My love/hate relationship with​ the Divergent Series (Spoilers)

(Note that this is a discussion of the entire book series and all films so please be aware of spoilers!) 

I have a “confession” to make. I have a love/hate relationship with the Divergent Series by Veronica Roth. What does that mean exactly? Sometimes I just loooove the Divergent series and other times I really hate it… But why is it that I have this ambiguous relationship, that’s what I will try to discuss in this post – my very first discussion post :))) (wiieee feeling so excited)
I will admit that I may be a quite late with this post since both the books and the films were published years ago. But even after all this time I still have so many and so mixed feelings about this series that I just have to get it out.

But first of why I simply love this series!
What made me love this series was mostly the first book, Divergent. It was soo exciting and thrilling! I loved how nerve-wracking the initiation process was. That the initiates really had to fight their way into Dauntless (figuratively speaking) and the fact that if they failed they would become factionless. The initiations process was tough and probably too tough and too violent too.  But this was what made it so compelling on me because the circumstances were so tough.
Another thing I loved about the first book was Tris’s character development. I believe Tris was always strong and brave even when she was in abnegation. But becoming an initiate in Dauntless really made these qualities come forth. I loved how Tris learned from her strengths and from her weaknesses so that she, in the end, could beat Molly and eventually get into Dauntless. Though I believe Tris took it too far in the fight against Molly I really enjoyed her victory. Another scene from the first book that I enjoyed and loved was the knife-throwing scene. In this scene, Tris showed both bravery and selflessness. And she was just totally badass of course! So cool!
Tris was just overall badass! Especially in books one. However, she lost something on me later on in book two Insurgent and especially in book three Allegiant. I can’t quite explain why I feel/felt that way when I read the books. But it may have something to do with the ending of the series, but I will come back to that later ;).

I always enjoy a good romance and this series definitely had that. I just loved loved loved Tris and Four. Who couldn’t? They were so cute and perfect for each other. Of course, they had their ups and downs… Uh, I still feel so bad about the scene in Insurgent when Tris was under the truth serum and she had to tell that she killed Will. It kills me she couldn’t tell Four herself and that Four felt so betrayed/mistrusted and angry afterwards (if I recall correctly?) when he learned the truth. But the best thing about Four and Tris was that there wasn’t any love triangle it was just them. A love triangle can be entertaining but sometimes it’s just nice when there isn’t one.

So these are some things I love about the divergent series. Now onto the less fun/positive part. The things that I hate about the Divergent series. I know hate is a strong word. So it might not and probably not be hate that I am feeling. But when I talk about the things that I do not like about the series I always tend to fly into a temper… So let’s get this over with before I burst haha.

Let’s stay with the books for now (because the most I hate is related to the films). I loved the second and the third book as well but they were simply not the same as the first one. And let’s talk about the ending!?…. I hate the ending. Why should Tris die?! I don’t get it. It seems silly to me. I don’t know if I found it realistic/likely that she would die. But you just don’t kill the protagonist in YA dystopian novel! You just don’t! Can you tell that I am just a bit displeased with you, Veronica Roth? Now that is said I can fully move on to why I hate the films… 😉

First of all the casting… The cast was way too old, like way too old. The producers/castors probably had their reasons but the actors were like almost twice as old as the characters in the books. It also really bothered me that Christina whom in the books is described as tall and definitely taller than Tris, is played by Zöe Kravitz who is way smaller than Shailene Woodley. I love Zöe Kravitz as an actor (especially her performance in Big Litlle Lies! (If you have HBO you should watch it now, if you haven’t already! Such a great show!!)) but as I recall, it is pointed out several times in the books that Christina is taller than Tris and therefore has a better chance than Tris during the first part of the initiation training.
The main thing I hate about the films is how much they differ from the books. I get that you can’t include everything but to outright change things… then I have to put my foot down! I hate the ending of the books but I also hate the ending of the films. Because you simply cannot change it! It is the ending for god’s sake. And even though I do not like or get the ending in the books Veronica Roth probably had some meaning to it. Otherwise she would have let Tris live!
In the films, a lot of lines were also changed compared to the books. What they changed and added seemed so off. It seemed misplaces and awkward. They also added and changed scenes completely. I would not have minded this if the scenes didn’t seem so wrong and mishandled.

