Comparison: The Hunger Games vs. Divergent

The first thing that strikes most people (myself included) about these two series is their similarities. Let’s take a look at a couple:

1.) Both series are dystopian literature.

2.) In both, the population is divided into districts/ factions.

3.) Both have a 16 year-old female protagonist.

4.) Both are written from the first-person POV in the present tense. (SIDE NOTE: Not many books are written in the present tense, which makes these stand out in my mind. It does seem to be a new trend though, which as an avid reader, I think could be quite fun.)

Whilst the books have many similarities, in my opinion The Hunger Games stands far ahead in literary quality. Let me explain.

Suzanne Collins is a better writer. She simply  has more experience and a richer understanding of life. And while I am all for cheering on young people, her age and understanding give her a leg up that shows itself immensely.  Collins is way less wordy than Veronica Roth, who distracts from the point she is trying to make by tripping over herself with excessive explanation. Numerous times the character Tris says  “I’m too short to…” and I lost focus from the story because all I could do was internally count how many times she’d already clarified her stature for us.

When it comes to poignant statements about life,  Mrs. Collins is able to deftly say in one sentence what Ms. Roth takes 10 to do.

Also, Tris’ friends don’t make me feel much. I found myself simply not caring about their sorrows, unlike THG characters of Finnick, Effie, Mrs. Everdeen, and even Katniss’ prep team, who really endeared themselves throughout the books.

As for the romance storylines, I found THG’s to be much more powerful that Divergent’s. THG is focused on the relational side of romance. Katniss and Gale are drawn to each other because they have been friends since childhood and have worked side-by-side accomplishing tasks for years.

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Peeta has to work very hard and patiently to become her friend in order to win Katniss’ heart. She is not one to fall for someone merely because of physical appearances.  In the end, her choice about which man to marry has little to do with physical attraction.  Collins does not ignore that aspect completely; Katniss does talk about kissing Peeta a little bit,  but overall  I feel Collins  steered the romance in a much better direction.

Katniss_Peeta_Catching_Fire

In Divergent, while Four and Tris  made a cute couple, it seemed as though their entire relationship from the beginning was focused on the physical nature of things. To me it feels like one of them walked up to the other and said  “You’re divergent and you’re hot, so obviously we should be together.” NO, that is NOT a good reason to start a relationship. And beyond that, it seemed to be one of the only things that kept them together. There were moments when I in fact skipped over a page here and there because of the way in which their lust was being described. Please Ms. Roth, give me something more substantial.

divergent-tris-four-landing

And lastly, the dystopian set up of THG is more interesting and believable to me. While the twist in Divergent was fascinating, (although all of the twists with Four/Tobias were fairly obvious)  THG stills wins out, especially when it comes to how the series ended. with THG I felt satisfied. In fact, the epilogue might be my favorite part of the entire thing.

I was fine with how Tris and Four’s stories finished, but I felt extremely cheated and dissatisfied  by the way the political parts of Divergent ended.  (I would say more, but I don’t want to give any spoilers.)

 

Coin_+_Heavensbee_in_Mockingjay

 

 

So there you have it, my little rant as to why I think the The Hunger Games  is superior to Divergent.  What is YOUR opinion? Post your thoughts in the comments.

 

 

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One thought on “Comparison: The Hunger Games vs. Divergent

  1. Totally agree! And the Divergent ending completely ruined the series for me. I wasn’t expecting to like Hunger Games, but Collins had a depth of psychological insight that was just incredible.

    Something I noticed about the way Collins used the first person present is that it created the sense that the reader actually was Katniss, which probably accounts for why people had such a wide range of reactions to the book. If the reader was similar enough to Katniss, they could see through her negative self-talk to the world’s reality. If the reader wasn’t similar, or didn’t want to admit the similarities, they’d rage about all the things Katniss should have done differently. Psychologically powerful book.

    Roth’s writing never came close to that.

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