This week, I finished reading the first two books in the Divergent series by Veronica Roth. Since I love telling people how I feel about things, I thought I might write a little review.
I’ll be the first one to say that I suck at writing reviews. On the one hand, I love giving my opinion, whether people want to know what I think or not. But on the other hand, I am really, really bad at analyzing things. When my sister read the seventh Harry Potter book, she saw a whole bunch of World War II parallels. I saw Harry and Voldemort. I made it through college and grad school, not by my ability to analyze, but my ability to BS a good term paper. So I guess instead of a term paper, I will now be BSing a good review.
I hadn’t heard of Divergent until a few weeks ago. I was out to dinner with one of my best friends, Kat, and we got to talking about books. She and I are both huge Hunger Games fans, though for some reason she thinks Katniss should have ended up with Gale.
Um… how are we friends again? Anyway, she said that since I loved The Hunger Games so much, I needed to read Divergent. It was not optional. I had to read this book. Now, I’ve had a million people tell me I should read this or that, but to be honest, I rarely check out any books or movies solely on someone’s recommendation. It’s nothing personal. It’s just that I like making my own decisions and I will usually not do something that someone tells me I should do unless I really, really want to. I can’t even count the number of times I’ve had someone tell me I should read Ender’s Game. Unfortunately, my sister read the book and absolutely hated it. She and I usually have pretty similar taste in books, so I trust her opinion. That, and I saw the preview for the movie and, I’m sorry, it looks so boring.
But back to Divergent. I promise not to post any spoilers. I’m not an experienced enough reviewer for that.
Kat was a lot more vehement that I read it than most of my other friends have been when recommending a book to me, so I was seriously considering it. Then, totally out of the blue, someone on my Facebook page posted about how she’d just read the first two Divergent books and couldn’t believe she had to wait until October to read the third. That’s when I decided I needed to check it out.
I am glad that I did!
Divergent was a fantastic book. Although it’s over 400 pages long, it was a very fast read. It’s written in first person, which I like but for some reason, have a lot of trouble writing. I’m a third person limited kind of girl. Anyway, the main character is named Beatrice Prior and she lives in a city that is divided into factions. You choose your faction based on what you value most; honesty, bravery, etc… I can’t go into a lot of the plot without giving away spoilers that are more fun to read in the book than on someone’s blog, so I’ll just say, yes, it really did remind me of a cross between The Hunger Games and The Giver. If you enjoyed either, you should definitely read Divergent. It drew me in, entertained me, and best of all, it kept me interested. I will admit that I wasn’t as emotionally invested in the characters as I was in The Hunger Games or Harry Potter, but I do like them. I love the main guy, Four. He’s complex, brave, and in my head, really handsome. The guy playing him in the movie is pretty handsome too, but he’s not how I envisioned him. Movie portrayals rarely are, however.
It took me a little longer to get into the second book, Insurgent. I finished Divergent in two nights. I could barely put it down. The first half of Insurgent was easier to put down, but the last half was more than worth it and it left me eagerly anticipating the arrival of the third book this autumn.
Something else I loved about the first book was that author Veronica Roth included a question and answer session in the back. I loved reading about how she came up with the idea for the series. Heck, I love hearing about how all writers come up with their ideas. The creative process is so fascinating and I love the way different things inspire different people.
The next book I have on my list to read is Beautiful Creatures. Hopefully, I’ll get around to that in the next couple of days, but I am still hard at work putting the finishing touches on my own manuscript. I have a few tentative cover designs that I’ve been playing around with and today, I’m going to try to work on my acknowledgements, author bio, etc…
I really believe that reading other books is excellent for the writing/publishing process. It’s good not only to give your mind a break, but also to remind yourself that millions of other authors have been there, and they’ve made it happen. It’s really encouraging.