I am excited to join the authors here at Apocalypse Reads! Thanks for the invite, friends! Like Rebecca & Esso, I'm an avid reader of young adult novels. My interest in dystopia, however, waxes and wanes. (Currently, I'm in an intense urban fantasy phase...) I don't want to deviate too much from their vision for the blog, so I'll probably add commentary that might be categorized as ancillary thoughts. ;-0
Here's my first one...
When the District 13 Book Club met last night to discuss Insurgent, I decided to (try to) hang back during the discussion since I hadn't *loved* the book. (Of course, in a discussion of books, my intent often gets shoved aside by excitement about the conversation.) After we were well tucked-in to our tasty meals, the conversation turned to the book. I had only read the book once, the day it was released, and honestly haven't had the inclination to revisit it since. There are many reasons for my detachment (including the recurring theme of Tris' grief, which hits perhaps too close to home for me right now), but the one I discovered during our conversation was that I really (really, really, really) think that books in a series should be able to stand on their own. I believe that a reader should be able to pick up any book in the series and experience not have to guess at plot and/or character development. Unfortunately, for me, Insurgent lacked stand-alone-ness, and therefore wasn't interesting to me in-and-of-itself.
I stand by my initial review of Divergent, even though I revised it several times. I was immersed in the storyworld (which seems to be a very big deal for me these days); I accepted the characters' actions as plausible within the world... Not so for Insurgent. Honestly, this second book felt incomplete and--dare I invite accusations of heresy from the true believers?--unnecessary. I would have been perfectly content at the end of Divergent to be left to my own imaginings about what happens next. A good story leaves me wanting more. Even better, a great story invites me to imagine more. At the end of Insurgent, I didn't really care what happened next. I'll read the third (of course), and even have a prediction of what it will be titled, which we carefully documented at D13BC, in case I'm right. But this is not a book that stuck with me, and that's too bad.