I love to read. I used to do a lot more of it and I miss it. To remedy that, at the beginning of the year, I made a “resolution” of sorts to read a book a month. Sounded really easy at the time, but somehow I haven’t managed to keep that pace, slow as it is. And as much as I love reading books, I tend to forget details pretty quick, so I want to keep track of what I’ve read in more detail than what I use Goodreads for. So here I am, starting my 2014 Book List Series, with the oh-so-profound, much-too-young-for-someone-my-age Divergent series.
I resisted reading these books for a long time because I didn’t want to get suckered into another Young Adult genre series and face the ridicule of my more mature-minded friends and husband. But then I saw one of those friends mark all three books of the series as “Read” on her Goodreads page and thought, “Why not?” For months I’ve been reading a fascinating biography about Harry Truman by one of my favorite authors, David McCullough. (That’s not sarcasm, by the way, I have a History degree.) While it may be fascinating, it’s also about 1100 pages, and I tend to take “light read” breaks from books of that length.
So what did I think? Well, I hate to admit it, but I loved the first book, the title book of the series. I really didn’t think I would, but it was entertaining and well-written for its genre (and, considering Veronica Roth was in college when she started writing the series). The story line was interesting and I found myself wondering which of the five factions I would best fit into (it’s a toss up between Candor – because I say what I think – and Erudite – because I love to be right). Nothing original about dystopian literature, but it was a fun read with interesting characters – Tris and Four, definitely badass for their age. There was enough action in the second half of the book to hold most people’s attention. I mean, what’s not captivating about mind-controlled human soldiers and their resistant counterparts? Divergent is wrapped up nicely at the end, but it does set the reader up well for the second book.
With conspiracies emerging and doubts of who to trust, Insurgent continues with lots of action – rescues, fighting, killing, more fighting – and leads to another major battle at the end of the book. In the aftermath, a new factionless leader emerges and a hidden video is revealed which shocks everyone. Book Three, Allegiant, begins with yet another rescue and a new journey and escape to the world beyond The Fence of the city. Tris, Four and gang slowly learn about life outside their city, why they were unknowingly part of a large experiment and what The Bureau really is. Alliances form, relationships are tested, and trust remains a difficult thing. There’s lots of action at the end of the book as Four returns to the city to carry out his part of the fight, and Tris remains at The Bureau for her part. When the dust settles after the battle and loose ends are tied up, the book jumps 2 1/2 years into the future for a look into the characters’ lives. I wasn’t a big fan of the third book. It didn’t hold my attention as well as the first two and I didn’t care for the ending.
Overall, the series was a fun, easy read…and definitely a quick way to add 3 tic marks to the amount of books read in 2014! Also, I must admit that I made the hubby take me to see the Divergent movie. It was really well done and stayed pretty true to the book. So nice when that actually happens!
- Divergent: 4 out of 5
- Insurgent: 4 out of 5
- Allegiant: 3 out of 5
I’d recommend the series if you’re looking for something like I was…a break from a heavy book or string of heavy books, something fun to escape with, or just something to make you feel young & hip 😉
Books read to date: 3