If you are one of the people who like to compare the screen adaptation of Divergent and The Hunger Games, and think that the latter is more superior,...moreIf you are one of the people who like to compare the screen adaptation of Divergent and The Hunger Games, and think that the latter is more superior, this novel is not for you. Both novels use dystopian society as their time setting, and both also feature female as lead character. That's where the similarities end.
Beatrice or later known as Tris may look like an average sixteen-year-old girl-next-door, but she is also gifted with some capabilities, although she's not the only one with such anomaly. Aside from this extraordinaire, she is intensely vulnerable and relatable. She's not naturally athletic. Coming from abnegation faction, it should be understandable why good fighting skill is not part of her attribute. It is worth pointing out that despite such shortcoming, she strives to improve herself to prove that she's a worthy candidate of Dauntless faction members.
There's a modern saying that goes "don't judge a book by its movie". This novel, however, is an exception, but that's not to say that the storyline, character development, and writing style are without flaws.
---SPOILER ALERT FOR INSURGENT---
When I read Insurgent first having watched the screen adaptation of Divergent, and later read the first installment of the series, I found that there are inconsistencies in the character development. Tris is such a strong-willed person that despite her weaknesses, she's able to overcome the hurdles. But in Insurgent, she becomes needy. If you take into account how tragic her parents died, this is somewhat understandable. However, for a strong-willed person and what with the difficulties that lay ahead in a war that she's in, this is somewhat surprising.
The same goes with Four alias Tobias. Maybe because Tris is his first girlfriend and his first ever experience in an intimate relationship, he later becomes a different person. Four is more likeable in Divergent when he was an initiates instructor than he was as a renegade in Insurgent, and I understand why most readers are disappointed with such inconsistency. But if you weigh carefully, the transformation is logical given the dire situation they are in. Difficult time changes people into worse or better person.
---END OF SPOILER ALERT---
Divergent should be enjoyed on its own, not compared with The Hunger Games or any other dystopian novels. While I did not give it 5 stars, it is definitely worth reading.
Parents be warned, though, as the book contains violence, intoxication, daredevil stunts, reckless behaviour, body piercing, tattoos, and sexual overtones (there isn't any sex but discussion on sex and intimate act like kissing and touching).(less)
I won't compare it with The Hunger Games even though both are dystopian novels because I think that is not a f...moreNot bad. I like it, but I don't love it.
I won't compare it with The Hunger Games even though both are dystopian novels because I think that is not a fair comparison, but I would compare this with Harry Potter series in terms of writing style.
I wish the author is more descriptive in painting the background, and not just focus on what Tris is feeling or thinking most of the time. I give two thumbs up for the description of all the important characters, though.
Harry Potter was written for children, but adults alike enjoy the series as much. Divergent series targets teens and young adults as its readers (at least that's how it seems to me), but that doesn't mean the storyline should be bare of details. I mean not as richly descriptive as classic novels, but descriptive enough for us, or myself for that matter, to have a clear view of the surrounding. Lucky for me, though, as I read it after I watched the Divergent movie.
Having said that, the novel did keep me awake 3/4 of the night. If not because I had to work the next morning, I'd have stayed awake the entire night.
If you enjoy watching the movie adaptation and can't wait for the sequel, this novel is highly recommended. But if you are seeking for Hunger Games alternative, it's a 50-50 chance that you would enjoy Divergent series.
REVIEW UPDATE (after reading Divergent #1)
A. Characters inconsistency.
1. Tris a.k.a. Beatrice chose to be in Dauntless and by that choice alone she should be a strong-willed person through and through. I understand that she lost her parents in a tragic way, but she should be able to move on quickly especially with all the obstacles and difficulties ahead, instead of feeling like crying most of the time. In Insurgent she was often described as tearful, almost feel like crying, tears welled up in her eyes, and the like. That's very unbecoming of Tris I know in Divergent.
2. Tobias/Four has a different persona in Insurgent. His character is more likeable in Divergent and its movie adaptation. He seems aloof in Divergent, someone who can remain cool and calm in crisis. For him to lose his cool quite often with Tris in Insurgent seems strange to me, regardless of the fact that Tris is his first girlfriend and that they are in war with Erudite and Dauntless traitors.
