Book Review: Divergent
Alternative Title: Adventures in Half-hearted Dystopian Futures
*Author’s Note: I had a lot of fun writing the movie reviews so I thought I’d try with my first true love- books. My opinion seems to be on the unpopular side so if you disagree, lemme know!* *There are no spoilers*
Over Spring Break, I’ve had a lot of free time so when my little sister put Divergent on my bed, I hungrily devoured it in less than 48 hours. It was a classic case of Maggie-Hibernates-With-A-Book. While it was very,very addicting, I don’t think I necessarily liked it.
I understand it’s the new “Hunger Games” and dystopian futures are highly popular right now but why did Roth have to sacrifice a good writing style? Every sentence seemed to be short, unimaginative, and bland. If Stephanie Meyers was to write about factions and post-utopian Chicago, it would be this book. It just never seemed to have good flow.
But my main issue with the book and the reason I decided to write about it was this: WHY CAN’T WE EVER JUST GET A STRONG FEMALE LEAD WHO KICKS ASS BY HERSELF WITHOUT HER STORY INVOLVING ROMANCE? I’m usually not such a prude with this subject but dang, really, here’s this girl who is consistently brave, intelligent, and has integrity, and on top of that, isn’t drop-dead gorgeous. It seems like we’re heading in the right direction with our female characters. But BAM! Here comes this completely distracting romance on the side. Do you really mean to tell me that while she’s dodging punches and dealing with enemies she’s also concentrating on how his muscles ripple under his shirt and she can’t breathe whenever he touches her? Honestly, half the book describes her thinking about him in graphic detail. Again, very similar to “Twilight”. I just want my little sister to get to read a book about a heroine without half of it being about how a guy makes life better.
So all that being said, I do love me an interesting concept, which this book definitely has. The premise is poorly explained and unrealistic but the idea that humanity will divide on how we individually think we can prevent evil and what that greatest evil is (be it selfishness, cowardice, aggression, etc) is completely fascinating. I applaud Roth on her originality. I think this will be a good movie and a wildly successful franchise but it’s no Lois Lowry or George Orwell.
Ratings out of 5: 3
Reread: Nope. If anything, finish the series and call it a good run.