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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