Insurgent (Movie)

One choice can destroy you

I saw this over Spring Break with my mom (who read the book ages ago and didn’t remember much about it) and one of my brothers (who had never read it).  I’m hoping I can use this review to reflect their feelings about this movie as well as my own.

Every choice has consequences, and no one knows that better than Tris.  She constantly fights to protect her family and friends, regardless of the costs…and those costs are quickly adding up.  Jeanine isn’t going to let Tris go without a fight.  In times of war, everyone must pick a side.  But with war also comes deadly consequences…

My reactions:

Even though it’s been a few years, I remembered a fair bit about the plot of the book.  So I knew pretty quickly that the movie changed/cut out a lot.  But it really didn’t bother me much because I thought it still told an entertaining story.  It just wasn’t quite the original, though it stayed true to Tris, the others, and the city.

There was a bit too much violence for my taste, particularly with the loud gun blasts from the amped up theater speakers.  (The sounds of guns that loud makes me anxious.)  But I still thought it was true to the story.  Oh, side note, the action-to-romance ratio is something like 10:1.  For every 10 scenes of guns and fights, there is one cutesy scene.

I was glad to see some of the minor characters either play a larger role or show up for the first time. For as much as I hated him in the book, I freaking love Miles Teller’s portrayal of Peter.  He’s a complete enigma.  And this also brought in characters like Uriah and Naomi, who were both super compelling given their limited screen time.

But ever since Shailene Woodley shot to fame, I feel like I’m playing “One Degree of Shailene” in this movie.  Like “Oh, there’s Ansel Elgort, who played Augustus to her Hazel Grace in TFIOS.  Oh, there’s Miles Teller who played Sutter to her Aimee in The Spectacular Now.”  Seriously, I had a hard time getting pictures of her kissing those boys out of my head to remember she was with Four.

Still, I rather enjoyed the movie.  Though looking back, it’s probably not going to be one I decide to pop in while I’m alone on the weekends.

My mom and brother’s reaction:

They were bored.  The storyline was repetitive to them and it never really got exciting.  I think one of them nearly fell asleep in the movie.  I guess maybe I spent the whole time replaying the book in my head and just anticipating what would come next?  And they didn’t/couldn’t.  It got old fast.

So there you have it.  Two people who didn’t know/remember Insurgent as a book were bored with the movie, but I enjoyed it at the time.  It wasn’t the best YA adaptation ever, and Divergent was better, but I didn’t think it was awful.


Four: A Divergent Story Collection (Divergent #0.1-0.4)

First Lines: I emerge from the simulation with a yell.  My lip stings, and when I take my hand away from it, there is blood on my fingertips.  I must have bitten it during the test.

When I saw this on the library shelf, I snagged it.  Funny enough, this wasn’t even on my to-read list.  But that had to have been an oversight on my part because I totally wanted to read it.  Who wouldn’t want to read about Four?

*Potential Mild Series Spoilers Ahead, if you haven’t read Divergent*

Two years before Beatrice Prior made her choice, Tobias Eaton made his.  Son of the Abnegation leader, Tobias realizes he has to leave his father.  He needs to be someone new.  Joining Dauntless and renaming himself Four seems to be the trick.  But Dauntless isn’t what he thought it would be.  When Four stumbles upon dangerous plots that threaten those around him, he must decide if he should take action or not.  Two years later, ready to take action, Four’s life changes when a young Abnegation transfer jumped off the roof.  With her help, he may be able to stop bad things from happening…but at what price?

Ok, so basics: the first three stories in this book take place before Tris ever enters the picture.  Which was fine.  There was a lot of background on Four and his life prior to the transfer.  I liked that.  I liked seeing Four go through his own initiation and all that.  It was nice to see him as lost as Tris was.

But they weren’t overly exciting.  I mean, there were cute or funny or exciting scenes, but the stories just didn’t have the same feel to them that I got from Divergent.  Maybe it’s just because I don’t know these characters as well.  We never really see Four with any friends in Divergent and it was weird seeing his friends here.

The fourth story in this collection is parallel with Divergent, just from Four’s perspective.  This made it all worth it.  I mean, I’ve read that story like 3 times already just because I love it so much.  It’s so interesting to see the same scenes from another set of eyes.  And one of my favorite scenes was in this!  (I don’t know whether I should tell you or not what scene I’m talking about!)  Suffice it to say, the meat of Divergent is in here, along with a few other snippets at the end from Four’s perspective.

I loved seeing Four the way he sees himself, especially since he’s so private.  He’s a sharp kid.  He sees way more than a lot of people give him credit for, but he also knows how to hide who he is from others.  I was impressed by his instincts and his cleverness.  I didn’t think Four could impress me that much, but I think I might have just fallen in love with him a little more.

Such a great collection, even if you just pick it up for the last story.

Allegiant (Divergent, #3)

First Lines: I pace in our cell in Erudite headquarters, her words echoing in my mind: My name will be Edith Prior, and there is much I am happy to forget.

With all the hype surrounding this book, I really wanted to wait until some of it had died down before I read it.  But I had a friend who was pretty pushy about getting me to read it, so I didn’t wait too long.

*Potential Series Spoilers Ahead, but NO SPOILERS from this book!*

Tris’s world was turned upside down when we last saw her.  In fact, all of Chicago was in an upheaval.  Now, Tris needs to discover what exactly Edith Prior is talking about.  What if a single choice can change everything?  What if love and loyalty steer you in a direction you never thought you’d go?

I realize how awful spoilers are, so I will attempt to keep this as spoiler free while simply just giving you my thoughts and reactions to this book.

This much-anticipated novel certainly lives up to its hype.  I think it’s impossible for Veronica Roth to write a bad novel, at least as far as this series is concerned.  We were left with a lot of questions at the end of Insurgent, which meant we were looking for a lot of answers this time.

There was some phenomenal growth from the characters this time around.  Tobias and Tris have to wrestle with themselves and each other as much as every other teenager does.  It’s nice to see that in a world that’s so different from ours.

Some of you may have heard that the ending garnered death threats and other awful things toward Roth.  First of all, I want to say that is uncalled for, no matter what you think of the book.  I understand why people are upset, but that is no excuse to make death threats.  It really aggravates me that people will do things like this.

I will say that the ending was quite emotional.  I found myself crying for multiple reasons as I finished the book, not the least of which being that it was the end of this series.  It’s such a magnificent world, and it’s come to an end already.  I don’t think it could have gone on for any more books, but I am sorry it had to end.

This book lives up to the expectations.  The only reason I have rated it at 4 instead of 5 is because of the hype that surrounded it.  I knew I had to expect something big out of this book, and it caused me to attempt to predict the ending.  I didn’t enjoy the book as much as I wanted to for that reason, but it’s definitely a good read.  Just make sure you have a box of tissues at the ready as you finish it.