This book has been surrounded by hype lately, so I decided to check it out. I've been a sucker for dystopian fiction since I read 1984 in middle schoo...moreThis book has been surrounded by hype lately, so I decided to check it out. I've been a sucker for dystopian fiction since I read 1984 in middle school. The fact that these books are popping up all over the place in the YA market is pretty thrilling for me.
Starters left me with more questions than answers, and not in that awesome sort of self-reflective "what does it all mean?" way.
World building left much to be desired. Although the first few chapters were nicely spun with some great details, things quickly became choppy.
About halfway through the book, the pace really picks up and suddenly all sorts of new information is being thrown at the reader -- and not all of it made sense or felt true to the story.
Without filling this with spoilers, the only other thing I can say is that there were places were things fell together a little *too* perfectly to be believable.
That being said... I think this is an interesting concept worth exploring further. Of course, I found myself thinking often about the TV series "Dollhouse," which conceptually is pretty similar.
From wikipedia: The show revolves around a corporation running numerous underground establishments (known as "Dollhouses") across the globe which program individuals referred to as Actives (or Dolls) with temporary personalities and skills. Wealthy clients hire Actives from Dollhouses at great expense for various purposes. Each Active has their original memories wiped and exists in a child-like blank state until programmed via the insertion of new memories and personalities for each mission.
Not exactly the same, but the idea of using fresh, agile bodies for various purposes by protected "renters" is pretty close.
I have to wonder if I would have enjoyed this more had I not been told numerous time that it was the next "Hunger Games" series. That's a terribly unfair bias for a reader to begin a new story with.(less)
As usual, Oliver's beautifully written prose swept me away. There were times I thought, "Yes, THIS is exactly what it means to show the reader, and no...moreAs usual, Oliver's beautifully written prose swept me away. There were times I thought, "Yes, THIS is exactly what it means to show the reader, and not tell." Several pieces I can't wait to share with students as mentor examples.
There were also parts of the plot that I found to be too coincidental, too easily unfolded.
But the character development in Lena, the introduction of Julian, and the writing -- oh man -- the writing... Oliver's ability to capture emotion and spin it out for the reader to simply breath in.. amazing.(less)
While Roth's fast-paced writing (plenty of twists and turns) made me curious to know what would happen at the end, I found I really didn't understand...moreWhile Roth's fast-paced writing (plenty of twists and turns) made me curious to know what would happen at the end, I found I really didn't understand the character's world enough to care about why they were fighting. Throughout the book there are hints about this very important secret that will change everything, and that may have been more enticing if the reader had more background information to begin with. As it is, too much was left as a vague "you'll find out later" absence of knowledge. I personally needed more to hold on to in order to feel connected to this story.
The constant struggle between Tris and Tobias felt a little too contrived for me, although I think we really get to learn who these characters are and what they stand for. Granted, all teenage romances are filled with drama and misunderstandings. There were just too many times I found myself rolling my eyes at Tris' decisions.
I still love the story concept, and Divergent was a great read. Insurgent simply didn't rise to the hope I had placed in the follow up to my much-loved Divergent. I'm torn on what to rate this, because although I didn't really connect with it, there was some decent depth to character development, and I really appreciate that.