This poignantly compelling trilogy (Divergent, Insurgent and Allegiant) is by far one of the best YA series I have ever read, arguably even better than the Hunger Games. It explores a number of profound topics throughout.
The whole concept is based around the fact (and warning because *spoiler alert*) that the world as we know it, huge and multi-layered to us, is in fact nothing but a small portion of an even bigger unfathomable world. This model has been explored many a time, the most prominent which comes to mind is ‘The Truman Show’, except the post-apocalyptic Chicago in The Divergent Series is a lot more entrenched in violence and a sinister attempt at dividing social norms.
Factions play a big part in these novels’ dystopian society, at sixteen each member must choose which faction they want to remain in for the rest of their lives, deciding whether they stay where they were born or leave their families forever. ‘Faction over family’ is the motto Tris constantly wrestled with. The problem with the five factions: Abnegation, for the selfless; Amity, for the peaceful; Candor, for the honest; Dauntless, for the brave; and Erudite, for the intellectual, is that not only is it impossible to separate humans based on a single trait, but the desire for more is what leads to complete chaos. The moral in this trilogy is that a focus for complete selflessness leads to a lack in self-preservation, a complete focus on peace leads to ignorance, a complete focus on honesty leads to hunger for control, bravery to violence, and intellectuality to greed.
Discrimination has plagued human societies for millennia, whether through prejudice based on gender or class, racism, or even homophobia. However, the ever increasing development of genetics today and with the possibility of genetic manipulation feasible, this series bring up the question of whether humanity will ever get to the point where genetics could play such a huge part in our societies, whether those with pure genes will ever be considered above those with damaged genes, and persecute them.
The whole story is tied up beautifully with the theme of love, between friendships, families and of course the protagonists, Tris and Tobias. It is a gratifying self-improving and growing love which makes you want to read on, as well as gut-wrenching sacrifice which binds you so evocatively to the storyline. Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this series and would definitely recommend it to all, even if you have seen the first movie which I believe came out some time last year. In addition, I’m aware that Veronica Roth has written a book based solely on Four’s entire perspective of the series, and I might give it a read. Have any of you read it? Have you read the series, and if so what did you think of it? Please let me know!