if you haven't already dove into this series I suggest its worth a read even if the ending isn't at all what everyone and I mean EVERYONE expected.

------Read more of my reviews at: [...]------
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Actual rating 3.5 stars

There was a lot of hype around this trilogy, and I resisted picking up the box set for a few years after being disappointed with some other YA series released around the same time. News of a film franchise being kicked off is what finally encouraged me to start reading. Though I didn’t power through the books – I really enjoyed ‘Divergent’ and rated it for the experience I had, thinking this was going to be an amazing trilogy. I’m not a big lover of dystopian novels, so the subsequent sequels were spread out over the following two years, each spurned on by looming release dates of the film franchise.

Overall, it is a fun, imaginative and gritty series, but I would probably recommend some others in this genre to my friends before the Divergent trilogy. My satisfaction diminished with each volume. It has a great conclusion, but ultimately the narrative style is what dragged my rating down.

I’d probably rate the boxed set as a solid 3.5. It has become a big part of the YA reading culture, and with the films, hard to ignore. So while a phenomenal story, fantastic packaging and a strong female protagonist role model, it didn’t make the impact on me I’d hoped for… whether my expectations had been elevated by the hype, or that I did not gel with Roth’s writing style, it’s still an action packed journey worth a look.

On the whole I feel as though I have enjoyed the movie franchise a lot better than the books, especially the SPFX, and much of the superfluous story lines stripped away, leaving it compact and throwing a punch. Really excited to see the final movie, 'Ascendant.'

To read individual reviews:
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on January 2, 2018
This book just reads like it’s ready to be turned into a movie so I’d probably just recommend you save yourself the time and just see the movie if you’re interested in the synopsis. I haven’t actually seen the movie so I don’t know whether it’s good but this book isn’t really a satisfying level of storytelling for me. I found the characters fairly flat and not terribly interesting. You really just don’t get enough about what’s going on, why the world is the way it is, and what it’s like to ever get immersed into the story. And the all or nothing nature of the factions of this dystopian society too openly begs for a “Divergent” protagonist. It reads easily like a mindless action movie might play so it’ll fill time if you need it to but I don’t think I’d recommend it otherwise.
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on March 25, 2015
"Insurgent" begins almost exactly where "Divergent" left off, with the protagonist Beatrice "Tris" Prior and her boyfriend Tobias "Four" Eaton riding the train to an uncertain future in the aftermath of a surprise attack that devastated two of the five personality-based "factions" that reside in what was once Chicago. They turn to the peaceful folks of Amity for a safe haven, but there's really no time to recover from the physical and psychological wounds of battle. There are secrets to uncover, alliances to be made, enemies alert for another chance to attack.

I didn't enjoy "Insurgent" quite so much as I did the first volume of Veronica Roth's dystopian trilogy. Although there was plenty of action in "Divergent," it was on the whole a much more thoughtful and character-driven novel. The first few chapters were concerned primarily with exposition, worldbuilding, and Tris's soul-searching as the day approaches when she must choose her faction. There are hints fairly early on that there's some kind of trouble brewing on a societal level, but most of the novel concerns Tris's initiation into Dauntless and her relationships with both other members of her chosen faction and the family she left behind. "Insurgent" is much more plot-driven. That's not to say it's a mindless sequence of action scenes; Tris finds herself struggling to live with the aftermath of all that she witnessed and performed at the end of the previous book, and it takes its toll on her relationship with Four. Guilt, grief, and sacrifice are recurring themes, and Tris rarely makes it through more than a day or two without facing a new devastating ethical dilemma. However, the characters feel a bit more contrived and manipulated here, occasionally acting in ways that contradict everything we know about them so far when it's convenient to the plot.

