The Divergent books have been recommended to me for a long time, but I hadn’t taken the time to read them. They were definitely “on the list”, but nothing was bumping them up the list.
I added them to my Amazon.com wish list as a fluke, and received them as a present from Jake and Shay Checketts. That definitely moved them up the list.
One big thing that I realized while reading these books is that I have 100% become a digital book convert. I received these books as hard covers, which was awesome, but not so easy to read in “relax mode” as books on my phone or on my kindle.
The books are written for a young adult audience, but would be enjoyable by most adults. They are fast-paced a very quick read. (I read the 2nd book in the series over the course of three nights.)
The plot of the books is a post-war United States where the population has been divided into “factions” — where people live and work among those that share similar traits and goals. There is the faction that is selfless, and they are desired as leaders. There is the faction that is fearless, and they are put in charge of security. There is the faction that is curious, and they are the ones responsible for science and technology. There is the faction that wants a simpler way of life, and they are responsible for farming and agriculture.
There are some within the population who have strong personality traits of multiple factions. They are referred to as Divergent and feared by the leadership.
Beatrice, or Tris, the main protagonist in the first two books is one of the Divergent. She has to keep this aspect of her personality a secret while navigating through her teenage life.
I really enjoyed all three books.
Divergent does a great job in setting up the story, but still being a great stand-alone book if that’s the only one you read (although I wouldn’t recommend stopping there).
Insurgent is almost a perfect second book in a three book series. It’s fast-paced, and is a great bridge between book one and book three. One problem I often have with trilogies is that the second book spends so much time referring back to the first book that it screws up the plot of the second book. Thankfully, this doesn’t happen with Insurgent.
In an interesting twist, Allegiant is told both from Tris’ point-of-view, but also from Tobias’ point-of-view — one of the other main protagonists and Tris’ boyfriend. At the beginning of the book, this switch was a bit confusing, but given the plot of the third book totally necessary. I do think that Roth had a better understanding of Tris as a character than Tobias.
There is quite a bit of violence in the book, so I definitely think that the books should be kept for teens and not read by young children. Roth thankfully doesn’t feel the need to fill the books with teen sex, so there is some kissing and other relationship developments between Tris and Tobias but it never gets inappropriate.