by Veronica Roth
Series: Divergent #1
Release Date: May 1, 2012
by Katherine Tegen ( an imprint of Harper)
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I can't really put into words what I'm feeling right now. This book was something, let me tell you. So much better than the first book.
There is just something about this book and series that demands to be read. You are sucked into the world and you don't want to leave. This book was miles better than Divergent. The first thing is the story line. So much more happened in this book than in the first book. There was a purpose to this book, whereas I felt like Divergent was kind of pointless. But this story was fast-paced, complex, and interesting. That being said...there were still some issues.
Something that can be easily messed up in a book with such a fast story and many escapes is the escapes are too easy. I did find that that happened a few times in the book [SPOILER: most noticeably when Tris is captured by Eric and she's with a group of other Divergent next to an elevator block (pg 193) and Tris stabs Eric then starts to try to escape. There are traitor Duantless around and they hold guns that shoot a gas that knocks out everyone but Divergent. So Tris stabs Eric and LUCKILY the only guns the traitor Dauntless have is the ones that have the knock-out gas...which is stupid because obviously that won't work on any enemy in the room because Tris and co are Divergent. SO WHY THE HELL WOULND'T THE TRAITOR DAUNTLESS HAVE REAL GUNS?! Because they didn't have real guns Tris and the other Divergents were able to escape ] but other than that one event and a few others I felt like the escapes were very well done and well-staged as well.
However I felt like Veronica Roth treated the reader like a child. I consider myself to be pretty smart and quick to catch on, so when a big thing happens in this book I think it through and figure out what it means and what impact it has. But Roth has to write this huge revelation scene then later go back and explain it. Readers are pretty good at figuring out things and don't need to be babied with information and have it explained to them. This happened at least twice and just kind of annoyed me. One example:[SPOILER: when Tris and Four and company are all with the Dauntless and they're taunting Four because he's “scared” of his father. So Four is like “This has got to stop” then he goes and punches his dad. Now I figured out immediately why he did this, but for some reason Roth felt the need to spell it out like her readers could never figure it out. ]
Other than that, pretty much everything else about this book was awesome. It was a very addictive, enjoyable book, which is why I gave it 4 stars. As said in my review of Divergent, I was not very impressed with how Roth [SPOILER: slipped in the war in the last 50 pages of the book. But she developed the war very well in this book and I was very impressed with her comeback. She kind of did the same kind of bad staging for the next book in this book but she developed it more before the ending so it worked out. ] I still would really like the action scenes to be explained better because from her mediocre descriptions I can't picture a scene.
There were several twists in this book that were like WHERE THE HECK DID THAT COME FROM?! I have to give Veronica Roth credit for staging things in such a way that later events made perfect sense. Some things I guessed [SPOILER: like Peter helping Tris escape when she gives herself to Jeneanne ] but other I didn't see coming at all [SPOILER: LIKE CALEB FREAKING BETRAYING HER! ]
Also, that ending was absolutely crazy. There was so much going on in that ending and it was so thrilling and crazy. And OMG THAT CLIFFHANGER!
Now let's talk about the characters. If you guys remember, I wasn't a huge fan of Tris (actually I hated her) in the first book. But in this book I grew to like and respect her. She is super messed up after what happened in the first book and she is much more vulnerable. But in this book she is emotionally and mentally damaged and she becomes a much deeper, darker character. I liked that we got to see the vulnerable side of her and it made her seem more human and definitely made her a more likable character. Plus there wasn't all this shit about how she has to pretend to be weak like there was in the first book, so that helped.
However, I hated Four. I never really liked him in the first place. Unlike in the first book, I didn't imagine him as Theo James. Four is just a very boring, underdeveloped character, even though we learned a bit more about him in this book. But he was so annoying! He wants Tris to tell him everything but doesn’t want to tell her anything. That's not how a relationship works, man! He shunned her and even when she was hurting and crying and crushed he just assumed “she was fine.” Come on man, “find your humanity!” (OH YEAH TANGLED QUOTE! I watch that movie way too much). So I didn't enjoy the romance at all.
Honestly I'm scared for this next book. [SPOILER: Roth killed off a few more loved characters in this book (Marlene and Lynn, and of course Jenneane even though I hate her) ] so I'm scared to see what she does in the final book *bites nails*.