I am a weirdo who watches the films first if there’s a film of a book. Because I’m either going to want to watch it anyway if I like the book, or someone is going to “make me” watch it. By make me, I of course mean enthusiastically encourage me enough that I feel guilty if I don’t and/or adds it to the our Netflix queue so that I watch out of desire for snuggles. Also, if I read the book first, there’s little chance I’ll enjoy the movie. That’s been my experience like 99.2% of the time.
So I watched Insurgent and then started in on the book. Except I needn’t have bothered, because I’m not even entirely sure Insurgent: The Book was the source for Insurgent: The Movie. I think they may have just made Divergent and then went, “welp, this is what we think would happen next.” Even the Serenity-inspiried hologram bit was ridiculously lame when compared to the book version.
This leaves me at a point where it becomes difficult to decide if I really like the book or if I just like it a whole lot in relation to the nonsense that was the film. (Maybe I should re-think my “watch the film first,” stance, though it’s never failed me so spectacularly before.)
I tend to like the middle book that everyone else hates because I’m a fan of exposition and I have a shitty memory. Still, I would guess I liked Insurgent slightly less than Divergent since it took me so much longer to plod through all the extended-cut bits that really should’ve been shorter or clipped. There are surely more concise ways to show grief and lust.
Speaking of, one of the things main I noticed was that I was wrong. I am forever complaining that teenagers never act like teenagers in media. They act like young 20-somethings at best. Teenagers in this book totally acted like teenagers. The entire time. I would call this brilliant except for two things: nearly all the adults also act like teenagers (I’m looking at you Evelyn & Jeanine) and teenagers can be fucking annoying. So, I’ll stop asking for teenagers to be teenagers now if they’re just going to be like Tris & Four and full of all the most annoying parts of teenagerdom.
I wish I could give this book a clear thumbs up or thumbs down, but it’s really just right there in the middle at interesting-yet-annoying.
I still think it’s my reverence of Chicago from a tourist perspective that keeps me going. I’m enjoying the warped-travel-book aspect. Can that be a genre? Dystopian Travel Guides? Please? It’s apparently my thing.