One of the central conflicts of "Insurgent" - certainly the one most important to Tris - concerns the possession of a dangerous, potentially devastating, piece of information. Unfortunately, Roth commits the authorial sin of building suspense by openly withholding information "just because." At least two major characters know exactly what the big secret is, and a third may or may not know everything but certainly knows much more than Tris. She is told again and again just how crucial this piece of information is. A character she has no real reason to trust seeks her aid in recovering the information from what he insists are the wrong hands, but refuses to tell her what it is - "but not because I don't want to. It's because I have no idea how to describe it to you. You have to see it for yourself." No character even attempts to tell Tris anything substantial, no matter how desperately they wish to persuade her of the rightness of a particular course of action. Even worse, Tris, usually so determined and resourceful, never once puts her foot down and says "Tell me what it is or I won't help you." By the time I started the last chapter, I figured Roth was going to carry the mystery over into "Allegiant." I was wrong. The final three pages of the novel are devoted to the Big Reveal, which was pretty much the kind of thing I was expecting it to be based on the few hints other characters had dropped. There were still a few surprises in store, but they would have had much more of an impact if there hadn't been such a huge buildup to something so utterly ineffable even the person who knew it best couldn't find a way to describe it.

My favorite thing about "Insurgent" was that, whereas "Divergent" took place almost entirely within two factions, the sequel finds Tris and Four spending time in each of the factions, and even passing a few chapters in the company of the factionless. I don't think a dystopian novel could ever contain too much worldbuilding for my taste, and I set down "Divergent" longing to learn more about the other factions and their values and ways of life. Of course, with society descending into chaos, "Insurgent" doesn't offer quite the pure slice-of-life descriptions I craved, but there's definitely enough to get a feel for each faction, to understand its strengths and weaknesses, and to confirm my suspicion that Roth never meant to portray any faction as entirely virtuous or entirely villainous. Probably what tipped this book firmly into four-star territory for me, however, was Roth's venture into the relationship between neurology and personality, long a favorite subject of mine, when Tris submits to a series of medical scans and tests in an attempt to learn more about her Divergence: "I did not know that my entire personality, my entire being, could be discarded as the byproduct of my anatomy. What if I really am just someone with a large prefrontal cortex . . . and nothing more? . . . I feel like my mind is cracked open, its secrets spilling over the floor for me to finally see."

"Insurgent" ends with a plot twist that, upon reflection, raises more questions than it answers. Although "Divergent" was written to be able to stand alone (Roth knew better than to expect any publisher to commit to an unfinished trilogy by an unknown author), "Insurgent" wasn't: readers who plunge in without having read "Divergent" are likely to be pretty confused, and the ending is a cliffhanger. Just how well "Insurgent" succeeds in its purpose, therefore, is probably impossible to say without knowing where things go in the third book. I'm willing to give Roth the benefit of the doubt because I enjoy spending time with her characters in the world she has created, but there's going to need to be a little less nonstop action, a lot more explanation and backstory in "Allegiant" if the trilogy as a whole is going to work as anything but a charming contrivance.
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on April 4, 2016
Post-apocalyptic Chicago is protected by tattooed teenagers, governed by teenage Mother Theresa's, plotted against by teenage bookworms, with 2 other groups of teenagers that serve no purpose whatsoever.

Who actually works in this Chicago? The poverty-stricken "factionless" masses that somehow go along with this.

Ok, whatever. Why was there an apocalypse? Not sure.

Oh, and in this book you can take a group of teens and turn them into peerless warriors in a couple of weeks of jumping off trains and beating each other up for no real reason.

I love the part where Tris gets shot in the shoulder, has the bullet removed without anesthesia, and can still run, jump, fight off a zombie army, witness the violent death of both of her parents and make-out with her boyfriend without any noticeable difficulty.

Lastly, why exactly do the trains never stop? How do they refuel, who drives them? There are just too many stupid issues with the book that suspension of disbelief is impossible.

I don't write reviews, but perhaps this will save at least one person the agony of investing any time or money on this book.

I gave it 2 stars because 1 star seemed cruel, and there are a few interesting images here and there but the book is mostly hopeless.
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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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