ReRead Review: Divergent Series by Veronica Roth

Posted August 4th, 2014 by in 2014 Read, 3.50 Wine Glasses, Audiobook, Reviews / 17 comments

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ReRead Review: Divergent Series by Veronica RothSource: Audiobook Purchase, Physical Book Purchase

Divergent by Veronica Roth
Narrator: Emma Galvin

Divergent One choice can transform you. Veronica Roth's #1 New York Times bestselling debut is a gripping dystopian tale of electrifying choices, powerful consequences, unexpected romance, and a deeply flawed "perfect society."

Insurgent One choice can destroy you. Veronica Roth's second #1 New York Times bestseller continues the dystopian thrill ride. As war surges in the factions all around her, Tris attempts to save those she loves--and herself--while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love.

Divergent #3: The explosive conclusion to Veronica Roth's #1 New York Times bestselling Divergent trilogy reveals the secrets of the dystopian world that has captivated millions of readers in Divergent and Insurgent.

More Information:
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Series: Divergent


Also by this author: Divergent, Allegiant
Also in this series: Divergent, Allegiant

My-Thoughts

Divergent by Veronica Roth

Read for Fun (Hardcover)

(Ratings circa 2012)
Challenges: TBR Challenge
Overall Rating: 3.50
Story Rating: 3.50
Character Rating: 3.50

(Ratings circa 2014)
Overall Rating: 3.50
Story Rating: 3.75
Character Rating: 3.25

New thoughts in 2014: I decided to do a reread of this series because of the movie coming out on DVD. I don’t think this is a series that I will reread again but it did stand up to my original rating. This time I liked the story a little more but the characters a little less.

Original Review 2012

First thought when Finished: Things are just starting to get interesting….where is the next book!

What I Loved: I need to hug Veronica Roth–she created a YA novel without a love triangle and with parents that care. I seriously find this amazing! I appreciate when the mold is broken and done well. I also loved the last 1/3 of the book! I can’t really talk much about it because I don’t want to give anything away (though I think I am one of the last people on the planet to read the book). Let’s just say that the action/suspense/intrigue were finally starting to fall into place. I started caring about the characters and what happened to them.

What I Liked: I thought the factions were a really interesting idea. I mean there has to be “fall-out” when you place one attribute above all others—you become corruptible. I thought that it was interesting look at how something that shouldn’t be cause for alarm can be the center of it.

What made me go Huh?: It took awhile for me to buy into this world. While on the surface the idea of how the factions are divided up is intriguing–I just didn’t get to see enough of each faction to buy it. How does being on of the 5: Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), or Erudite (the intelligent)) lead to wide spread corruption. I just needed to see more of the faction interaction to buy into the world. I never quite got (till the end) why being Divergent was bad. Even in the end, it explained now why Divergent was bad but in the beginning why was it? If you chose a faction and live by the rules, I just didn’t see it being different that being a transfer. Maybe I am over-thinking it.

Final Thought: I did enjoy the book despite my problems with not connecting to the world.

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Insurgent by Veronica RothRead for Fun (Hardcover)

Original Rating circa May 2012
Overall Rating 4.50
Story Rating 4.50
Character Rating 4.50

ReRead Rating circa 2014
Overall Rating: 3.50
Story Rating: 3.75
Character Rating: 3.25

Original First Thought circa 2012
First thought when finished: That was another wild ride and another ending where I wanted the next page!

ReRead First Thought circa 2014
First thought when finished: I don’t know why I was so surprised by 4 in Allegiant (book coming up that I have already read) as now I see signs of his “annoying to me” behavior in Insurgent.

I admit this book did not hold up well on reread to me. I still liked Tris and the story was still pretty good. I just am not loving this characters like I did the first time around.

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Allegiant by Veronica Roth Read/Listened for Fun (Hardcover/Audible)

Original Rating circa 2013
Overall Rating: 3.00
Story Rating: 3.25
Character Rating: 2.75

Audio Rating: 4.00 (not part of the overall rating)

ReRead Rating circa 2014
Overall Rating : 3.25
Story Rating : 3.50
Character Rating :3. 00

Quick updated thoughts circa 2014:This will probably not be a reread again series for me. However I did like Allegiant better the 2nd go around. I stepped away from how annoying Four was to me and instead paid more attention to the side characters. That helped a lot. Overall I would say the series was a solid 3.5 overall rating for me. The world was fascinating and the characters unique.

Original Thoughts 2013

First Thought when Finished: Allegiant kind of sealed the deal that YA Dystopian trilogies and my expectations hardly ever mesh.

Instead of a review I am going to explain my experience (to this point) with ending books in YA Dystopian trilogies.

Please Note: I don’t read a lot of YA so having the same exact experience with two different series in one sub-genre denotes a pattern to me. Also, I believe the author should write the story they want to tell. This is not a bash against the author for choosing to tell their stories in a way they saw fit. This is my experience as a limited-YA reader.

Why I love Veronica Roth on a whole: “I’m the author, yes, but this book is yours as well as mine now, and our voices are equal in this conversation.”

The 2 Series: The Hunger Games and Divergent

Book 1 (in both series): I liked enough to make me want to read book 2
Book 2 (in both series): Was my absolute favorite! Made me excited for book 3
Book 3 (in both series): Was a total struggle to even finish and by the end I just didn’t care.

What went wrong for me (examples will be given from Allegiant since I wrote a review of Mockingjay)….

