Divergent and Insurgent are the first two parts of a trilogy by Veronica Roth that has filled the void The Hunger Games series left behind.
The series takes place in Chicago in the future. There are five groups called factions that inhabit the area. Each faction is dictated by the main characteristics and mannerisms of its people. For example the Abnegation are the selfless faction, always giving of others. And the Dauntless are the courageous, although often reckless, faction, always seeking thrills and training in combat. At the age of sixteen, every boy and girl is given the option of staying in their family’s faction, or switching factions to join a society more suited to their demeanor. And this is where our heroine Tris begins the book, choosing either to stay with her family or leave them for someplace she is better suited. Unfortunately, for Tris, the decision is not easy, because her brain is not wired for only one faction, but for multiple. She is Divergent. Keeping her dangerous Divergent status a secret, she moves on and trains in a new faction to hide. But in the process, she struggles with potentially giving away her identity and gaining information about major power play between factions.
Insurgent immediately follows where Divergent left off, and for those of you who, like me, can’t wait to find out what happens next this is perfect. Without giving away too much, Tris’s Divergent status has put her in even more of a difficult situation as she struggles to decide who to trust and what to do in her current state of turmoil. Insurgent was a mind-bender with twists at every turn. Not only Tris is tested, as whole factions are divided, and rebellion is coming to a boil from several directions. And of course, the book ends in a twist that leaves you wondering what could possibly be next? And when are we going to find out?
Both books are quick and easy reads that grab you right from the beginning. Tris is an amazing heroine whose faults sometimes outweigh her qualities, just like any other teenage girl. While Tris does have a love interest, there is no triangle, and the love story is not the overwhelming plot line in the story. It acts as a plot mover and displays Tris as a full and complex character. These books do have a lot of violence though, so I do not recommend it to anyone that does not like a lot of violence or is easily scared by it. I do recommend it to fans of Young Adult fiction, stories centered around dystopian societies, and badass heroines.
I give both of these books a 4/5. I can’t wait for the third one!