I know it is difficult turning a book into a film. Most times it doesn’t work but other times it does. I belive Harry Potter and The Hunger Games are great examples of that. It just didn’t work for the Divergent series if you ask me. I have watched the films several times because I just couldn’t fathom how bad they were. Thye got better with each time but only because I put my expectations lower and lower. I also tried to see the films as a person who hadn’t read the books however they were still bad.
I know should not compare the books to the movies due to their different media regarding communication. I should be able to separate them. I just can’t.
The reason why I can’t separate the books from the movies is that of Veronica Roth. She was in on the movies, she even had a role as a dauntless extra. How could she ruin her great series like that? I think this is the definitive reason for my love/hate relationship. How can you write such great books and then turn them into three “B” films which just got worse and worse from each film!?

The hate I have towards the films has unfortunately affected my view of the books. Now I can’t read the books without thinking how this great series got ruined when turned into a film franchises. It eventually also ruined my experience with the books… I still love them though 😉

Sorry I had to get it out… I am usually not such a hater!

Nicoline ❤

What do you think of the Divergent series as a book and as a film? Were the adaptions successful? Do anyone share my mixed feelings?

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15 thoughts on “My love/hate relationship with​ the Divergent Series (Spoilers)

  1. I totally agree with you on a lot of this! 🙂 I loved everything about the first book of the Divergent series, from the romance to the Dauntless initiation, but the other books were more disappointing. Insurgent was okay, but I didn’t even finish Allegiant because someone spoiled the ending for me and I just didn’t see a point in reading it anymore. Why would Roth kill off her main character?! Like you said, it seems silly. I feel like the series had a lot of potential, but the last two books kind of killed it for me.

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    1. Yeah, book two and three had way more potential! Maybe the plot just got too big? In some way, I got dissapointed that there was a superior outside world and that Chicago just was an experiment. But then again I guess the whole world/system was supposed to be an indictment of the existing​​ reality.​

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      1. To be honest, it’s been forever since I read the books, so I don’t remember the exact details. But I think you’re right: it’s almost like Roth felt the faction system on its own wasn’t interesting enough and threw in the twist of Chicago being an experiment because she thought she needed to spice things up. Personally, I would’ve been perfectly fine with more exploration of the factions — that’s what made the first book so entertaining, after all!

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      2. Yes, I think you could be right. It seems like this to me too. But I guess we never know 😉 I would too have preferred if the story styed with the exploration of the faction system. As you said, it was what made the first book so great!

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  2. I also LOVE the first Divergent book, I think it’s the best of the series honestly. The other books just weren’t as good as the first one and the last book, I actually didn’t like it at all. It’s really sad because it had a lot of potential. I also agree with you on the movies, they were just bad and the actors, I just can’t hahaha

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    1. Yes, the first is definitely the best! And the last two did not live up to their full potential at all. I agree with you on the actor part, partly. But I believe that the “blame” is to be put on the producers. It was their job to make this movie work but it just didn’t hahah 😉

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  3. I read the first one and loved it, read the second one and thought it was mediocre, started the third one and give up like 3 chapters in because I couldn’t stand the prose.

    As for Tris’s death, I get on an emotional level why people wouldn’t like it, but I think it’s artistically bold. It isn’t *done* in YA to kill the protagonist, and I think that can make stories very limited.

    Also, my co-blogger has a whole thing about how she predicted Tris’s death from the beginning because she thought there was a lot of Christian imagery and it seemed obvious to her Tris would die. She was very surprised other people were surprised.

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    1. Well if you don’t enjoy a book there is no need to finish it. There are way more books out there to be read 😉
      True, it is always bold to kill the protagonist! But history is told/written by the survivors, who then can tell their own or others stories. Here I think of The Great Gatsby and Rebecca.
      I gues I just hadn’t foreseen Tris’s death and then couldn’t comprehend it. Has your co-blogger written anything about it? I would love to hear more about her theories. It sounds really interesting!

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  4. Nice review. I only got into the series because of the first movie. I totally agree about the misconceptions between the book and the movie, but also between the books. The first book I had no problem, the second was a bit more difficult to get into and I haven’t been able to get myself to read the the third one.

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