Friday, February 20, 2015

Book: Divergent by Veronica Roth

I was a little hesitant to read the Divergent Trilogy (DivergentInsurgent and Allegiant by Veronica Roth), or watch the movie.  I watched Hunger Games and was more upset by it than I thought I would be, to be fair I didn't have a complete handle on what I was in store for.  I was afraid I would feel the same way about Divergent.  I have not read the Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins, I did read the Wikipedia summaries because after the first movie I felt like I needed to see if it was more of the same before I invested my precious reading time into it.  Thanks to Wikipedia I have a pretty good understanding of what happens over the three books.  That's not to say I may not watch the movies, or eventually read the books because I have friends that liked them, and I have no doubt they are well written.  I know, right now, it's just not what I want to be reading.  My sister, Melanie, is an avid reader and happens to have similar taste as I do when it comes to books.  She said I should give the Divergent Trilogy a try.  I usually like to read the book first, and then watch the movie but I ended up watching the movie first.  Then I had concerns I wouldn't enjoy the book or the books would ruin the movies for me.  Melanie assured me that would not be an issue.  She knows me.  I trust her.  She was right.

There may be spoilers, but I will do my best to not share all the good stuff.

Divergent, the first book in the trilogy, is a young-adult (although at times it didn't feel very young-adult) novel set in a post apocalyptic version of Chicago.  People are designated into five factions:  Abnegation for the selfless, Amity for the peaceful, Candor for the honest, Dauntless for the brave, and Erudite for the intellectual.  The story follows Beatrice "Tris" Prior through the process of  testing, choosing, and initiation into a faction.  Tris grew up Abnegation, but always felt like she didn't fit the faction.  When her test to determine what faction she was best suited for came back with more than one possibility she realizes there is something different about her.  The test administrator warns her not to tell anyone about her results, because if anyone else found out she was Divergent her life would be at risk.  Because of her ability to fit in with more than one groups way of thinking, she shows independent thoughts and is a threat to the social structure of the factions.  She is told it is her choice what faction she wants to join, but is told what ever she choices she has to be careful.  With the motto "Faction before blood" ingrained, she has to choose between her family and where she thinks she belongs.  At the choosing ceremony she is surprised when her brother, Caleb, chooses Erudite.  I think his choice may have made her choice to change factions a little harder, but she does and chooses Dauntless.  As she struggles through the initiation process, which is pretty brutal, she learns a little about herself and about the factions.  The structure of the five factions is starting to crack and Tris finds herself fighting a battle she didn't see coming.  She makes friends, and some enemies.  I enjoyed watching her start to come out from her "Stiff" up bringing.  I hope we see her friendships continue to grow and develop, especially her friendship with Christina, a former Candor who seems to have no filter whatsoever, and her instructor, Four.

I have to say I enjoyed the book (I had trouble putting it down), and even though I had watched the movie first I didn't have any of those moments where I was mad about something being changed or omitted.  The book went more in depth on some things, but the movie did not leave out anything crucial,  It was one of the better adaptations I have seen, and am looking forward to the next installment.


  1. I read these books last year before the movies came out and loved it. I thought the film adaptation was remarkably good as well! I also enjoyed the Hunger Games series rather well, though I expected not to. I'm a little jealous of Veronica Roth and her amazing creativity/success!

    1. I'm sure I'll give the Hunger Games Trilogy a try, I guess I'm just not ready for it yet. I am so jealous of Veronica Roth's success. I wish I could come up with an idea/universe. I keep telling myself my creativity is just hiding under a rock, and I just have to look under the right rock. I'm still looking...