Rating: 3 stars for Divergent, 4 stars for Insurgent
The Divergent Trilogy is probably the most popular and most anticipated young adult dystopian trilogies since The Hunger Games. I don't need to write a review of these two books, seeing as there are so many out there and most people have read them at this point, but I wanted to get my feelings about them down anyway. I'm reviewing them together because it's hard for me to separate them at this point and I think if you are going to read Divergent, you need to read Insurgent.
Divergent follows main character Tris through her life as a teenager in a future Chicago, where the society is divided into five different factions based on one dominating characteristic. The five characteristics and factions are: Honesty (Candor), Bravery (Dauntless), Selflessness (Abnegation), Peaceful (Amity), and Brainy (Erudite). At age 16, each member of the society must choose their faction and, if need be, leave their family to join their new faction. Tris leaves her family's faction (Abnegation) to join the Dauntless. Divergent follows her struggles through the initiation process and living in her new faction. She finds some new friend, makes some enemies, and meets Four, one of her initiation leaders and the boy she has a crush on. The end of the book brings lots of action and we see the beginning of the fall of their society. Insurgent picks up right after the end of Divergent and follows Tris and Four and the rest of the factions as they come to terms with the direction their society is heading and the chance of a war among the factions.
In all honesty, I was not as taken with Divergent as most people were. I was a little put off by Tris and the fact that most of the book seemed to be the Dauntless beating up on each other. It seemed to me that Tris was a bit too oblivious, both with Four and his feelings and with how the Dauntless (and all of the factions within the society) really lived and coexisted. But she was otherwise a strong female lead, willing to stick up for herself and her friends and loyal to both her new friends and her old faction. The end was exciting when all of the action started happening and we learned more about the society. I wished there had been a better way to end the book rather than having all of those characters die, but I was also glad that it seemed like an actual probable event. Sometimes authors go to crazy lengths making sure no characters die, I'm kind of glad Roth didn't go there. Overall, I was pretty happy that I read Divergent. It's no Hunger Games, to me at least, but it is the beginning of what will hopefully be a great dystopian trilogy.
And if Divergent is the beginning of a great story, Insurgent does a fantastic job of leading us right up to the grand finale. There is no second book syndrome here. In fact, I was a much bigger fan of Insurgent than I was of Divergent. We get a bigger look at the society, more information on the rest of the factions, less brooding on Tris' part about her own situation, and a surprise ending that promises to make the final book incredible. The relationship between Four and Tris experiences some rocky moments and the action in the book is nonstop. I sometimes needed some downtime myself from the book just to process everything that was happening. It was intense. And like any great dystopian, we are left wondering who among our friends and allies can we actually trust? I am still blown away by the ending of this book.
It took me a while to pick up Insurgent because I wasn't a huge fan of Divergent, but I'm so glad I did. There is a big cliffhanger though, so if you have yet to read any of them, you could save all of them until the last one comes out (sometime in the Fall of 2013). Then you won't be left hanging. They are long but quick reads and perfect for the YA dystopian genre. Even if you aren't fans of dystopian books, I recommend you check these out at some point. I hope Veronica Roth will continue to surprise me in the last Divergent book and in whatever else she may write. I gave Divergent 3 stars and Insurgent 4 stars.
Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish and combines a love of lists with a love a books. Every week has a new top and this week's top is: Top Ten Books You'd Like To See Made Into A Movie. This one was surprisingly difficult for me. Every time I thought of a book I'd like to see as a movie, I remembered it had already been done. In the end I came up with ten books that I really would go see as a movie.
1) Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare - I really love The Infernal Devices series. I know everyone loves Jace from The Mortal Instruments, but I'm a much bigger fan of Will and Jem and Tessa. I'd definitely see a movie with the three of them set in Victorian London.
2) Scarlet by A.C. Gaughen - The book was great, had plenty of action, and some great characters. Who doesn't want to see a movie where the female lead kicks some ass?
3) Delirium by Lauren Oliver - This is a great love story set in a perfect dystopian world. YA doesn't get much better than this.
4) Matched by Ally Condie - I really liked the main trio and the uncovering of the society's secrets in this dystopian. I think the setting in this one could be beautiful.
