The Divergent Series {Reviews}

With the Divergent movie coming in March, I figured I should read the books.  I’m one of those people who needs to read the books before I watch the movies. 😉  Not only that, but several people mentioned and recommended them to me (usually in the form of, “Have you read Divergent yet?  You HAVE TO READ IT.  IT’S AMAZING).  I was also excited about the series because I had heard Veronica Roth was a Christian author – which meant, to me, it would be a clean series.  Incredible, addicting, and clean?  Yes, please.

Let’s just say I will never again assume a book is clean just because it is written by a “Christian” author.  This book isn’t necessarily “dirty” per the definition of modern steamy romance novels, but it gets close.  There are numerous sensual scenes filled with teenage girl drama, emotion, LOTS of repetitive touching, kissing, and longing.  I think one of the reasons why it bothered me so much was because of how it was written – every touch, even if slight, is very clearly depicted and the center of attention.  I don’t, in general, have problems with guy/girl relationships in books, but when the relationships cross the line into sensuality, it bothers me.

However, that element aside, I greatly enjoyed Divergent.  It was very addicting and well-written.  People say it’s similar to The Hunger Games, but I have to say, the only similarities are:

-16 year-old girl protagonist

-Present tense

-First Person POV

-Dystopian, futuristic setting and plot

When you consider those, they definitely seem similar.  However, in actuality, they are very different.  It’s a good difference though – both series stand on their own as great stories.  I like Hunger Games more, but that’s just my opinion. 😉

Without further ado, here are my Goodreads reviews on each book:

Divergent

This was a really good book. It was incredibly addicting, and grabbed me from the first page. I never knew what was going to happen, and I never could have expected what DID happen. The suspense in this book is unparalleled. The characters are super well developed, and I felt like I knew each of them in person.

The book was different than I expected from the beginning. Not necessarily a bad thing, though I could have done with less touching between Four and Tris and a few less kisses.

All in all, a great book, and I look forward to reading the rest of the series, as well as watching the move in March!

Insurgent

While most people do not like Insurgent as much as Divergent, I enjoyed the book. I can’t say that I liked one over the other; they were both good in their own ways. They both had downfalls, and I have “bones to pick” with both. However, for what it was, I enjoyed it. The pacing was nice, the plot twists were surprising, and the storyline was fun. I was also glad that there was considerably less touching and kissing in this book than in Divergent.  I also liked how this books picks up exactly where Divergent ended.  Oftentimes when beginning a sequel, it’s hard to put myself in the story; to “find” where we’re at.  This made for an easy, non-jarring transition into the book.

I disliked how Four and Tris were constantly arguing, and always assuming the worst of each other. I was also disappointed in how many times Tris lied to Four.

All in all, though, it is a good book with a captivating story.

Allegiant

Nearly everyone I’ve talked with who have read the Divergent series has complained about how awful Allegiant is.  They say that Divergent was amazing, but Insurgent and Allegiant spiraled into a meaningless mess of chaos.  (Okay, maybe not in so many words, but you get the idea.)

Well, I’m going to break that mold.

I liked the book.

Simple as that.  I didn’t LOVE it, but I didn’t HATE it.  It was definitely a slower read than the first two, but that’s all right.  Sometimes, a slow read is better – the reader has more time to absorb the author’s intended feeling and message for the book.  In fact, in some very minute ways, I liked Allegiant better than Divergent.  For instance, maybe I was just desensitized to it by now in the series, but it seemed to have less touching/kissing in it overall.  Perhaps the protagonist just wasn’t as terrified by the aspect of a relationship, so she wasn’t hypersensitive to the touching; therefore it was written in a more natural way for readers.  Maybe; that’s just a theory.

One thing that I did really appreciate about Allegiant was the setting.  Finally, Roth was breaking out of the “the city” setting and showing us more of the world.  While reading Divergent and Insurgent, I consistently had a nagging feeling of claustrophobia.  It was just so unnatural for the setting to be focused in one city, and for that city to be the only place ever talked about.  I don’t mind reading books that are set in only one city, but at least the author mentions that it is part of a country; there are other cities nearby, other countries in the world, etc.  In Divergent and Insurgent, it was just “the city.”  This bothered me, so I was very relieved when I read Allegiant, and finally it broke out of the city, expanded its setting, and answered all my questions.  I also realized that Roth had intended to give the feeling of claustrophobia to readers in the first two books – which she definitely accomplished.  As a writer myself, I can’t help but smile at how she manipulated my reading experience.  Well done, Ms. Roth.

I’ve also heard people mentioning that they hated the ending, and they cried for days after finishing the book.

Not me.  I felt like the ending was satisfactory.  No, it was not a happily-ever-after, but it was realistic.  Realism is missing from so many stories nowadays; the ending to Allegiant was actually refreshing, in a way.  They had gone through so much – flirted with death so often – that someone had to die.  It wouldn’t be realistic if no one had.  I also believe that Roth chose the right character to die – if it had been anyone else, the impact wouldn’t have been there, and I believe the effect left by the death was good – healthy, even.  In life, people die.  People suffer.  People move on, slowly but surely.  It was sad, yet real.  I appreciate that.

All in all, the Divergent Series was good.  I have a few bones to pick with each book – a few things I don’t care for in each – but overall, I like the story and the characters.  It’s not necessarily a favorite series; I like Hunger Games and other series more, but it was all right.

Until next time,

Tialla

Isaiah 40:8

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4 thoughts on “The Divergent Series {Reviews}

  1. The way you felt about the ending of Allegiant was how most of my friends felt so I definitely understand that side of it. For me, however, one of the reasons I love YA fiction is that there is typically some semblance of a happy ending. Maybe not everyone ends up exactly where I would want them to most, but seldom do I read a book where characters I get so attached to die. For me, I see so much pain and suffering in real life that when I stop to read a book or watch a movie, I want there to be a happy ending. But I definitely understand how some people want to see more realistic endings in books.

    • That makes total sense to me! Books are definitely a great escape route, and it’s true that YA novels have a pattern of happy endings…so it’s understandable when people are bothered by those books that don’t have happy endings. I was just a little refreshed by it because of the realism. 🙂 I can definitely understand both ways though. Thanks so much for commenting, Rach! I love hearing your thoughts. 🙂

      -Tia

  2. Interesting! I will definitely read the first one at least. I have heard though from some that after reading this series, they do not believe for a second that the author is a Christian. Apparently it is a little edgy. I will have to form an opinion for myself after i read it. 😉

    • Glad to have you, Ayce! 🙂 I have serious doubts that the author is a Christian. I have a feeling it’s just a “label,” not genuine. I’m not sure Divergent is your kind of book, but I’m glad you’ll at least take a shot at it!! 😀

      -Tia

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