Tuesday, April 2, 2013
Reviews: Divergent and Insurgent
Purchase Divergent and Insurgent here.
In Beatrice Prior’s dystopian Chicago world, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue—Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is—she can’t have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.
During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles alongside her fellow initiates to live out the choice they have made. Together they must undergo extreme physical tests of endurance and intense psychological simulations, some with devastating consequences. As initiation transforms them all, Tris must determine who her friends really are—and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes exasperating boy fits into the life she's chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she's kept hidden from everyone because she's been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers unrest and growing conflict that threaten to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves . . . or it might destroy her.
One choice can transform you—or it can destroy you. But every choice has consequences, and as unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves—and herself—while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love.
Tris's initiation day should have been marked by celebration and victory with her chosen faction; instead, the day ended with unspeakable horrors. War now looms as conflict between the factions and their ideologies grows. And in times of war, sides must be chosen, secrets will emerge, and choices will become even more irrevocable—and even more powerful. Transformed by her own decisions but also by haunting grief and guilt, radical new discoveries, and shifting relationships, Tris must fully embrace her Divergence, even if she does not know what she may lose by doing so.
I am currently trying to figure out what to do with my life after finishing what has been published of this series so far. I am in book shock - it's been hard to read anything else because these two books are so great that I don't know what will measure up. I have my desktop set to a fan-created Divergent image. I will not stop talking about this series to basically anyone who will listen; I've downloaded both books to my boyfriend's Kindle, I semi-attacked my friend David in the dining hall today over the series, and I swear my mother will hang up on me the next time I bring the books up. To say I enjoyed the series is an understatement; I've needed a series into which I can completely escape lately, and the Divergent universe gladly delivers.
Veronica Roth's faction system creates such an interesting set up for this series. The books are engaging, fast-paced, heart-wrenching, and mind-bending. One word of warning; this series is not for the faint of heart. The series takes place in war time, and Roth is certainly not shy of character death. As someone who seems to only watch shows that involve intense emotional trauma (hello, Fringe, Season Four), this is not an issue for me. Veronica Roth really delivers: you have a badass heroine with a group of fleshed-out and interesting characters, a complex political system, insane plot twists, a complicated romance that doesn't hinder the story line. I also love that Tris isn't inhuman, and neither are any of the other characters. Even the basic training that Dauntless members have to go through is incredibly emotionally traumatizing, and dealing with that is an integral part of the storyline. When a character dies, it isn't just dealt with, accepted, and then out of the storyline; you see how it affects each character.
All in all, this was an amazing series and I cannot wait until book three is released.
Until next time, happy (or in this case, incredibly emotional) reading!