Like the rest of the reading universe with a fetish for young adult novels, I have been anticipating the release of the second instalment of the Divergent trilogy ‘Insurgent.’ The first movie was just utterly perfect. There was a lot of pressure to live up to in the sequel, as book fans are so invested in their beloved faction system. I did a blog post recently on the struggles of falling in love with a book and watching a drastically different version unfold on screen. As a self confessed initiate, I had concerns for ‘Insurgent’ with What was in the box? and Tris’ hair isn’t right. I finally got to see the movie for myself last night and it absolutely rocked! Veronica Roth would have been so proud! When I was leaving the cinema and shoving excess popcorn under my seat, the first thought that popped into my mind was ‘Is this better than ‘The Hunger Games?’ ‘Divergent’ has often been compared with the likes of ‘The Hunger Games’ because of it’s target audience, themes, ideas and female protagonist. But, I am under the impression that these two texts are entirely unique in their own way. So dear reader I will ask the extremely difficult question ‘Which is better out of ‘The Hunger Games’ and ‘Divergent’ trilogies?
‘The Hunger Games’ entered my life in 2012 after a book recommendation from my best friend. Her words went a little something like ‘Ash, this book is every bit worth the ugly cover.’ Best advice I ever had, because that cover was unappealing but Katniss was worth it. I sped through the story at such a fast rate that I wasn’t able to retain any of the information. So much so that when a friend commented on her excitement to see what the ‘Cornucopia’ looked like. I just Hazel Graced back and said ‘okay’ because I had no idea what she was talking about. I haven’t re-read the series again a series neither myself or my bookshelf could part from. My first impression of he book was that it was a rehash of Twilight’s love triangle between Bella, Edward and Jacob. On the surface level it is, but Suzanne Collins has so much more in store for her leading lady Katniss and her discussion of themes of suffering, poverty and child war. It’s Collins’ bleak and troubled vision of the not to distant future is why I love this novel so much. Katniss as the main character is fierce and her ability to listen to her own mind is sensational (Yes Bella Swan, I am talking to you.) I was recently discussing ‘The Hunger Games’ with an 11 year old boy at work the other day, who was halfway through ‘Mockingjay’ during #silentreading (The best kind there is) He loved the weapons and war within the story, but I was more interested in his opinion of Katniss as the main character. ‘Yeah, look she’s pretty cool’ he muttered. I loved that he didn’t mention anything about Katniss being a girl. What a good young lad. He even went on to comment that he like how she shoots with an arrow and runs everywhere. Kids, gotta love them. What got me about this response is the wide age and gender range that Katniss as a character appeals too. I haven’t even mentioned the cherry on top that is Jennifer Lawrence portraying Katniss. Bow down to J-Law.
And now I introduce Tris Prior into the mix, a recent transfer to Dauntless faction from the ‘Divergent’ trilogy. I only got sucked into the series last year just before the film was released. As well as falling deeply in love with Four (to justify it he does remind me of my own amazing boyfriend) I was captivated by the character development of Tris throughout the story. Even as an abnegation faction member, Tris’ personal values are strong and is a good role model for girls of all ages. Even though I adored watching Shailene Woodley rock it as Hazel Grace in ‘The Fault in our Stars’, her bad ass Dauntless vibe she had going on in ‘Divergent’ just floats my boat. While ‘The Hunger Games’ deals with physical and social themes, ‘ Roth explores mental wellbeing through the ‘Divergent’ trilogy’s faction system. Tris’ journey encourages readers to follow their destiny and make choices for what they truly love. Roth develops these themes as the trilogy continues, in particularly Insurgent centering around forgiveness of other and the self.
I am realising as I am writing this that the books and movies are beginning to merge together. I am so invested in both of these series that it seems impossible to choose a stronger female character. If I was to dress up as either of these heroines for a fancy dress party, I would happy to rock the tatts as Tris or the braid as Katniss. So for my second justification in this post I have decided to make a decision for better film and better novel.
🍵Book- Divergent I bought these books t the Boxing day Sales of 2013 and they lay untouched on my bookshelf for at least ‘four’ months before I opened them up. However, it didn’t take long #four me to consume the series. Also, the spin off book ‘Four’ fills in some of the blanks from the trilogy. I re-read the book before watching the film and it was even more enjoyable the second time.
🍵Film- The Hunger Games As much as I loved the books, J-Law and all the cast really bring this book series to life. For me, ‘The Hunger Games’ was explosive and I couldn’t put the book down. But the following two books just weren’t packed with as much punch. The movies invigorated the series for me and made me appreciate the books even more.
I actually wrote a post with the opposite results, because the ‘Insurgent’ film was still fresh but had to change it, but it could have gone either way! I can’t say enough positive things about these books and their leading ladies. Tris and Katniss both teach their audience to be brave and never give up. They’re both such bad ass female characters that I love them both the same and I could never choose a favourite. Girl Power and Dystopian novels really are the bacon and eggs of the literary world.
Miss Book Dependent xo