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October 23, 2013

Teen Board: INSURGENT Discussion

Have you grabbed your copy of ALLIGIANT yet???? The last book in Veronica Roth's Divergent series went on sale yesterday, and I'm sure some of you super fans have already dug into the final book in this dystopian series. Check out this video of Veronica Roth reading the first chapter of ALLIGIANT at midnight when it was released!

Last week, a few of the Teen Board members and I met to talk about DIVERGENT by Veronica Roth. We wanted to talk about the book, but also about what we were expecting from the upcoming movie adaptation. Because it was difficult to get everyone together (especially during the week) I sent some question to the Teen Board to answer.

And to continue our Divergent discussion, this week, I sent out questions to the Teen Board about INSURGENT. Here are their responses comparing the first two books and to what they expect from the last book in the series!

How does INSURGENT compare with DIVERGENT. Which book do you prefer?

Lucy: INSURGENT is a lot more intense than DIVERGENT. With INSURGENT, the damage has already been done, and everyone in the various factions have to live with it. Life has become a struggle for survival for most factions, aside from those who are desperately trying to remain uninvolved. Tris has fully grown into a true Dauntless, and is making decisions that Tobias (and myself included!) think are stupid and life-threatening. Personally, I prefer DIVERGENT because I love seeing how Tris goes through the initiate process and finds herself. Plus, it's the beginning of her relationship with Tobias; and as Maria Von Trapp once famously sang, "let's start at the very beginning/a very good place to start."

Kate: INSURGENT gives us a lot more insight into the other factions, which I loved. Tris also is very different than she was in DIVERGENT. She is more mature and carries tremendous guilt on her shoulders. I'd have to say that I prefer DIVERGENT to INSURGENT, but only because I loved Dauntless Initiation. 

Barakah: DIVERGENT was slower-paced and built up Tris's world. INSURGENT was action-packed and provided more crucial plot-based details instead of minor details.

Do you agree or disagree with Tris's rather reckless behavior? Do you think she has a reason for her actions?

Lucy: I think Tris is absolutely ridiculous when it comes to her reckless behavior. In my opinion, all of the dangerous choices she made were stupid, except for agreeing to help Marcus. She is the only person Tobias has in his life and that never seems to occur to her. Tris was shocked when he turned himself in to the Erudite, but I saw that one coming from a mile away! He truly loves her, and she needed to see that in a drastic way for it to stick. However, I agree with the last decision she made about trying to get the information from the Erudite. No one would listen to what she had to say, and in that situation I believe her reasoning was completely justified. With the other decisions, I just think that she was so depressed at loosing her family and killing Will that she no longer valued her own life. But when someone else cares for you so deeply, like Tobias does for Tris, I don't believe trying multiple times to get yourself killed is a good reason for behaving recklessly. 

Kate: I agree with some of her behavior. For example, I think turning herself over to the Erudite wasn't reckless, but selfless and brave. Other actions, however, like chasing after Jeanine when they were spying on the Candor and Erudite meeting was reckless. On the other hand, yes I do believe Tris has her reasons for behaving like that.   

Barakah: I disagree with some of Tris's behavior, as some of the choices she made were clearly not thought out. Yet, I understand that she didn't have time to think carefully about her choices as her life, as well as the lives of many others, was on the line.

Do you agree with Amity’s initial stance in the conflict between Erudite and Abnegation? Why or why not?

Lucy: No because I think it's a cop-out to say that you want to remain uninvolved. When someone says that, to me they're just trying to buy themselves more time to find a better solution. People like those in Amity just need to realize that you're going to become involved whether you like it or not, so you might as well make a decision.

Kate: No, I do not agree with their stance on the conflict. In my opinion, they were as bad as the Erudite. Even though they weren't outright killing the Abnegation, they still played a part in it by refusing to stand up for them. That is one of the flaws of Amity; they are unable to stop conflict because they don't use conflict. 

Barakah: I agree with Amity's initial stance because although it would have been crucial for them to get involved from the start, I understand their will for peace. They didn't want to get involved in something so big as there were already enough problems that they, as well as the other factions, were dealing with.

What is your favorite scene in INSURGENT?

Lucy: My favorite scene in INSURGENT was when Tobias was trying to convince Tris to not turn herself in for him. It was so great until Tris snuck out and turned herself in anyway...SO FRUSTRATING! After that, my favorite part would have to be the end, when we find out that the woman in the video is somehow related to Tris.

Kate: My favorite scene in INSURGENT was when Tris is in Erudite headquarters. It's an extremely difficult time for her as a character. Also, I enjoyed seeing Jeanine trying to solve the mystery of Divergence.

Barakah: My favorite scene in INSURGENT would have to be the scene where Tris and the others were escaping the building where gunshots were fired. I liked the action-paced writing that kept me on edge.

Did any characters surprise you in this book?

Lucy: CALEB! WHYYYYY DID YOU BETRAY US? At first, I honestly thought that he was a spy for the Dauntless because Tobias made a comment about how they had people on the inside. BUT THEN HE WASN'T and I didn't know how to contain myself. I still don't. I cannot accept the fact that he is a traitor. I just can't. In the words of those that use Tumblr, I've lost the ability to can.

Kate: YES. Of all the characters, Peter surprised me the most. Even though he acted because he felt like he owed a debt, he still helped them.

Barakah: Caleb's betrayal was probably the biggest surprise for me in the whole book. I was also surprised by how different Tris's personality was from DIVERGENT to INSURGENT. It was quite a shock that her character development was so well-written.

What are your predictions for ALLIGIANT? What do you hope to see/discover?

Lucy: I'm curious as to how Veronica Roth portrays the world outside of the factions. Will it be like the world we know now or will it be completely different? I've heard that the ending is shocking and that some fans are upset about various things a la when Prim dies in MOCKINGJAY. So on the one hand, I look forward to reading it, but on the other, if Tobias dies, my love for this series will take a turn in the opposite direction.

Kate: I predict that the factions will be either joined together or disbanded. I'm excited to see how the characters, especially Tobias, will take charge and control the situation. 

Barakah: I hope to discover all the conclusions for the unfinished business in the story. I would also like to know the reasons behind some characters' actions.