So, you know how everyone is always like, oh, it’s fine, we’ll just be fashionably late. Well, sometimes Team Epic Reads is no different. And that’s why we’re so excited to bring you the first edition of… LATE TO THE PARTY! Shannon, take it away—
Hey, book nerds. Shannon from Team Epic Reads here, with some, well, rather embarrassing news.
Up until recently, I had never… read… Divergent.
I’d also never seen any of the movies. And, to be frank, I barely had any idea what it was about. DON’T HATE ME, OK? When I finally admitted this to the rest of ER HQ, it got us thinking about some other iconic YA books that people may be late to the party to (I needed to see I wasn’t alone!).
So, naturally, we teamed up with Books-A-Million to celebrate some of the *epic* YA books that deserve to be read. If you’ve been waiting for an excuse to hop on board, head to your local BAM to check out the Late to the Party Epic Reads table, full of iconic books you may have missed the first time around (you can also see the full list here!). Also, keep an eye out for more Late to the Party posts as I work through my extensive TBR!
So, for the FIRST EVER installment of Late to the Party, I thought I’d put together some of my initial thoughts on Divergent. If this is also your first venture into the world of Divergent, or if you’re lowkey laughing at me and looking for a bit of nostalgia, scroll on down for a spoiler-filled reaction adventure.
Late to the Party
So, as I was reading, I tried to take notes. That quickly DEVOLVED as I got way sucked into the story. But I will grace you with one of my early notes from Chapter One, taken verbatim from my phone:
“Why u gotta jump from a train tho”
And tbh, that stuck with me for much of the plot: an overall sense of “GIRL, WHAT?” and also “WHY?”
AND I LOVED IT. I loved learning about Tris’s world and how the factions worked. Seriously, someone should write a dissertation about Candor, Abnegation, Dauntless, Amity, and Erudite because I would 100% read it. Possibly not for several years, in keeping with my theme, but I’m here for it all the same.
But, I digress.
Because I live for this, here are my reactions to key moments in gif form from my years-late Divergent intro:
When everyone pretends like nothing can go wrong from splitting people into a handful of strict subsets
If you define people by a single trait, it seems like it would only be a matter of time until other groups turn that trait against you. Even in the beginning, when things were still “peaceful,” the seeds of an all-out war were being sown, and I was not at all surprised by the violent turn the world took.
Me when Tris gets her first makeover as a Dauntless initiate
I was really bothered by the shame Beatrice felt in the opening scene as she looks at her own reflection. The moment she takes her sense of self back from the Abnegation’s rules and WERKS IT really stuck out to me as a pivotal scene. I feel like it set the stage for more of Tris’s growth into the total badass she becomes.
Tris and Four are the cutest ever, goodbye cruel world.
Tina sums up my feelings here pretty succinctly. The slow-burn romance was one of my favorite parts of the book, and when they finally ADMIT THEIR FEELINGS?
WHEN WE FOUND OUT THAT AL WAS BEHIND TRIS’S ATTACK
THIS is a twist I did not see coming, and I was left utterly heartbroken. Al seemed like such a sweetheart, but when Four said, “[Al] hurt you because your strength made him feel weak,” I started seeing his previous interactions with
Tris in a whole new light. Disappointed, but ultimately, not that surprised.
I am both impressed by and terrified of Tris
Whenever I read about badass YA heroines, I’m left with a couple recurring thoughts:
1. I could never have that kind of strength
2. You could probably kill me with your bare hands
And finally, can we talk about that cliffhanger ending?!
“I am no longer Tris, the selfless, or Tris, the brave. I suppose that now, I must become more than either.”
What does this mean? What’s left of their world?? WHAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN TO TRIS AND FOUR?
In conclusion, WHERE HAS THIS BEEN ALL MY LIFE? (Or, probably more accurately, where have I been?!) Also in conclusion, how did y’all expect me to actually stop with book one?! I can’t wait to find out what’s next for my girl Tris and to see how this world gets rebuilt. How, exactly, does a society come back from this??