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Thursday
Jan152015

Book #2, 3 & 4: The Divergent Trilogy

"To read a writer is for me not merely to get an idea of what he say, but to go off with him and travel in his company." - Andre Gide

I wasn't originally interested in the Divergent Triology even though I had heard good things about the story and the movie.  And then one night I was flipping channels and caught the movie on HBO when nothing else was on.  And it was good... the topic, the story and what happened next intrigued me (It also doesn't hurt that I think Shailene Woodley is an amazing actress and adorable).

So of course, then I HAD to read the books. And BONUS! it conveniently fit into my new reading challenge.

Divergent is the debut novel of Veronica Roth which she wrote on her winter break while a senior at Northwestern University and sold the movie rights before graduating (talk about making your classmates feel inadequate).  It introduces Tris in a post-apocalyptic version of Chicago and is followed up by Insurgent and Allegiant books.  As with most books made into films, they didn't match up perfectly and I read the book too soon after seeing the movie so I struggled with the differences in the details. As usual, the book was better - I fail to see why directors go away from the book's storyline and screenwriters think their ideas should replace the authors.  But they do. And it never fails to disappoint. 

As a young adult novels, these were really quick reads and great mindless entertainment while still having series themes lying underneath the angsty love of the two main characters.  In a post-apocalyptic Chicago, survivors were divided into five factions based on their dispositions: Abnegation, for the selfless; Amity, for the peaceful; Candor, for the honest; Dauntless, for the brave; and Erudite, for the intellectual. Each year, all sixteen-year-olds must take an aptitude test that describes the one faction for which they are best suited. After receiving the results, they can decide whether to remain with their family's faction or transfer to a new faction. Those who do not complete initiation into their new faction become "Factionless", and are forced to live in poverty on the streets of the city. 

The division of the factions and the factionless continue through the three books and the subsequent rebellions of the different factions and the life choices made by the main characters. I enjoyed the books and the controversial ending of the third book because it was a real ending versus a 'happily ever after' ending.  I didn't like the back forth narrative Tris and Four... I'll admit that I found it confusing at certain points.  But it made since of why it was needed with the ending so I would just say that it needed but could have been done better. 

Overall, an impressive and entertaining trilogy with great themes of acceptance and personal freedom running through them.  I enjoyed. 

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