Thursday, November 21, 2013

Lori Reads--Hopping on the Divergent Train

You guys know me.  I don't read young adult lit.  I stick to the classics, which I love.  But sometimes I just want something different.  So I switch it up with some chick lit or something.  This time I switched it up with a young adult adventure--Veronica Roth's Divergent series.

I have to credit with the decision to read this series.  Last week I saw an article about the first movie, which is coming out in March.  I probably wouldn't have looked at the article if the headline hadn't been "Watch Ashley Judd, Kate Winslet & Shailene Woodley in the Divergent Trailer."  I love Ashley Judd and Kate Winslet!  As I read the article, something just kind of caught my eye and I found myself looking at Goodreads to see which of my friends had read it.  Most of them had and they rated it quite highly.  I asked one of those friends about the series to see if she really liked the book.  Then I found myself at the Barnes and Noble website buying the first book and looking at it on my phone.  At $3.99, I figured that I really didn't have much to lose.

Good choice.

I spent Friday reading the first book.  I spent Saturday reading the second book.  Zach was very surprised and noted that this was the first time he saw my switch from Nook/iPad to phone while we were out.  I read while we were in the Chick-fil-a drive-thru.  I read while we waited in line at the video game store.  I even tried reading at the stoplights (Zach was driving), but they kept turning green too quickly for me to make much progress.

I'm not going to review the book in this post.  A few of the other TBTB-ers have already done so.  Much like Bridget's post, I'm going to talk about my reaction to the books...

I loved the plot of the series.  It was mostly adventure.  There were some things that I saw would happen from a mile away, but there were a couple of surprises.  It was quick and snappy and I blew right through the books, which I like.  I hate wasted space.  Most people have compared it to The Hunger Games, which I've never read, but I can see their point based on what I know about that series.  I want to also add that parts of it remind me of the Harry Potter series--being sorted, each group having a type, massive upheaval of the system, awkward teenage romances, etc.

Speaking of awkward teenage romances, Four was totally hot.  I liked how Tris kept thinking that she was all wrong--what girl hasn't been there?!  Confession, as I read the first two books, I kept expecting some fabulous sex scene...then it dawned on me that there probably wouldn't be a sex scene because this book is written for 14-17 year olds.  So I moved on.

Speaking of 14-17 year olds, there were very few times I wanted to smack the characters for acting like 14-17 year olds.  But there were a couple of times I wanted to just yell at Tris for being annoying.  This was a big plus for me.

Again, I liked the style.  There wasn't a whole lot of time wasted in creating this elaborate backstory.  Every detail mentioned in the book was there for a reason.  I hate it when I go into editing mode while I'm reading something because the author said a whole bunch of useless things.

Yes, the first two books went by like a blur.  Then I started the third book on Sunday.  I've read close to a third of it.  But I spent most of the day reading other things.  See, it really bothered me that the first two books were narrated by Tris, but the third book has both Tris and Four narrating.  Consistency!  I like consistency!  I totally want to finish the series--I mean, what IS out there? I have to know--but I am not sure how long it will take me to finish book three.

And, yes, I suppose that now I will have to finally get around to reading The Hunger Games.



  1. I wasn't going to read the Divergent trilogy until one of my friends pretty much shoved the first two books through my car window after school and said "Read these, now." I flew through the first one, and followed suit with the second. I'm waiting for the library to get a copy of Allegiant now (300 something holds, Jesus).

    I'll be honest and say the first book was the best book of the series, so far. Tris was pretty BA (albeit annoying at times), I enjoyed learning about the Dauntless and their own "culture," and of course there was Four. There was just more adventure in Divergent for me. Insurgent felt like a lot of Tris whining and crying and fearing guns and depressed-turned-suicidal. I just couldn't stand behind her as a character anymore, and being stuck in her head for 300+ pages really wore me down.

    Not sure if I'll really enjoy Allegiant or not. I know how the series ends (oops), and I've heard a lot of people say the dual POVs between Tris and Four become confusing. Hmph, we'll see. I'm already 2/3 of the way there, might as well finish.

  2. I can't remember what caused me to read this series....probably saw it on Goodreads. Like you, I flew through the first two books in about a day each. 3rd book....was a struggle....I kept reading it hoping it would get better. It doesn't. I couldn't leave the series unfinished, though. Especially since I'd bought the books. I did not like the two POVs either. It made me like Four less and I didn't think there was enough difference between the 2 voices.

  3. I'm not into YA either but this series had been popping up everywhere so I thought I'd give it a shot. So glad I did. I agree with wanting consistency. makes sense. Finish it and you'll understand. I was annoyed because I read most of Allegiant in one go on Thursday night but then went away for the weekend. I couldn't find time to finish it until Sunday morning. That just about killed me! I also agree with the whole teens not being that annoying thing. I was worried when I realized most of them would be 16 but it turned out ok. Four is also pretty awesome :) But I agree with Megan's comment - I liked him a little less in Allegiant but I don't think it was necessarily the POV it was just what he was going through. Hard to explain. Anyway, glad you liked the series! Now, finish book #3! :)

  4. I don't read YA lit very often either (although I have been lately to appease certain people). But my sister keeps swearing up and down that this series is worth it. I am still on the fence.

  5. I had much the same experience you did. Stumbled onto them by virtue f looking for something different to read, raced through the first two.

    I had major issues with the switch of narration styles in the third as well-- totally messed with my mind. I found myself having to flip back (wich is not as easy on my Kindle as it would have been in a book-book) to figure out which of them was talking at the time.

    I am hoping to do a blog post on similarities between it and other YA fiction (Harry Potter, Hunger Games and Pivot Point come to mind immediately).

  6. I love the first two books although Tris is a bit annoying at times, particularly in the second book for me, but I've not read the third one yet. I'm waiting till the holidays to read that one. Looking forward to it but heard mixed reviews so I'm also a bit nervous!

  7. I started Divergent a few days ago. I think I am putting too much pressure on this series, because I am just not feeling it yet. :-/ I am hoping to fall in love with it like everyone else.

  8. I have yet to read this series even though I own the first two books. I know every raves about it but I guess my expectations might be a little high so I'm worried about being disappointed. I'm glad you are enjoying the series so far.

  9. It took me a long time to get to the Divergent series as well, but I love(d) as well. Veronica Roth is an exceptional writer and really gets to the point without adding in, as I like to call excess that doesn't belong- fluff.

    I am also on the same boat as you regarding The Hunger Games trilogy... really need to get on that!


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