Sunday, July 27, 2014


Divergent (Divergent, #1)Divergent by Veronica Roth
My rating: **^ (2 1/2 of 5 stars)

Divergent is the story of Beatrice, or Tris, as she leaves her faction of Abnegation to become a Dauntless, and the trials that follow. If I didn't think about what I was reading, it was fine. But... *rant follows*

I had a really hard time suspending my disbelief about the state of society. The idea that someone must choose what they're going to do for the rest of their life at age 16 (when a human mind is in a state of serious turmoil) is bad enough, but the people you know and love decide they all hate you and never want to talk to you again if you move away. The people I would consider regular people, who still love the child they gave birth to, who recognize that humans are complex and maybe there's something to the idea that people can be more than one very narrow thing in their lives, etc, are the rare "Divergent", who are purged from society. I'm sorry, but I just don't think people are wired this way.

Second, the instant we see the Dauntless and find that in the first ten minutes someone is left behind and someone dies, and then the recruits are narrowed down to about 10 people per year, well... how does this faction survive? The combination of violence and daredevil theatrics would result in 90% of this faction wiping themselves out. And they don't have the numbers to be picky, IMO. So there's that.

And then... there's the sort of abusive relationship we see between Tris and Four, which teen fiction seems to LOVE these days. Granted, it's no Twilight, but he's still a jerk and she's still an idiot.

*end of rant*

Good points about this book:

1. Obviously I made it all the way to the end, and I don't do that if I don't care about the characters or have some curiosity about the end result. I was entertained.

2. Some of the support characters--not the obviously evil ones, which were boring--were really interesting. Tris's family and the tattoo artist were pretty fun to see.

3. There's a Q & A and soundtrack list and such from the author at the end. I didn't care enough to read any of it, but I realised that it made the book about a hundred pages shorter than I thought it would be! (Okay, that was low. Sorry.)


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Friday, July 11, 2014

Random Thoughts

  1. My youngest brother turned 20, and I'm not sure how I feel about that yet. I'm not in the "he'll always be a baby to me" camp, but it does seem odd that my entire set of seven siblings are all grown-up and moved away from home. 
  2. Writing a query is hard. Rejection is harder. Close rejections--"you have talent," "your story was compelling," "I just didn't fall in love with it,"--are hardest.
  3. There is no reason why the Hero cannot be a girl. But I'm not going to go all radical and say that the Hero must be a girl or I'll stop playing video games. If the story is good, who cares what gender the character is? 
  4. Along those lines, however, if you're toting your characters as hugely customizable, don't ignore half the human race, mkay?
  5. A sex positive environment is important. And it's sadly lacking, especially here in Utah. 
  6. Sushi is the greatest food in the world. I could eat it every day. I like savory more than sweet.
  7. It's okay to be a little self-sacrificing for others' happiness, so long as it's not at the complete destruction of your own.
  8. People who walk into the library expect shelvers to be well-read librarians. I can tell you that Shakespeare is in 822.33 and that Jane Yolen has some cute books about Dinosaurs, but I cannot tell you what grade level that book you're holding is and if it would be good for your smart six-year-old. I'm not that educated.
  9. Along those lines, I'm a picky reader and I spend more time on video games, writing, and painting than reading, so I can't tell you if Janet Evanovich or Nora Roberts or Nicholas Sparks are good or not, just that they're popular.
  10. Diabetes is not the worst thing for a cat. I've heard a lot of people say it might be time to let Luna go, but if I had to choose between getting pricked twice a day to have lots of energy, and death, I'm pretty darn sure I'd take the insulin.
  11. People don't read. If you say, "The expansions aren't finished yet," they say, "Expansions! How come my copy isn't here yet?"