Saturday, November 1, 2014

Divergent: The Complete Four Book Series by Veronica Roth (read 10/7 to 10/12)

I purchased this series to read while I was on vacation, and I read all three books plus the short stories in 6 days.  It was really good to say the least, I loved both the story-line and the writing.  The book was very similar to the movie, the book just added more depth.  This is a story of future world, the history and where exactly the book take place is revealed in the third book Allegiant.    In this post-apocalyptic world, survivors divide into five factions based on their dispositions.  Abnegation, for the selfless; Amity for the peaceful; Candor for the honest; Erudite for the intellectual; and Dauntless for the brave.  Every year all 16 year old adolescents must take an aptitude test that describes what faction they are best suited for.  However, they still have free will can they can decide to follow the tests results or choose a new faction.  Each faction has an initiation and if the initiates do not complete the initiation they become "Factionless" and live in poverty on the streets.
Divergent begins with the main character Beatrice "Tris" Prior taking her aptitude test and getting inconclusive results, making her what is called Divergent.  She has aptitude for Abnegation (her families faction), Erudite, and Dauntless.  When choosing day comes she makes the hard decision to leave her family and joins Dauntless.  The book surrounds her initiation into Dauntless.  At the end of Divergent one of the factions tries to overthrow the system and destroy the Abnegation faction.  Because Tris is Divergent she is able to resist the mind control and fights for Abnegations survival.  At the end of the book Abnegation is damaged but not destroyed and Tris is on the run.
Insurgent picks up where Divergent ends, Tris and her companions go to Amity to hide, but must soon leave to join the revolution and protect the Dauntless and the Abnegation.  This book follows the revolution and the discovery of the cities history that has been suppressed.  At the end of the book the secret is revealed with mixed reactions from the citizens.
Allegiant pick ups same as Insurgent did, however the difference is that it is told from two points of view, Tris and Five's.  This change in writing style confused me, by the end of the book I understood it.  
The short stories are all about Five and his initiation.  They were ok, but I didn't have to read them, and I didn't feel that they gave me any extra insight into his character. 
As I said before I couldn't put these books down, they are formulaic of many of the YA novels out right now, but they were still really good, and as bonus the ending surprised me, I did not see it coming.  That is rare for me, I read so often that it is hard for a book ending to surprise me.  I admit I cried, I'm not telling if it was from joy or sadness though, I wouldn't want to ruin it for anyone else.  This was a really easy book to get caught up in I truly came to love all the characters even the unlikable ones, such as Peter.
I think this book explores a lot of themes, personal and socially  One theme I can see is when a child must choose to become an adult and leave the nest and the anxiety and fear that goes along with that.  A social theme that I think most emphasized is that categorizing and discriminating against those that are different will get us nowhere, society will fall apart and destruction will result, only when we begin to accept each other and stop discriminating against those that are different can we become a successful society.  Do not fear what is different, embrace those differences and realize that your weaknesses maybe someone else's strength and when we embrace rather then reject we become a whole society.

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