The obvious comparison: Tris versus Katniss

Allegiant by Veronica Roth

Warning: Here there be spoilers. But only for the Hunger Games ’cause too many people I know haven’t read Allegiant yet.

So, as pretty much anyone knows, if teens read and loved the Hunger Games, you automatically suggest that they follow it up with Divergent. In fact, I’m pretty sure I compared the two books after I finished Divergent, and also probably Insurgent, so I guess I’m starting to repeat myself. That’s kinda miserable.

As individual books that start trilogies, I liked Hunger Games better than Divergent. No question. As trilogies I might have liked Divergent more. I’m not sure.

Allegiant really surprised me with the direction it took. Up until the third book, I thought it was about one thing, the factions, and then in the third book, bam! It’s suddenly not. I’m not sure I liked it. I was more interested in the science fictiony themes in Allegiant then the factions, but I felt like it was too much, too big and fascinating to get all jammed into the last book and I felt in a lot of ways that the faction plot was unresolved. Having said that, I did enjoy it, but I’m not sure I would have set it up that way.

And it’s such a shame I can’t talk about that ending!

Anyway, I felt the same thing about the Hunger Games trilogy in some ways. Like it changed direction suddenly and too fast in the last book, and while some of the themes and ideas and characters remained the same, it lost something that made it unique and interesting or gained too much that made it duller. Like an annoyingly overt and rather uncomplicated love triangle.

I guess that’s the thing about trilogies. They usually start off strong and trail off, or start off a little weaker and get better (meaning it sucks to be the second book – although Insurgent doesn’t fit that pattern).

It’s hard for me to say which one I liked better. I think the themes that Hunger Games looked at, like what it can take to win conflicts, ways of oppression, idealization and celebritization (is that even a word? well it is now) and poverty versus wealth are more interesting to me then freedom of choice, human virtue and genetics but the rawness and emotional agony in Divergent was really, really mind blowing.

Ultimate conclusion: I can’t choose. Please don’t make me.

Last movie I watched: Much Ado About Nothing. Combination of many of my favourite people? For the win!

Last TV episode I watched: Buffy. The one where Anya’s ex the troll turns up. Good times.


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