Divergent and Insurgentt by Veronica Roth
Will I Read the Sequel: Yes
My Thoughts: I can’t remember how I first heard of Roth’s series. I found the premise of a world in which people are divided into factions based on personality trait (Erudite, Candor, Dauntless, Amity , and Abnegation) intriguing. Yes, I took the facebook quiz before I read the book. I wanted Erudite, because I’m a Ravenclaw, but was instead labeled Dauntless. Hmmmm.
To return to our tale. In some ways, it reminded me of The Hunger Games. Tris Prior is not as engaging or compelling as Katniss, though to be fair, who is? Both endure violent physical trials to survive their dystopian worlds. The difference is Katniss knew what she was choosing; Tris didn’t. Each year, the young adults take a test to determine their dominant personality trait. They can then choose to join the new faction, or stay with the faction in which they grew up. This is complicated for Tris when her test reveals she has aptitude for multiple factions: she is divergent.
What does that mean? It means “our minds move in a dozen different directions. We can’t be confined to one way of thinking and that terrifies our leaders. It means we can’t be controlled. And it means that no matter what they do, we will always cause trouble for them” (442). Divergent is the introduction to this world, Tris’ initiation in her faction, and her gradual discovery of what exactly it means to be Divergent.
I can’t say much about Insurgent without spoiling it, or Divergent. What I can say is that the world-building continues, the mysteries deepen, and I am patiently awaiting the third book in the series, title unknown (though Roth says it won’t be Detergent).
Eyes Like Stars by Lisa Mantchev
Will I Read the Sequel(s): No
My Thoughts: I couldn’t buy this world. That was the biggest struggle for me. This is the theater where all the characters in all the plays, yet there’s no audience, until our protagonist Bertie stages a revival of Hamlet, then there’s an audience. Bertie can randomly call for scenes to be set on the stage, yet this has no effect on the world at large. The characters aren’t allowed to leave the theater, yet some do, and it has no effect upon the plays they’re supposed to be in? It would have made more sense to me it were like BookWorld in Jasper Fforde’s Thursday Next series. It didn’t work for me and I couldn’t get past it.
I also didn’t particularly care for Nate, Bertie’s would be paramour. Ariel of The Tempest, her foil was far more interesting. It’s not a bad read, and for those who aren’t quite so preoccupied with the premise, it’s probably quite enjoyable.