Divergent & Insurgent - A Review

 In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue—Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is—she can't have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles to determine who her friends really are—and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes infuriating boy fits into the life she's chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she's kept hidden from everyone because she's been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers a growing conflict that threatens to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves… or it might destroy her.
 One choice can transform you--or it can destroy you. But every choice has consequences, and as unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves--and herself--while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love.

Tris's initiation day should have been marked by celebration and victory with her chosen faction; instead, the day ended with unspeakable horrors. War now looms as conflict between the factions and their ideologies grows. And in times of war, sides must be chosen, secrets will emerge, and choices will become even more irrevocable--and even more powerful. Transformed by her own decisions but also by haunting grief and guilt, radical new discoveries, and shifting relationships, Tris must fully embrace her Divergence, even if she does not know what she may lose by doing so.

I briefly mentioned these books in this post. I decided that these two definitely deserved their own post- they were just that good. I could not put them down. A friend at work recommended them to me because of my love affair with The Hunger Games series. They have similar premises – a dystopian society with some serious issues and a young girl who becomes a symbol out of her drive for survival and ability to think for herself. I love me a good tough-girl protagonist!
I thought it was even neater that they are set in Chicago sometime in the future when Lake Michigan is a marshland and the Navy Pier ferris wheel sits idle.  I immediately got a feel for the setting and it wasn’t all that difficult for me to imagine Chicago as a foreboding place – I don’t like it that much as it is.  This society is set up into factions, unlike the districts of the HG world. Each faction holds on characteristic in esteem – Selflessness, Peacefulness, Courage, Knowledge, and Honesty. At 16 each child has to choose their faction and they go through a test to see which one they are most suited for. I took the quiz at the back of the book – but let’s face it – I was definitely in the wimpy faction of Amity which is basically the Hufflepuff of the factions. *sigh* That’s probably why I love tough-babe main characters because I know I will never be one. Speaking of which…
I love Beatrice. She’s definitely a new favorite. She’s tough, but vulnerable, stays true to herself and deeply loves her family. All pluses in my book. I also enjoy her love interest, Four/Tobias. Another thing I really enjoyed about these books, but didn’t even realize until my work-friend pointed it out to me is that there is not a love triangle. I hadn’t realized how sick I was of reading about the Edward-Bella-Jacob-esque drama. It’s just Beatrice and Tobias – and they create enough problems themselves. 
Similar to HG there are the stirrings of a revolution, but it takes on an entirely different (and in my opinion decidedly scarier) form with mind control and implants and hallucinations oh my!
All in all – fantastic reads. I can’t wait to get my paws on the third book and read the resolution to this story. I am also stoked for the rumors about a movie adaptation!
Anyone else out there read these books? Are you Team Katniss or Team Beatrice? I have to wave the white flag on that one – I love them both!


Brittney said...

Totally reading this series! Thanks!!

AlliFerg said...

I've heard awesome things about this series. Thinking it may be a great book on tape series for T and I! Thanks for the review :)

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