|Paul does NOT like for me to read. Says it gives me ideas.|
Since I haven’t read for fun in forever, I was excited to dive into the Young Adult book, Divergent, by Veronica Roth. And any time a book gets turned into a movie, I take that as a challenge to read it before I see the movie. So far, I’m batting about .000001. I read Divergent over the course of an evening, whichfreaked Paul out. He seriously can’t let it go. I think it’s weird NOT to read a book in one evening, Paul! I do wish the content had been a little meatier, but the audience was thirteen-year-olds, not full grown adults who aren’t ashamed of their love for YA.
|Guess her faction. C'mon, guess.|
The book’s premise is interesting. There are five factions within dystopian Chicago—Amity, Abnegation, Erudite, Candor, and Dauntless. Each faction embodies their namesake’s trait. So those who are Amity are full of sunshine and rainbows. The kind of person you want to avoid before you’ve had your morning coffee. Abnegation is the class of servants—not because they are less valued than the others, but because they value self-sacrifice. Members of this faction also occupy all the governing roles because they are considered most trustworthy. Erudite are the smarty-pants faction, the Ravenclaw of the Divergent world, if you will. They are also kind of a-holes—as people who think they know everything tend to be, myself included. Candor are the people who, when you ask if you look fat in red, they oink at you. Dauntless are goths + steroids. They’re the muscle of the society. And they, much like junior highers, will jump off of buildings and moving trains to prove their self-worth.
The plot is centered on the protagonist, Tris, who is plagued by that age-old YA heroine question: Where do I belong? As a member of one faction who controversially transferred to another, she is in an unusual position. Even more rare in that society, she doesn’t necessarily belong in any of the factions according to her creepy placement test.
|I know, girl. I make the same face when I think about your life choices.|
Throughout the novel, members of the society are also slowly coming around to the idea that hey, maybe it’d be neat if we could be more than one thing in this life. The reader will see the attributes of the factions and by about page 15 will say, “Um, why wouldn’t you want to be all of these things, all at once?” The characters in the novel take decidedly longer to get there. But hey, Lake Michigan has been turned into a nasty, brown marsh. Times are tough—too tough for critical thinking.
One of my main eye rolls occurred when the protagonist, Tris, faces her greatest fears in a virtual testing ground. One of those fears happens to be going “all the way” with her surly bf. Sound familiar? If Book Two leads to a girl-child getting married and getting pregnant on her honeymoon so she can start her Mormon mommy blog, I will not be happy.
|Okay, but only in cheese dog emergencies.|