There comes a time in every average, misunderstood, flat chested, never-been-kissed, pre-war heroin, sixteen year old girl's life when she must decide There comes a time in every average, misunderstood, flat chested, never-been-kissed, pre-war heroin, sixteen year old girl's life when she must decide between right and wrong.
Yes. RIGHT and WRONG.
Not Harry and Sam. Or Harry and Mike. Or, frak help us, Harry, Sam AND Mike. No no. In Divergent, Good, Evil and Tris are our love triangle. How utterly refreshing.
Now, don’t get me wrong. You will find your standard amount of PG-rated teen romance in this book. Check it:
Oh, eh... Wrong book. My bad.
But romance isn't the focus. And that makes me super-dooper shiney-whiney happy with sprinkles on top because I find my focus is easily persuaded elsewhere if there isn't enough action happeni....
... huh? Oh, right, right. The Plot.
Imagine: The population of Chicago has been divided into factions based on five standard values: bravery, intelligence, honesty, kindness and selflessness. Once you have chosen which of these virtues is most awesome of all you are placed into a community of like-minded individuals who will then become your only friends, peers, colleagues and the pool from which you will select your husband/wife. And best of all, you will never have anything do with anyone from the other evil, evil factions if you can help it. You see, this way you are safe in your tight little community cocoon and can spend your days bitching about how fucked-up those other factions are for choosing what is clearly a far less awesome way of living.
And you certainly never have to worry that your batshit-crazy intelligence-loving neighbours are keeping busy by plotting your evil demise. No no. The city carries on in a complete state of peace, love and mung beans.
Now, what I would like to know is, which facking genius came up with THAT idea? Who was it that got up and said, "Hold up peeps. I've totally got it. We'll DIVIDE the city by forcing everyone to choose ONE AND ONLY ONE principle virtue and we'll even make it obvious by getting them to wear different colours so that there will be no question whatsoever as to which group they belong. SEPARATION is the way forward."
Wait. WAIT WAAAAIT!
I'm not ENTIRELY convinced that the dystopian element makes all that much sense. Much in the same way that Delirium was all 'Love is the vicious cause of all our problems'. But that doesn't really bother me all that much. Me? I'm still cheering over the fact that we don't have to sit through another love triangle. Yeeeeehaaaawww!
And that's not even the best news! Nuh uh. That's not EVEN what I came here to say! The absolute BEST thing about Divergent is that Tris rates a high BADASS on the awesome-o-meter. Seriously. She's a moody, self indulgent, gun firing, cliff jumping, ass kicking little bitch-faced mole. AND I JUST LAP THAT SHIT UP, YO!...more
And if these statements are true, then the characters are the amoebas that are aggressively attacking the patient and the plot is the brain tumour that will bring it to its tragic end.
Because let's be honest, this book was a bad idea.
It would be as if I woke up tomorrow and decided it was a terrific stroke of genius to wear my purple sombrero to the office. (Yes I do have one)
I am willing to let this one slide, however. Because I'm a forgiving individual and I want Lauren Oliver to succeed and make embarrassing amounts of money. I want this for her because I adored Before I Fall and I suspect she has a few more of the likes of those left in her back pocket before she generates any more of this garbage. Right Dr. Oliver?
And with that promise in mind, I am GENEROUSLY awarding 2 stars: one for the writing, and one for the... uh... because that's just how I roll, bitches.