Monday, February 2, 2015

Divergent Trilogy | 2015 Reading Challenge

Please note this post does contain spoilers.  

All opinions are my own and I was not given anything as compensation for this review.

One of the categories of my 2015 Reading Challenge is to read a trilogy.  I decided to apply the Divergent Trilogy to this category.

Everyone kept telling me that if I enjoyed the Hunger Games trilogy, which I did, then I would enjoy the Divergent trilogy.  Each of the 3 books are over 500 pages, they are an easy read.  I don't have much time to read and it only took me about 3 weeks to get through all 3 books.

The premise of the story is interesting.  It takes place in the futuristic war-torn city of Chicago.  We don't know yet what kind of war led us to where we are, but it was bad enough that the founders of the current civilization built a wall to protect the inhabitants of the city from whatever was outside.  

The population is divided into five groups, or factions.  Erudite are the logical ones.  They are the teachers and doctors.  Candor are the honest ones.  They always tell the truth.  Amity are the peaceful ones.  They are always at peace and live in harmony.  Dauntless are the brave ones.  They are the police and protect the city.  Abnegation are the selfless ones.  They put others first and are trusted to run the government.

When children turn 16, they must choose which faction they will join and serve out the rest of their lives.  They can choose to remain with their families in their own faction or they can choose to leave and join another faction.  If they choose to join another faction, they will no longer be able to communication or see their families.  The motto is "faction before blood".  Before they choose at the Choosing Ceremony, each student is given an aptitude test to help them select which faction they should choose.

This is where our heroine, Beatrice Prior, comes in.  She is Abnegation, but in true form of any young adult novel, she doesn't feel she belongs there and doesn't know where she belong.  She is hoping the test will tell her what to choose.  Her test ends up being inconclusive, which is rare and considered dangerous by the government.  They call it 'Divergent'.

I found Divergent to be a very interesting read as Beatrice, now known as Tris, works to prove herself in her new faction.  There were some twists and turns, but for the most part was fairly predictable.  The power of the few to overcome and defeat those conspiring against the population.  The characters were interesting and evolved as the story progressed.  Not all the good guys live and not all the bad guys die.

Insurgent was ok.  But I found it to not be much different in story than the 1st book... just a different underdog group trying to overthrow those in power.  I'm not much of a romance type of person so by the middle of the book I was really over the drama of the relationship of Tris and Four.  But, the end of the book did end in a way that I wanted to read the 3rd one to see what happens next.

In Allegiant, we really learn the history and background behind the war and why Chicago had a very big fence built around it.  We also learn some additional background on Tris' parents.  I really just wanted the book to end by the time I got half way through.  Once I found out about what was going on outside of the fence, the rest of the book kind of fizzled for me.  There was much character or story development in the 2nd half.  The book flips back and forth between Tris and Four's point of view, which was a bit difficult to follow.  And, of course, more drama in their relationship.  The end of the book was kind of sad, but it did wrap things up quite well.  But it wasn't the type of ending where I wanted to know what happens next.  I was pretty happy it was done.

Now I couldn't end without some comments on the Divergent movie.  I waited to watch the movie until I finished the 1st book.  There were a lot of significant story lines and characters from the book that were left out of the movie.  The movie probably would have been ok had I not read the book, but the differences were very obvious.  There were even some scenes, like their trip through Four's fear landscape, that took on a whole different meaning in the movie than intended in the book.

The next book that I'm working through is Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn.  I've heard a lot of good things about it and will definitely be waiting until after I'm done to watch the movie.

What are you reading in 2015?

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2015 Reading Challenge

2015 Reading Challenge
Amanda has read 3 books toward her goal of 50 books.