Thursday, 8 May 2014

the divergent series by veronica roth - warning: spoilers!

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hello! this is a review of the 'divergent' series by veronica roth, but there will be a particular focus on 'allegiant' just because i have so much to say about it. *THERE WILL BE SPOILERS FROM THIS POINT ON so please don't continue if you haven't read the book/s - i was very thankful that nobody spoilt the ending for me and i would hate to spoil any of you guys!*

SO. let's get into it! this is going to be long because i just have so much to say!

personally, i loved allegiant. i know some people didn't like it because of the ending, or because the characters were just waiting around a lot, but i LOVED it. i usually base my opinion of a book on how much i enjoyed reading it, and i enjoyed reading every second of it.

my main complaint about this book is that the introduction of the dual narrative was a HUGE giveaway on how the series was going to end! if your only narrator is constantly facing up with death, and then you add a second narrator, it's completely obvious what's going to happen to the original narrator. it seems so sloppy to just change the whole structure of the book at the last minute, especially since it means i was spoiled BY THE AUTHOR just by looking at the first page. i was slightly annoyed about it. in veronica roth's defence though, she did manage to leave all options open, and i was doubting my prediction right up until the very last second, so maybe it wasn't as sloppy as i had originally though.
another issue i had with the dual narrative was that it often got very confusing trying to distinguish between tris and tobias. they had very similar voices, and it was easy to slip back into the mindset that tris was the only one telling the story since that's how we had gotten to know the series. plus, since tris and tobias had various solo adventures/experiences, i found it difficult to keep track of who did what, who knew what, etc.
however, i really enjoyed reading more about tobias and learning about his feelings/thoughts on the whole situation. i think that that allowed us to care more about tobias once the inevitable happens at the end of the book - i think i wouldn't have cared about him at all if the story had just continued through tris' point of view, and it wouldn't have been as emotional or as heartbreaking as it was.

there were some serious low blows in this book, veronica roth had no hesitations about tearing out her readers hearts! when she introduced tori's brother as being alive and well outside of the factions, i actually had to put the book down for a few hours. i was speechless, i couldn't believe it. not only was he alive but she had killed tori off only a few chapters before! how could she do that to me?!
that wasn't even the worst part - all i need to say is URIAH. oh my god. he was one of my favourite characters, one of the good guys, so funny and kind. at that point in the book i was already crying over tris and then i was just a complete wreck when i read about his death, i was GONE. could not function. was making ugly-crying moose noises into the pages of that book. still not over it.

oh, yeah, THE ENDING. i was a mess. i couldn't believe it. just all the feels, man.
i think the ending was exactly the right way to end it. if tris had survived, then i feel like it would have been overly celebratory and way too mushy/lovey-dovey/happy, and i would've hated it. i feel like if tobias died instead then it wouldn't have been as bad as that, but i do feel like we needed to be as distraught and heartbroken as tobias was; we had lived with tris through the whole thing, from before she even chose dauntless we had been at her side, and i think that's what made it so painful as a reader. if tobias had died it would've been sad but we wouldn't have cared as much.

as a whole, this series was fantastic. it had everything, it was so well thought-out; i tried for HOURS to think of what important personality trait might veronica roth had missed out for a faction, but i couldn't do it; she covered all bases.

one complaint i had with the series as a whole was the number of characters. there was a lot of deaths, in each book, and a lot of new characters introduced in each book, which meant that the number of living characters to interact with stayed roughly the same, but obviously, the characters kept discussing their dead friends, which meant there were a lot of names to keep track of. it took me maybe half of allegiant to figure out who cara was, i think? plus, tris kept referring to beatrice prior by her real name, which i just did not retain at all, so parts of the story kept getting lost on me.

i think the approach to the series was absolutely perfect; i imagine it as circles inside larger circles. divergent was the smallest circle, showing us mostly dauntless, then insurgent was a slightly larger circle, taking a step back from dauntless to show us all of the other factions, and then allegiant was the largest circle, taking a step back from the factions to show us the world outside. i think that's exactly how this kind of series should be approached. plus, i loved that we got to take little tours of all the factions and learn about all their clothes and their mannerisms and their architecture! that was one of the things that i didn't like about the hunger games; you only really get to see the capitol and district 12.

one thing i really want to know is - did they face their fears?! this is a little theory i have that both tris and tobias faced all their fears before the end of the book but i don't know for sure and i think i need somebody to do a bit of back-reading and tell me if this happened or not. so: tobias definitely faced most of his; he faced heights by doing the zip wire, he faced losing tris by actually losing her, i think he faced his fear of becoming his father by giving his mother the choice of taking the memory serum (i think marcus would have just slipped her it rather than be honest), but i can't think of any time when he faced his claustrophobia? i can't really remember all of tris' fears but i know she definitely faced her fear of intimacy. maybe i'm just being hopeful here but i think it would've been a really nice way to round off the series if they had faced all their fears.

okay, i think i've rambled quite a bit, sorry about that, but i just loved this series SO MUCH. i think i might even like it more than i liked the hunger games, and you guys know how much i loved the hunger games. it's gonna take something huge to top this series!
let me know what you guys thought of the series, and the ending, in the comments! thanks for reading! :)

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