Barb Caffrey's Blog

Writing the Elfyverse . . . and beyond

Just Reviewed Veronica Roth’s “Divergent” and “Insurgent” at SBR

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Folks, even though my novel AN ELFY ON THE LOOSE is just out, that doesn’t stop me from reading and reviewing other people’s books.

Though if the legions of fans who loved Veronica Roth’s DIVERGENT but hated book two of her trilogy, INSURGENT, happen upon my review of both books — which I posted not ten minutes ago over at Shiny Book Review (SBR for short, as always) — they may wish I’d refrained.

Why? Because, oddly enough, I truly enjoyed INSURGENT, but I just could not get past the initial implausibility of DIVERGENT. Ms. Roth’s setup  of the five factions which rule near-future Chicago, much less the whole idea that someone who doesn’t truly fit into any of the five factions would be shunned or excluded from society, was too hard for me to get past. But I firmly bought into the five factions’ system coming apart, which is why I enjoyed INSURGENT so much.

This is not the prevailing wisdom on “the Internets.” To put it mildly.

For those of you going, “But Barb! DIVERGENT had some really good writing! Why didn’t you like it?,” the answer is simple: The plotline made little sense. And that was too hard for me to get past.

Yes, the writing in both books was good. I liked Ms. Roth’s heroine Beatrice “Tris” Prior and believed in her characterization, I also liked her boyfriend Four/Tobias, and I believed in what she was going through in both books — but only to a point.

And because it was far easier for me to believe that a near-future Chicago that had somehow been ruled by five and only five factions for some lengthy period of time was now starting to come apart at the seams because five factions just couldn’t do the job any more — and because I believed that when a society breaks down, there’s lots of mayhem, carnage, and graphic violence — it was far easier for me to buy into INSURGENT than DIVERGENT, most particularly because the stuff I liked about DIVERGENT was at the very end of the book.

Which was exactly the stuff I couldn’t discuss in my review without spoilers.

Anyway, there’s one other really good thing about the Divergent trilogy (of which I’ve now reviewed the first two books) — there was no unnecessary love triangle!

YAY! YAY! YAY! (I’d keep cheering, but I’m sure you get the point.)

At any rate, I plan to review ALLEGIANT, the concluding book of Ms. Roth’s trilogy about Tris Prior, in the next few weeks over at SBR. So if you can’t wait for the movies (must. have. movies!), please be sure to check out my forthcoming review . . . ’cause I never know exactly what I’m going to say next. (And that’s the beauty of it. Right?)

 

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Written by Barb Caffrey

April 12, 2014 at 11:50 pm

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