Book Banter: Divergent Trilogy

divergent trilogyTitles: Divergent, Insurgent, Allegiant

Author: Veronica Roth

Genre: YA dystopian

Length: ~500 pages/each

Where Bethany’s copies came from: The Indianapolis Public Library

Plot Basics: When 16-year-old Beatrice “Tris” Prior must choose which Faction she will join, it will change her life forever. As her choices and her presence in the increasingly politicized and dangerous Faction system become known, she is pulled into a conflict over reality she never could have dreamed possible.

Banter Points: I heard about this series sometime around when the second one came out but just hadn’t gotten around to picking them up. I heard Veronica Roth talk about YA fiction at ALA. Finally, after conversations with three awesome ladies, Joelle Charbonneau@HeatherLibrary and one of my good friends from college, I got more excited about them and then… my EightUp list served up the first one.

I decided that what EightUp meant was the whole series, not just the first one and I more or less binge-read them. It’s been a long time since I’ve read a series straight through like this and I’m glad I did. I didn’t lose the plot or characters and the emotional build was sustained over three books. As a reader, I loved that the characters were forced into terrible choices over and over again. 

There were a number of people who were disappointed in the way the third book ends, but I thought it was fitting. I was actually much more frustrated with the end of The Hunger Games trilogy than the end of Allegiant.

Every time I read YA, I’m reminded of sophomore high school English when we read Oedipus Rex and understanding how Greek plays were about catharsis. 

I think catharsis is what adult readers love about YA books. Just because we’re grown up doesn’t mean that we don’t still have feelings and think life is overly chaotic and dramatic. We still (well, some of us) want that fellow to notice we exist and then feel all sorts of conflicted when he does. We fear that we will make a mistake, a wrong choice, an ill-timed decision and it will cost us everything. Reading YA lets us safely feel all those emotions, get them out, and then go back to life, feeling like the mortgage and the job and notice/lack-of-notice cycle isn’t quite so bad.

Bummer Points: To react as a YA reader would for a moment… oh the feels. Just because I wasn’t angry with how it ended didn’t mean I liked it. 

The end wasn’t pretty and it didn’t resolve neatly. But what it had was hope, small and fluttering. I’ll take that kind of ending any time and it won’t be a bummer.

Word Nerd Recommendation: Fans of The Hunger Games should definitely read this series.

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