Titles: Divergent, Insurgent, Allegiant
Author: Veronica Roth
Reviewed by Amanda and Holly
SPOILER ALERT!!! We’re covering all three books here, so while we try not to give away too many details, read at your own risk if you haven’t finished the triology yet. / end warning
Holly: Welcome to my life – G-Chat from Amanda on 5/1/2012: “Have you read Divergent? The sequel came out today and I am itching to buy it.” “G-Chat from Amanda on 9/27/2013: “Have you read Divergent yet? You did right?” I did not (for shame) actually read Divergent until October 2013 – quickly followed by Insurgent, and then Allegiant as soon as it came out. Oh, how the tables turned, because then I was dying to discuss the conclusion with Amanda, who suddenly had 12 books to finish ahead of Allegiant. So, starting with Divergent: I loved it. I loved the idea of the factions – that people had to follow these guiding principles, but also had a choice in their faction. I liked that everyone had to take the aptitude test, but you were not required to choose based solely on your results. Of course, it was pretty clear that Beatrice was not going to stay in Abnegation.
Amanda: You know you love it when I tell you what to do Holly. You always have. And I’m ALWAYS right right? RIGHT? At least maybe when it comes to books?! I just reread Divergent to refamiliarize myself before reading Allegiant and I’m so glad I did. I forgot the nerves I felt every time Tris did something crazy or something Dauntless. And oh, poor Tris, that ending. You’re so sad and yet so in love with Four. I would have forgotten important things like poor Will and how Tris’s mom had sent her to Caleb. Most importantly I would have forgotten Eric and Jeannine Matthews and the set up for Insurgent.
Holly: I jumped immediately from Divergent to Insurgent – possibly on the same evening. I was so caught up in the story. Okay, Tris’s family – and the city – was falling apart, but at least she had Four. And her brother. Surely they would figure something out, right? I knew that the third book was coming, so obviously everything would not get resolved, but I was not expecting the cliffhanger ending. I MUST KNOW WHAT’S OUTSIDE THE CITY! Book three followed just a few days later, for me.
Amanda: Oh Insurgent. I was so hopeful for change. There’s so much potential and then just so much more evil. I forgot how annoying Tris and Four are in this book. Lies, truth, anger; rinse and repeat. But yes, as Holly said-that ending– Oh my goodness! What is outside the city?
Amanda: What a bummer. This was so clearly the weak link in the trilogy. I don’t know why the serums overall in this book just did me in. I bought into them in Divergent and Insurgent and then boom! They’re at the bureau and there is a serum for everything. Really? There couldn’t be another answer? And they have cameras-with sound no less– hidden all over the city of Chicago and yet have no cameras within the Bureau? So those in charge have no concept of what’s happening in the very building they operate in? And really, that ending? Did you have to do that to my heart Veronica Roth?! Sigh. I just didn’t think Four could turn into that weak of a person. I did not like him at all.
Holly: When I finished Allegiant, I could not say one thing about the book to my sister, lest I give away just how much I hated it. Okay, okay, reading teenage dystopian novels (or any fantasy stories) obviously requires a suspension of disbelief, but nothing in this book made sense to me, even within the confines of the world that Roth created in the first two books. I mean, there is a whole system outside the city walls, setting up these “experiments,” yet apparently there is no plan to receive people who make their way out from the experiments? And, I don’t know, maybe offer the teenage runaways some psychiatric treatment, and something to do besides roaming the compound? This book was just such a buzzkill for me. When Amanda finished, she chided me for not warning her not to read Allegiant on the el (hey, that’s the same train the Dauntless used! How poetic!), because she is crier. I pointed out that I didn’t even think about that, because a) I have a heart of stone and don’t cry at books/movies/sappy commercials, and b) I didn’t really care what happened to anyone at the end of the book. I just wanted it to be over.
Amanda: On further reflection, I do think that Roth was very brave with that ending. I think she was setting herself up for some brutal reactions from her fandom, and she had to have known it. I don’t think that it had to end that way, and yes I was sad-but I swear I didn’t cry on the el. I don’t cry nearly as much as Holly thinks I do.
Holly Ratings: Divergent: 4/ Insurgent: 3/ Allegiant 1
Amanda Ratings: Divergent: 5/ Insurgent: 4/ Allegiant 2