by Veronica Roth
This book was not Divergent, and not in a good way.
It’s awful to wait a year for a book and hold your hopes SO high. I was all involve in #TeamDauntless and the whole fandom hype too. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t a bad book, but I thought I’d be signing onto goodreads.com and giving it a big ol’ five star. I gave it three, and I feel like an awful person for it. In all fairness, I am going to read it again when I have a chance, but in the greater scheme of things, it just wasn’t there for me. It was all the characters’ fault. The writing was lovely and the plot for the most part was fantastic, but the characters literally drove me mad the entire book. And it’s a long book. Over 500 pages long (the ebook is only about 300 though due to formatting.) There were a couple OMG moments, which I love in books, but one of them just made me again — angry at the characters. And I’m not saying I need to love all of the characters, because obviously books need villains. It’s hard to explain and completely spoilerish, so the rest of the review is under the cut.
I hated Tris. There, I said it. I hated the main character. You can’t expect someone to read such a long book and be in the head of someone with all of her issues, without getting annoyed at them, as many did with Katniss towards the end of Mockingjay (Suzanne Collins). Yes, it is true to human nature that she would have issues after the deaths of Will and her parents, but things like the gun issue over and over again. Shoot ME please! She was brave one second, then, suicidal, then suffering from PTSD, then wanting to tear Four’s clothes off. Even if she was suffering from PTSD, there were too many conflicting emotions changing every chapter.
I hate that everyone was a bad guy. Four is bad because he wants to believe his mother and hates his father…and it’s pretty clear from the beginning that Evelyn is also bad (though “bad” is relative; she just has her own agenda). Tori also becomes “bad” when she sides against Tris. Even Marcus, who was right all along, is still a bad guy. And CALEB. WHY? There is no freaking ounce of my being that can understand why her brother ALSO had to be a bad guy. Or why couldn’t Caleb be the one to save her instead of Peter?? (Sidnote about Peter: He saved Tris because he owed her. If that isn’t a shout out to THG fans, I don’t know what is.)
And her and Four. Guys, I LOVE Four. He is my #1 fictional boyfriend. And I understand his want to believe his mother, but their fighting just depresses me the ENTIRE BOOK. Why he is so angry about her not talking about Will? Why he is so blatantly hypocritical when it comes to listening to her? If it was another character, that would fit — but it’s FOUR. He’s too smart to think the way this character was. It was like this was a brand new character compared to the one in Divergent. I think I would have liked this book SO much better if they had some type of understanding/love for each other. Not just a sweet moment here or an I love you there. Don’t get me wrong, there were some scenes between them I greatly appreciated, but a book needs something — some silver lining in there — and I was hoping Tris and Four would be it, but no, they fight until the last few pages.
There was NOTHING positive in this book. I know life isn’t rainbows and butterflies, but every character was at odds with one another, and then they’d switch sides and the allies were now enemies. It may be able to work in some books, but it didn’t here. Not for me.
As for what I liked:
I loved getting to know the other factions. I loved to see how Amity, though they were for “peace,” were in many ways a detriment with their no conflict policy. I loved the plot as a whole and I loved the ending. I had actually thought of something similar in Divergent when Tris notices they were being locked in. It made me think of Maze Runner (James Dashner) a little bit, so I thought they were some kind of experiment. It opens a whole new bunch of questions for the last book, which regardless of my feelings for Insurgent, make me look forward to next year. I also think (hope) the characters will be more reasonable. Tris has obviously gotten over a bunch of her issues, and she and Four seem to be on the same page now.
Okay, enough ranting and rambling. The End.