Two Roads DIVERGED in a Wood.....

Divergent - Veronica Roth

 In this dystopian tale every sixteen year old must pick out a faction to live in for the rest of their lives. They will live by the rules of their choice. In other words, people are separated into jobs and neighborhoods by their chosen personality trait: Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). Beatrice, a girl that grew up in Abgenation, must now make the choice between the faction she grew up in and some of the other factions that appeal to her sense of 'self'. Which one will she choose? Which one would you choose? Which personality trait do you deem most important to society?

 

So...

 

Positives: I read this in one sitting. It is also a fun book to discuss. It draws you in with its new surroundings and all of the characters personal choices. My teenage son and I had a great time discussing what this type of society would be like to live in and what is actually important to our sense of 'selves'. We talked a lot about different societal strategies. It is also chocked- full of adventure like climbing ferris wheels, jumping from trains, and trying to save society type stuff. My teenage self would have loved this. It's definitely not boring.

 

Negatives: There is a lot of hype surrounding this book. From reviews most YA readers felt this book is the next best thing since The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. I LOVED that trilogy! So I have been racking my brain trying to figure out why I only felt 'meh' about Divergent. Intitially I felt maybe since everyone seemed to love it I set my expectations too high. Then I realized my disappointments were more than that. Ok, before you send the lynching mob, I apologize for what I'm about to say but ....the one dimensional ideas in this story drove me crazy. For instance, why do only the brave get ink, piercings, and wear really black eye liner? Bravery is a much bigger concept than taking pain and letting yourself stand out in a crowd. Don't you think? More than that though, I think what bothers me most  is that kindness is treated like some sort of stupidity--honesty considered brutal-- intelligence like some type of evil---and courage like it's some type of self control over emotion. It seems like books are filled with heroes that are no longer vulnerable or emotional....but instead they control/hide their pain and suffering. Heroes and antiheros suck it up and contain themselves. NO. Heroes learn and persevere which is entirely different. They also have all sorts of feelings that sometimes they act upon which seems like a road that is no longer popular in society.

 

There it is. Have mercy on me. Without a doubt, I'm being far too critical about this book. Truth is....I didn't love it but  didn't hate it.

 

Basically...two roads diverged in a wood...and I had wanted to walk down the emotionally diverse one this time...