Divergent is the popular first book in a trilogy of the same name; so popular in fact, that the trilogy is in the midst of being made into movies. I'm just focusing on the first book.
|this is the picture on the cover of my copy of the book.|
|Oh, here's the real thing.|
If I were to sum up this book in one word, it would be . . . :
No, no no no, nonononono.
I did not like this book.
If you're a super fan, or even just a regular fan, of these books, let me whip out my Canadian side real quick and say I'M SORRY. Except not really, as I am entitled to my own opinions, and you are entitled to yours.
And so, I continue my not-review-more-of-a-rant.
Let me give you a series of one-word sentences that describe the feelings of all the characters in the book:
Why yes, some of those were in there twice. In a nutshell; THIS BOOK WILL NOT MAKE YOU HAPPY. I think the characters (and consequently, me) only experienced maybe . . . 3 moments of brief and tentative happiness? The rest of the time, everything is dark and depressing.
Unless you've had your head buried in the sand, you know that [SUPER MINOR SPOILER ALERT] Beatrice chooses Dauntless. Fine. That decision only caused her great anxiety and tore her family apart. And so, most of the book is her in Dauntless initiation. Also fine.
Except their initiation is basically like being tortured 24/7 for really no purpose by evil sadistic traitors that have corrupted the ideals of their forefathers and don't really care about human life in the least. There's lots of death. Hugely traumatic, mind-destroying amounts of fear. Someone gets stabbed in the eye with a butter knife. And of course there's the hated female journalist-type person (well, she publishes articles) who couldn't care less about the truth or human life or human rights, and you just really want to stab HER in the eye with a butter knife.
If I were to say one good thing about this book, it would be that it has the capability to make you feel strong emotions. Except none of them are good emotions, and it made me really hate the book.
A lot of people make fun of how similar Divergent is to the Hunger Games. You know, dystopian future, humanity divided up into sections that are all known for one thing and don't really associate with one another, powerful evil people wanting to destroy them, that sort of thing.
Maybe that has something to do with why I don't like this book. Because, I didn't like the Hunger Games when I first read it, either. Sunny recommended it (the Hunger Games) to me, but either she didn't do an adequate job of describing the plot, or it just went over my head, but I was in NO WAY PREPARED for a plot where children are forced to murder each other for sport. It actually came close to making me physically ill. Anyway, Divergent evoked much the same emotions in me. I did not come out of this book feeling satisfied, or like I wanted to read the next two.
However, my friends dragged me to the Hunger Games movies, and (being better prepared for the plot now) I liked them. So maybe I'd like the Divergent movies better than the books? I don't know.
Anyway, after that huge rant, I suppose I should do something review-ish?
In a dystopian future, the world (at least, the only part of the world we see) is divided up into five factions: Abnegation, for selflessness; Amity, for kindness; Candor, for truthfulness; Erudite, for knowledge; and Dauntless, for bravery.You grow up in whatever faction you're born in, but when you're 16, you have to choose to either stay in your faction with your family, or switch to a different faction and abandon them to better follow your heart. Or something. The factions all started out with the best intentions, but now, OF COURSE, are corrupted. Or at least two of them are.
And then there are these people whom the government fears because, heaven forbid, they are actually capable of THINKING FOR THEMSELVES. They're called Divergents.
Through the book, you follow Beatrice (a Divergent. Yes, shocking, I know) through every agonizing decision she makes, every punch to the face she receives, every bit of hatred spewed at her and by her, every heartache, every unfairness, until you're drowning in a glass box of fear (HA. Book reference). Through [SAME MINOR SPOILER] leaving her family, going through the psychotic Dauntless initiation, playing a near-life-threatening game of Capture the flag, almost being murdered a few times, and trying to fend off the start of a war, Beatrice is a tiny little twig of anger. And fear. This whole book is like a fear fest.
And yeah, there's some romance. If you can call adrenaline-fueled kissing "romance." To me it always felt more like they just needed someone who didn't hate them, wasn't trying to kill them, and actually maybe understood what it meant to BE A HUMAN BEING OMG.
*cough* but enough about the plot, on to the characters:
Beatrice, a.k.a. Tris; The main protagonist. Angst. Yep.
Four, a.k.a. [AGAIN, MINOR SPOILER] Tobias: The other main protagonist, also, the love interest. More angst. Sort of frightening sometimes.
Will, Al, and Christina; "Friends." Well . . . ok. Friends, no quotes.
Peter, Molly, and Drew; We hate these guys so, so very much.
Eric; Dauntless leader, really scary, we probably hate him a little more.
Jeanine; the main antagonist, we definitely, really hate her the most.
Ok, all ranting aside, if you were planning on reading this book: go ahead. Don't let me put you off; make your own decisions. Maybe you'll love it. Maybe it'll be the best book you've ever read. But I'm very sensitive to injustice, I suppose, so this book was very difficult for me.
But maybe it's just me.