Earlier this month, I posted my 2016 to-read list. This includes (e-)books that I bought but never read, as well as (e-)books that I’ve tried to read but never finished. If you recall, I created two posts, this one and this one. One of these posts lists all of my physical books that I plan on reading and the other one my e-books.
The first of these books that I read is the Divergent Series. I’ve actually read the first Divergent and watched the first and second film adaptations that came out. But, I never finished reading the second book, Insurgent, or started reading the third one, Allegiant.
However, I am happy to say that I can now finally say that I have completely finished reading the entire series… and it feels good!
Here are my thoughts in the aftermath of my reading bliss.
I love how the book starts off, even focuses heavily on the Choosing Ceremony. It is a topic that is relatable to most of us, but on a much more terrifying level. How do you choose which faction to be in, knowing that there is no going back? How do you leave your family, knowing that you may never see them again? How do you ultimately make these life changing decisions?
And as we know, Tris’s decision is compounded by the fact that she is Divergent and has aptitude for more than one faction. Instead of telling her where she belongs, she now has to choose for herself where she wants to be. It’s even more devastating knowing that something that’s supposed to be reliable failed on you and now you have to choose and grow up in one night.
Ultimately, I love the fact that book is told from Tris’s point of view. She’s vulnerable but at the same time she has a certain amount of inner strength which comes out when she joins her new faction. She’s able to experiment, test her strength and limitations. She changes through the course of the book, definitely, and the conclusion of the book tests her.
This is the second book in the series. It picks up right where Divergent left off. I found that this book was particularly instrumental in giving background information about the characters, the factions, and, perhaps more importantly, the factionless. We see and learn more about the other factions and how they function. We learn how they continue to function in the face of war. We learn who the true allies are. We also learn more about the fence that surrounds the city… why is it locked from the outside and not the inside?
This book was told from both Tris and Tobias’ points of views. I thought that was a useful tactic in giving a more holistic picture. Had the book just be written from Tris’ point of view, like the first two, we would not have gained a more comprehensive view of Tobias and his parents.
What I liked most about this book was when the characters finally leave the city and find out about the experiment. It helps to answer the constant question of the need for the gate. It lets us know that there is another world beyond the city, however damaged it has become. We also learn why people are Divergent and the reason for it. This book helps to answer the questions that were asked since the first one.
However said it was, I thought it was refreshing that Tris ultimately sacrificed herself. I’ve seen too many books that end with a happy ending with the happy couple walking away into the sunset. The fact that this book shows Tris almost as a martyr makes the situation even more devastating. It also paves the way for the theme of hope to resonate toward the end of the book. Bad things happen. That sucks. But it’s up to us to move forward and get on with life. Hope is the strongest arsenal in anyone’s possession.
For anyone who’s interested, the books are available on Amazon.
Have you read these books? Would love to hear your thoughts!