5) Wonder by R.J. Palacio - The book was truly moving. And while the ending was unrealistic, in my opinion, it made for a great feel-good story. Plus the supporting characters are all wonderful. I'd love to see them come to life and teach us all a thing or two about being kinder than necessary.
6) Legend by Marie Lu - The book was not my favorite, but only because I wasn't a fan of the double POV. I felt the voices of June and Day were too similar. I don't think that would be a problem on-screen and, in fact, I think it could make a great movie.
7) Divergent by Veronica Roth - This is kind of a given. I wasn't nearly as enthralled with this book as most people seem to be but I still enjoyed it. I think given the right creative team, seeing this world on the big screen could be incredible. I'd love to see how they'd bring the Dauntless, and other factions, to life.
8) Hourglass by Myra McEntire - In all honesty, I've only read half of this so I could totally change my mind by the end. But so far I am intrigued. I'd love to see a good time travel movie.
9) The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan - I loved the first book in the Percy Jackson series. And then I saw the movie. It just wasn't good. I wish a movie could be made that could capture the awesomeness that was Percy and his world of Greek Mythology.
10) Incarnate by Jodi Meadows - While I'm not entirely sure this would make a great movie, I would love to see Heart come to life. And the dragons, Ana and Sam, and the Masquerade Ball are not far behind.
So those are the books I'd go see if they were made into movies, or better movies. What do you think? Did you make a Top Ten list this week? Leave your link so I can check it out!
Feature and Follow is hosted each week by Parajunkee's View and Alison Can Read and is a way to find new blogs and gain new followers. So stop by, follow however you like, leave a link, and I'll follow you back!
This week's FF question is: Fight! Fight! If you could have two fictional characters battle it out (preferably from books), who would they be and who do you think would win?
I'd love to see a battle between Scarlet from Scarlet and Tris from Divergent. I loved reading about both of these strong female leads and it would be interesting to see how their different lives would work for/against them. Scarlet grew up suppressing her softer, emotional side while Tris grew up suppressing her desire to be brave and tough, but both gave up their familiar, comfortable homes to live their own lives on their own terms. They are fearless and powerful and know how to take a punch. I think in the end, though, Scarlet would win. As tough, strong, and well-trained as Tris becomes, Scarlet has lived on the streets as a thief for years and knows how to survive. And I don't think Tris' training would be any match for that.
Who do you think would win this fight? And who were your picks for battle?
I am still pretty new to the book blogging community and am still learning a lot about the way things work around here. One of the interesting things I've learned so far is that books get released for review months in advance of their actual release date. As a reader, I was always aware of new books that were coming out from my favorite authors or my favorite series. I've even attended a few midnight release parties. But otherwise, I found most of the books I read just browsing the shelves, reading reviews, or as recommendations from friends. Now as a reader of book blogs, I hear about books months in advance of their release. And it's awesome! My TBR list is stocked with books I can't wait to get my hands on. And with so much time, it also allows for lots of hype to be built around those books.
But recently I've started to wonder: Is so much hype a good thing for new books? Does all the hype within the book blogging community actually reach those who might not already know about the book? Or are we all just going around in circles? Are we all hearing and saying the same things about the same books?
For Insurgent, which isn't released for another two weeks, there are contests, pre-order campaigns, reviews, and giveaways all going on now. I'm probably the only one, but is anyone else starting to feel a little burned out? Don't get me wrong, I am definitely excited about Insurgent. I can't wait to read more about Tris and Four and find out what Veronica Roth has planned for them next. However, I would still be excited and want to buy it without all the hype surrounding it. But I'm almost more excited for the release now so we can all just move on to something else. Am I alone in this?
I don't want to offend anyone, it's just a question. I've loved reading about Insurgent and think all the bloggers involved in Divergent Nation have done a fantastic job. I myself joined Team Amity! I'm simply posing a question and hoping for some answers or discussion in the comments. It doesn't even necessarily have to do with books. I remember all the hype before The Hunger Games movie was released and I eventually gave up reading anything about it because it just became too much for me. So does the hype surrounding a new release ever get to be too much? Or is any hype good hype? Has everything that's been going on with Insurgent increased the likelihood that you will buy the book? Or are you buying it because you loved Divergent and want to read the sequel? I'd love to know what you think!