Thursday, 19 December 2013

Divergent Trilogy by Veronica Roth

I first read Divergent almost a full year ago, it wasn't that great for me since I'm a sucker for awesome (really awesome) writing and it fell short of that. Story-wise though, it had great potential. The story is set in a dystopian world where people are required to live in conformity to a group, called faction, for the rest of their lives from age 16. The factions intend to fix a certain problem with the world, problems that caused the destruction of earlier generation. Some resolved to live in self-denial (Abnegation), knowledge (Erudite), peace (Amity), honesty (Candor) and courage (Dauntless). Their society discourages open thinking so it scares them to have people who have more than one aptitude for a faction. Beatrice Prior is one of those people and she's scared of herself, scared of something she doesn't even understand.

Ilove the world that Roth created, however far off from the real one it might be. And the plot, the series of events were so good you'd wonder if this happened in our reality but we've somehow missed it. The first book satisfied me enough to continue the series. Although some of my friends complained that the book lacked specifics on what divergence actually is but if you think about it, even the characters didn't know what it is so that made all of us.

I didn't read Insurgent immediately last year. It, like its predecessor, Divergent, ends with a cliffhanger. I predicted that Roth would end her  books this way so I held off reading Insurgent immediately and waited for the third installment, Allegiant, to be released.

I don't know how to review this series without spoiling you but I'll try.

Character Development. You can really see Tris' character develop throughout the whole series. At first, she's scared of what she is, made that way by the society around her but later on, she fully understands her significance and the things that need to be done. Characters are integral to the story and I meticulously scrutinize them for inconsistencies, however with Four, Tris, Caleb and the others, I found none. The only thing is that, she's so special, it's annoying. But I like how she's not perfect and the only reason she made it that far is because of the people around her.

Storyline. Each situation is well structured and seem to generally exponentiate the 'realness' (oh the irony) of this dystopia. It is very well thought of, like every scenario is important, even the part where some nerdy boy offers random trivia (no pretentions there, it really is just some random trivia) but then it wouldn't feel as real if they omitted that part. Roth has a good story, a good way of telling it (not in terms of her English but the series of events). She drops off clues and it really haunts you not to know what the real answers are (ooh, such a Candor way of thinking!) Like what a review on Goodreads says, I was curious of what will happen to them in the end.

Writing. It was mediocre to poor. Roth overused the power of an active voice and when seeing that particularly in a story, I get bored real quick (but the story made up for it so I stayed). I wish they'd rephrase some of the things in there. Seriously, if the story didn't keep me on the edge, I would have abandoned the book immediately because I can only tolerate a good deal of bad sentence formations. Not necessarily wrong grammar but sometimes painful to read.

Ending. Some people I know weren't satisfied with the end. But you know what I think? It made perfect sense. If it didn't end that way, it wouldn't be as consistent as it is and I wouldn't have liked it. Unlike Mockingjay, it wasn't rushed because clues (like her resistance to the truth serums, the sudden POV) were left off from the beginning. I didn't quite predict it and at some point, I hoped it was only a simulation but after putting my tab down, I completely accepted it. It's just that it's very hard to swallow.

Philosophy. Now this is something I've never done before, emphasize a book's philosophy but it's fitting that I do so since it was one of the most thought-provoking series in its genre (you can only expect so little from Young Adult lol). This really opened my mind to a lot of things. It taught me that we can't wish for perfection on one area because focusing on that makes us blind to other things. Simplified, the book is right even about modern day humans, those who seek peace to an extreme level can turn passive, the strong can turn cruel if they don't know what they're fighting for and even selfless people can become ruined, like what Four thought in Allegiant "Abnegation  was  just  as  broken  as  the other  factions,  but  its  evils  were  less obvious,  cloaked  as  they  were  in  the guise  of  selflessness"

Rating. Definitely an 8/10. The writing sucked but the story and characters really made up for it. Recommended to fans of Hunger Games and The Maze Runner. I'm really glad I read this book. Thank God for the opportunity to see things in a new light, or with a light.

Ha! And you thought I was shallow!