Warning! (Certain) spoilers ahead!
The Divergent trilogy by Veronica Roth used to be one of my 15-year old self’s favorite series of all time.
I hadn’t reread the books for a couple years of years, especially since after watching Insurgent my interest in these books kind of completely vanished – kapoof! I had absolutely adored the Divergent movie and was extremely excited for the second one…but when I actually went to see it in the cinema…I was immensely disappointed. And up until this day I still haven’t seen Allegiant and I’m unsure if I ever will. The movies were just big budget movies that centered around the action and fighting scenes and it was obvious that the producers cared more about how to make it a great 3D movie rather than actually focusing on the characters and the story that meant so much to all us readers and is pretty much the core of these books.
Since I was feeling a big dystopian reading urge coming up, I decided to delve back into this world featuring our beloved broken Chicago. I hoped that by revisiting these books that I had called one of my favorites, my interest in these books would go through the roof again and that I might tackle that last movie with enthusiasm.
I can pretty easily summarize my thoughts on these books in a few short bullet points (and I’ll elaborate on some of them below).
- The writing style is simple, to the point and definitely gets boring at times
- Tris and Tobias with their lack of communication and lies piss me off so much that at times I wanted to lock them both up in solitary confinement
- The story has an excellent depth when it comes to things like sacrifice, evil, war, choices, death, family and friendship
- These books should not be read for a happy ending
The books were quite fast to get through which was thanks to the simple and clear-cut writing style that Veronica likes to use. At times, I really loved the writing – I like to believe that the most meaningful and deep things written usually don’t require a lot of words. But then there were times when I got bored and I found my mind wandering from the book to other random things. This isn’t really such a big deal, since the books themselves are still pretty good but it is probably the biggest difference that I now notice ever since I have become a more mature reader, with a wider range of read books.
But seriously, Tris and Tobias were just so infuriating with each other, though! I completely understand that both of them had a lot of issues that they needed to work through, especially in Insurgent but the way they were always making up and promising to do better and then being distrustful with each other again really didn’t convince me of their genuine love. It was a sweet sentiment when they really did try to make an effort again at the end of Allegiant but I just found it extremely unrealistic that they jumped right back into their super hyped-up romance-ness with clothes flying everywhere. Don’t get me wrong – I’m happy that they’re happy – but I just couldn’t sympathise with their relationship knowing just how many toxic unresolved issues still lay between them.
The story in itself is actually quite a sad story, especially for Tobias at the end, but I do appreciate the darker themes that Veronica explores in each of these books. This isn’t a series that you should read for the ending, especially if you’re someone who appreciates happy endings at the end of stories. And at times I do wish that the series could have ended differently, but then I remind myself that that just wouldn’t have been realistic. War requires sacrifice and produces a lot of casualties along the way.
These are also definitely books that can teach us a lot more about our society today and how we can improve our thinking in order to not end up with a similar situation that the people in Chicago/the Bureau ended up in. It’s thought provoking and heartbreaking at the same time and is definitely worth the read.
Anyway, I had fun reading this book series again, even if I wouldn’t necessarily call this one of my favorites anymore. It was definitely a lot better than any of the movies were and I am feeling a slight pull to maybe rewatch them again in the future. Maybe.
But the biggest take away that we can learn from this is actually from the last quote in Allegiant which I find very beautiful, heartbreaking and hopeful:
“Life damages us, every one. We can’t escape that damage. But now, I am also learning this: We can be mended. We mend each other.”