B. Plot emptiness.
1. Not as fast-paced as Divergent, nothing much happens here despite so many things could've happened in a war. Sometimes I was left wondering if war in a dystopian setting is supposed to be this less chaotic??
2. It was a different feeling in Harry Potter post Dumbledore's death era. You feel some kind of tension in the air that even your best friend can change.
Yes, Christina becomes cold towards Tris after the revelation of how Will died, Peter is someone you continue to hate, and Caleb is just like Percy - a suck-up who betrays his own blood. But that's all there is.
3. Instead of combining their strengths and busying themselves with a strategy of toppling the new, corrupt, government, Tris and Tobias find every opportunity to make out and argue and make out again and argue again and this just happens in sort of a loop. Too much of how Tris can't cope with her parents' death and her using it quite often as a cover up, and thinking about Tobias 24/7. It's becoming a dystopian romance instead.
Ah well, I think I'd just enjoy the novels as they are. Not much can be done or undone anyway.(less)
I bought this book as a birthday present for myself, and am glad I did it. Such a page-turner for those who like to savour words slowly.
I first came a...moreI bought this book as a birthday present for myself, and am glad I did it. Such a page-turner for those who like to savour words slowly.
I first came across Andrei Makine's work through Le Testament Francais, which was a sheer coincidence. Since then, I keep looking out for more through Kobobooks, but only recently a few of his works appear as ebooks.
Makine is such an interesting author. His writing style is haunting, evocative, and at times unbearable. Have you ever felt something so strongly yet unable to express yourself in words eloquently? That's how I feel with both Makine's works (Le Testament Francais and A Life's Music).
Credit is also largely due to the translator, for without his skillful touch, I wouldn't be able to experience such a pleasure of reading a work that is so beautifully written. I am now on my third Makine's, The Woman Who Waited.(less)
Insightful, engaging, enlightening. I never realised that I was (and still am) an introvert, until a psychology test (conducted by a professional), pro...moreInsightful, engaging, enlightening. I never realised that I was (and still am) an introvert, until a psychology test (conducted by a professional), proved it. Since then, I had a big question mark about introversion, and this book answers a lot of doubts.(less)
I don't even know how many stars I should rank this book.
Do I like the plot? Yes. Very imaginative, very creative.
Character development? Very good, to...moreI don't even know how many stars I should rank this book.
Do I like the plot? Yes. Very imaginative, very creative.
Character development? Very good, too. Each character has a chance to grow along with the story as it moves forward.
But the sexual part really bothers me. Intercourse with a 17 year old girl as part of purification? Even worse, it's the girl who initiated it and said it was necessary to ward off the Little People. Come on!
I know how popular Haruki Murakami is. I know he has a huge fan base. And I certainly know that this being my first and second book (by Murakami), it's too early to be judgmental. But seriously, even if this is just a fiction, the major part of it is still based on the lives of people in Japan. So that got me into thinking, are they that too far Westernized? Are the Eastern moral values diluted that much already?(less)
Jika dibandingkan dengan novelnya yang lalu (Impuls/Roh), sememangnya ada perubahan positif dalam cara penulis mengolah fakta sains ke dalam dialog. T...moreJika dibandingkan dengan novelnya yang lalu (Impuls/Roh), sememangnya ada perubahan positif dalam cara penulis mengolah fakta sains ke dalam dialog. Tidak terasa kaku, namun ada sedikit kejanggalan apabila watak-watak utama saling memanggil satu sama lain dengan nama penuh - kerana itu bukan satu kebiasaan bagi kita. Jika misalnya nama seseorang tu ialah Nurul Hafsa, kita mungkin akan memanggil nama penuh pada kali pertama sahaja. Apabila bertemu kali kedua dan seterusnya, kita mungkin akan panggil 'Nurul' ataupun 'Hafsa'. Kejanggalan ini, walau bagaimanapun, tidak mencacatkan cerita.