The Characters (other than the leads): Through the course of both series I formed strong attachments to certain side characters (good, bad, borderline). They played strong parts in the first or second (or both) books but in the third book either acted out of character or was given a two second wrap-up that totally seemed to diminish their importance. This frustrated me to no end. I would argue that the side characters are what made both of these stories work so darn well in book 2 (the books I loved in both instances). Example: Four’s (Tobias) mom doing what she did at the end of the story. While I “got’ it. The choice (and reaction) were to neat for that storyline.

The Leads: In both series, the final book turned strong confident characters into unrecognizable whiners that had brief moments of the characters that I had grown to love. They made choices that made me go “huh” and went against what I would expect of them. Oddly enough, Tris’ choice at the end is what made me rate Allegiant a 3 instead of a 2. That choice has most people in a uproar but to me it was one of the few times I saw the Tris that I had been rooting for. The reason I loved the beginning of both of these stories was the strong female protagonist. They were examples I thought fitting for strong young woman coming up in the world. The guys were not much better other than I think Peeta. I believe he was the most “in character” with all his decisions and reactions. Example from Allegiant: Four almost through out the whole entire last book where almost anything was concerned. He seemed unsure and angry at everything. He made choices that just had me shaking my head. Tris wasn’t that much better but towards the end she seemed to snap out of it and forge ahead.

The Story: The endings left me wanting but I couldn’t exactly tell you for what. The characters changed so much during the last books that by the end, I either didn’t care or was hoping for something HUGE to bring out the inner fire that I loved in all the characters. That just didn’t happen in Mockingjay and with Allegiant it happened with Tris but not Four. I just felt let down after investing so much into caring about these characters. For Example: In Allegiant after Tris makes her decision, Four’s reaction left me a bit cold. I cried for Tris but Four just made me feel “meh”. I know I should have had a stronger reaction but just couldn’t muster it.

The Shock Value: Both stories had twists (several) that were supposed to make you squeek and go “oh my”. Problem is that by the 3rd or 4th one I just didn’t care. I was more like “oh I bet there will be another one before the end”. At some point there were just too many. Example: By the time we got to Four and his mom (not giving away what happens there), I honestly didn’t care. It was just one more twist that was supposed to have an emotional impact but by then the whole thing had just boiled down to “let’s just get it done” for me.

The Different Ratings: I gave Mockingjay a 2.75 and Allegiant a 3.0–the difference was that I felt Tris in the end was true to her character. I didn’t feel that with Katniss. I ended up rating both end books slightly higher than if they had been stand alone books because I felt like overall the series was a good read (especially book 2 in both).

I am still holding out hope for Horde by Ann Aguirre! Maybe this will break my YA Dystopian curse. If not, I may just forgo the trilogies in the future as they might not be a good fit for me as a reader.

The Audio for Allegiant was excellent! The only problem I had was the dual POV’s overall and that made me read 60% of the story. This was not the fault of the narrators. It was just a story telling device that did not work for me.

FTC Disclosure

 

Overall Rating
3.5 / 5
Story Rating
3.5 / 5
Character Rating
3.5 / 5
Narrator Rating
4 / 5
Overall: One StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star
Felicia S
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Felicia S

Felicia is just your average gal from Texas that loves Audiobooks and Libraries with a passion! She can wine them, dine them, and love them forever. Her eclectic reading tastes include: Cozy Mysteries, Thrillers, Swoon-Worthy Romance of all kinds, Zombies, Urban Fantasy, Historical Fiction, and the occasional YA read.

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17 Responses to “ReRead Review: Divergent Series by Veronica Roth”

  1. Kristin @ My ParaHangover
    Twitter:

    I HAD to read your re-read summary b/c I am STILL on the fence about reading this! I think I just literally fell off onto the side of nope, won’t do it. I own the first book (first edition even!) but I think it’s going to be donated to the library or something…

    Thank you!!! Fantastic study!!!

  2. Melanie Simmons
    Twitter:

    This is a series that I’ve looked at several times, but I don’t read many YA, so I keep passing it by. I’ve heard it isn’t the typical YA angst, which is one of the reasons I avoid YA. The other is high school nonsense. I hated that crap when I was in school and don’t want to repeat it. As a dystopian, that shouldn’t be an issue here. Maybe I’ll get to it one day. I’ve really yet to read a book with two narrators, so I don’t know if audio will be the way for me to go with this one.
    Melanie Simmons recently posted…Sterling Audiobook by Dannika Dark Review

  3. Whitney

    I loved your breakdown! I really enjoyed Divergent (enough to read the second in the trilogy) Insurgent I thought was just okay and as I’d already read the first two felt obliged to read the last which I didn’t even finish. Needless to say, I won’t be rereading the series anytime soon.

    As for The Hunger Games, I reread them in preperation for Catching Fire (the movie). I once again enjoyed the first two but was a little disappointed with Mockingjay. I don’t read much young adult either but after reading these two, I feel like the build-up for YA trilogies isn’t always worth the hype.
    Whitney recently posted…Custom Domain Name?

  4. Mary
    Twitter:

    Ooh, I like how you did this! While I do want to see Divergent the movie, I don’t think I’ll do a reread. I liked the first book but, really, it was a series I should have stopped there (As I do with the majority of YA trilogies…for some reason). I was so disappointed with the world outside Chicago and the explanation as to why they set up the factions. And, yeah, Four.
    Mary recently posted…Dangerously Dark: Mortal Danger by Ann Aguirre

  5. Karen
    Twitter:

    That’s about how I feel about the series. I loved the first book (there were some things that bugged me but I thought it would be explained so I let it go), book two was pretty good and then that last one was a total let down. Not because of what happened so much as the writing and the characters.

    Both Mockingjay and now Allegient – felt like a total change from the previous two.
    Karen recently posted…{Short & Tweet} Review: Into the Shadows (The Associates #3) by Carolyn Crane

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