Allegiant

AllegiantSummary

Allegiant is the 3rd and final book in the Divergent trilogy by Veronica Roth. It begins right where Insurgent left off, but it is written from the perspectives of both Tris and Four. Motivated by the old video they found, Tris and her friends decide to see what is going on in the outside world, beyond the fences that surround Chicago.

Review

Like the two books before it, Allegiant is a very quick, easy read in spite of its 526 pages, but it’s my least favorite in the series.

I was initially excited to see the viewpoints of both Tris and Four in Allegiant because I thought it would offer some new insight, but I quickly changed my mind about that. The two characters’ voices sound so similar that they are essentially indistinguishable and I often forgot whose perspective I was reading until context clues reminded me (or I went back to the beginning of the chapter to check). I think it’s obvious why Roth chose to use two perspectives, but I really wish it had been done differently (besides, isn’t it a little spoilery to start using two perspectives in the final book?).

The romantic relationship between Tris and Four continued to feel cheesy and shallow, especially with the eye-roll-worthy jealousy element. “OMG, you were talking to a pretty girl?! You must be cheating on me!”

I was also disappointed by the book’s biological/political explanation for why things are the way they are, which seemed far-fetched. I generally like my dystopia to be more plausible.

Without getting too spoilery, I know a lot of people were disappointed with the ending of the book, but I was actually okay with it. I was mentally prepared for it and I think that character’s actions were in line with who that character was.

Insurgent

InsurgentSummary

Insurgent is the 2nd book in the Divergent trilogy by Veronica Roth. It picks up right where Divergent left off, after the attack against Abnegation. The factions are on the brink of war and Tris and her friends are caught in the middle of it.

Review

Insurgent is very much a continuation of Divergent. It’s a fun, action-packed book that was a quick read in spite of its 500+ pages. There’s nothing particularly remarkable about the series (at least so far), but it’s entertaining and enjoyable. I still wish Roth would’ve toned down the romance/melodrama, though, because it detracts from the main story. Also, for someone who has an aptitude for Erudite, Tris sure acts illogically sometimes.

I liked that I got to see more of the other factions and that, by the end of the book, Tris had been to all 5 faction headquarters. The factionless, who were only mentioned in the first book, also played a bigger role in the sequel. While there is still no word on what is going on outside Chicago, the end of the book did at least reveal some information about the founding of their isolated society.

Divergent

Summary

DivergentDivergent is a young adult dystopian fiction novel that is being made into a movie that will be released in March 2014. It’s the first part of a trilogy by Veronica Roth.

Divergent is set in Chicago in the future, where the people there have divided into five factions, each dedicated to a particular virtue:

  • Abnegation (selflessness)
  • Amity (peace)
  • Candor (honesty)
  • Dauntless (courage)
  • Erudite (knowledge)

Each year, all 16-year-olds get to choose whether to spend their lives in the factions they grew up in or switch to a different faction. The book’s main character, Beatrice Prior, has to decide whether to be selfless and remain with her family in Abnegation or to make the more selfish choice to go elsewhere.

Review

I liked Divergent, but the premise is a bit unrealistic. To prevent evil in the world, their ancestors thought it would be best to segregate themselves and each embrace only one admirable quality. So unlike The Handmaid’s Tale, which was scary in its plausibility, I think Divergent was going more for entertainment value.

I also felt that the romance subplot cheapened it. What could have been a strong, female lead character was replaced by a semi-strong and occasionally oblivious girl who gets saved a lot by her romantic authority figure. Then again, Tris is a 16-year-old girl and this is a young adult book. *Shrugs*

That said, Divergent was an action-packed, quick, fun, and easy read. It’s almost 500 pages long, but I blew through it in just a few days. If you like the Hunger Games series, I’d recommend giving Divergent a read (though I liked Hunger Games better). I’m curious about what life is like outside of Chicago, so I’m hoping one or both of the other two books in the trilogy expand on that.

Movie Trailer

After seeing the trailer, there are two main things that bug me. First, Tris has an awful lot of makeup on for being Abnegation. She’s only allowed a brief look in the mirror every three months and I’m pretty sure the Abnegation would see makeup as self-indulgent. Second, Four looks way too old and a lot more tough and physically attractive than I imagined. In the books, Four was modest and vulnerable once you got past the “strict leader” front. I’m really having a hard time seeing the guy in the trailer as Four, but maybe the movie will change my mind. I’ll just have to wait and see.