Ini adalah kali pertama Sri Rahayu menyatukan watak utamanya dengan percintaan - tanpa mengambil kira watak-watak utama dalam novel Odisi Tanah Kencana yang sememangnya telah bertunang sejak awal. Saya sukakan kejutan manis ini, sehinggakan saya tersenyum-senyum sendiri walaupun ketika sudah hampir terlelap (setelah habis membacanya).
Seperkara yang saya suka, yang saya kira memang konsisten dalam karya-karya Sri Rahayu, ialah kekuatan watak perempuan protagonis. Walaupun dalam novel ini Nurul Hafsa bukanlah sehebat Raden Galuh Cendera Kirana (Odisi Tanah Kencana) atau gadis keturunan Hang Jebat (Bukan Legasi Lalang) yang mahir seni bela diri, penulis telah memberikan penghormatan yang sepatutnya kepada wanita yang berhati waja. Bukan semua lelaki akan jatuh cinta kepada "damsel in distress" ala Bella Swan dalam novel Twilight.
Novel ini saya kategorikan sebagai fiksyen sains yang ringan. Bagi khalayak pembaca remaja, ia boleh menimbulkan/menyuburkan minat terhadap ilmu astronomi.(less)
I'm surprisingly pleased with this debut novel. I bought it on a whim after browsing a catalogue for books that I was going to select for the library...moreI'm surprisingly pleased with this debut novel. I bought it on a whim after browsing a catalogue for books that I was going to select for the library I'm working for. Upon seeing that it's available in ebook, I bought it from Kobobooks (after checking its rating at Goodreads first).
The writing style is very descriptive but not overly descriptive that will bore you to death. It's more like picture painting, with subtle hints and pleasant twists. I really like it, and hope to read the next novel by this author.(less)
Barangkali anda sudah membaca sekian banyak buku mengenai sejarah pembukaan Konstantinopel. Barangkali juga anda telah menelaah sekian banyak buku yan...moreBarangkali anda sudah membaca sekian banyak buku mengenai sejarah pembukaan Konstantinopel. Barangkali juga anda telah menelaah sekian banyak buku yang menceritakan tentang Sultan Muhammad Al-Fatih. Sungguhpun demikian, saya tetap menyarankan buku ini, kerana penulisannya adalah dari perspektif yang berbeza.
Buku ini tidak menceritakan sejarah pembukaan Konstantinopel secara kronologi seperti buku sejarah Islam yang lain. Ia lebih banyak mengupas hikmah di sebalik rentetan peristiwa tersebut, untuk direnung dan dimanfaatkan oleh organisasi.(less)
I'd like to give this novel 3.5 stars, but that's currently not possible in Goodreads. So I settled for 3 stars instead.
As much as I hate to be left h...moreI'd like to give this novel 3.5 stars, but that's currently not possible in Goodreads. So I settled for 3 stars instead.
As much as I hate to be left hanging and wondering if the end of a story justifies the entire plot, I can't quite say so for this novel. Yes the author already formulated the conclusion for us, yes the verdict was reached, yet you can't help thinking: what if it's the other way round? Would I feel differently towards the characters? They both seem to be the victims of circumstances, even though there are clear-cut choices to be made. But then again, maybe we have forgotten how hard it was to be in teenage years.
Jodi Picoult did it again; she kept my mind fumbling - this time through gray areas.(less)
Usually when I wanna try a new author, I'd read his/her short stories first, if there's any.
I have mixed reviews for this collection of short stories...moreUsually when I wanna try a new author, I'd read his/her short stories first, if there's any.
I have mixed reviews for this collection of short stories - there are some I really like, then there's a few that I find so-so, and there's one or two that gives no impact to me whatsoever. Nevertheless, it's been an enjoyable read, but not as much as I enjoy Jeffrey Archer's or Isaac Asimov's short stories.(less)
**spoiler alert** Saya enggan memberikan bintang kepada buku ini, kerana tidak pasti perasaan saya terhadapnya. Walaupun mendapat pujian tinggi melang...more**spoiler alert** Saya enggan memberikan bintang kepada buku ini, kerana tidak pasti perasaan saya terhadapnya. Walaupun mendapat pujian tinggi melangit, walaupun disebut-sebut sebagai buku pilhan USA Today dan San Fransisco Chronicle, itu semua kerana mereka anti-Islam.
