I decided to review the first two volumes of Veronica Roth’s dystopian YA trilogy together, mostly because the plot is all a big blur in my mind. These books borrow heavily from Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games trilogy, but not in a bad way or anything. The novels are different enough that they stand out and, honestly, it’s going to be awhile before anyone can write dystopian YA fiction without having it compared to The Hunger Games.
Divergent begins a few days before The Choosing, when 16-year-olds choose which faction they want to become a part of. Factions are as follows: Abnegation, Dauntless, Erudite, Candor, and Amity. I found the names of the Factions to be a bit eye-rolly and heavy handed, but it’s YA fiction, so I’ll let it slide. YOU’RE WELCOME, WORLD.
Beatrice Prior is our heroine, who is currently a member of Abnegation. The Abnegation are selfless and kind and patient and Beatrice does not relate because WHO DOES, amirite? Beatrice, tired of selfless life on the high road, wants to be brave. So she joins Dauntless, which is a big deal, because the Dauntless are completely crazy, jumping off of trains and other nonsense. Basically, they’re the opposite of what Beatrice has grown up with.
Beatrice must make it through the Dauntless initiation, a frightful affair full of weapons and hand-to-hand combat and back-stabbing, without being either kicked out to live among the Factionless, or, you know, DYING. Fun times! The Factionless are exactly what they sound like, members of the community who have failed Faction initiation or who have been excommunicated for some other nefarious reason. They don’t seem that important at first BUT THEY WILL BE.
I don’t want to say too much about Insurgent for fear of spoiling, but Insurgent picks up where Divergent ends, which is good because, if I remember correctly, Divergent was very cliffhangery. Aren’t they all, though? Insurgent follows Beatrice (now known as Tris) through a harrowing journey, filled with death and love and fighting and again, NOT TO SPOIL, but I will just say I’m not quite sure what I think about the end of Insurgent. I’ll withhold judgement until I read the last book, but it isn’t out yet, which is very annoying.
This series didn’t grab me the way The Hunger Games did, but it was interesting and I’ll definitely be picking up the final part of the trilogy once it comes out. Until then,
may the odds be EVER in your favor oops never mind BYE.