(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!
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?