Pada peringkat awal dan pertengahan, buku ini seolah-olah ditulis dengan sudut pandangan yang seimbang - kononnya tidak terlalu bersifat orientalis, mahupun pro Al-Fatih. Namun setelah diteliti - ditimbang dan diukur dari kaca mata saya sebagai seorang muslim, sungguh, penulisnya, Roger Crowley, bias dan tidak menyemak betul-betul kesahihan fakta yang disumbatkan ke dalam bukunya, yang melukiskan imej negatif dan berbaur fitnah untuk Sultan Muhammad Al-Fatih.
Contoh: 1. Seperti biasa, asalkan ada pemimpin Islam yang ulung memimpin kerajaan Islam yang gemilang, pemimpinnya akan dilabel kaki perempuan, ataupun gay. Dalam buku ini di halaman 54, Al-Fatih dikatakan seorang biseksual.
2. Sultan Muhammad II ini dikatakan percaya tahyul dan sangat dipengaruhi ahli nujum. Sebuah kota yang kekebalannya tidak dapat diruntuhkan sehingga beberapa kurun, akhirnya dijatuhkan oleh seorang sultan yang salih, yang tidak pernah tinggal solat tahajjud sejak akil baligh, yang sering merujuk kepada gurunya yang ternyata orang alim lagi warak, dibayangkan oleh Rasulullah S.A.W. "sebaik-baik sultan", dikatakan percayakan perkara tahyul?! Duh.
3. Pasukan Janissari yang diceritakan oleh Crowley, terdiri daripada tentera upahan yang sama ada masih menganut Kristian ataupun memeluk agama Islam secara paksa - satu gambaran negatif untuk tentera yang disebutkan oleh Rasulullah S.A.W. "sebaik-baik tentera".
Malah tidak cukup dengan fitnah ini, enggan memperakui kehebatan strategi peperangan Al-Fatih, Crowley meneruskan cerita karutnya dengan menyatakan setelah Mehmet II kehabisan tenaga tentera, pasukan tentera pengawal khasnya, pasukan Janissari, dihantar sebagai usaha terakhir membantai tentera pihak bertahan yang masih bersisa di Constantinople.
Point penting yang perlu diingat di sini ialah, Al-Fatih membentuk strategi serangan 3 lapisan tentera. Pasukan infantri yang berada di barisan pertama bertujuan memberi asakan untuk mengurangkan kekuatan pertahanan Constantine. Barisan kedua yang lebih hebat daripada barisan pertama adalah untuk meneruskan serangan barisan pertama tadi, dengan kerosakan yang lebih besar terhadap kubu pertahanan musuh. Yang terakhir dan yang terhandal, sudah tentulah untuk melumpuhkan secara total pertahanan kota kebal itu, lantas menaklukinya. Taktik ini samalah macam kita bermain catur. Duh.
Tak cukup dengan cemuhan ini, Crowley membayangkan kekejaman tentera Islam: memperkosa wanita, membunuh bayi, dan berebut harta rampasan perang sesama mereka. Hello, that spells exactly like your Crusades, and the Serbs in their ethnic-cleansing mission, stupid.
Kesimpulannya, sentiasalah imbangi bahan bacaan kita apabila membaca sejarah Islam: yang pro Islam dan diambil daripada sumber sahih dan primer, dan pandangan orientalis yang nampaknya selesa dan berasa cukup dengan rujukan bahan sekunder.(less)
This is a beautifully written novel, about the journey of a man and his daughter after the death of their loved one. I enjoyed the book for the first...moreThis is a beautifully written novel, about the journey of a man and his daughter after the death of their loved one. I enjoyed the book for the first half part, but as I progressed towards the other half, I began to feel tired (the being-sad part gets pretty stale midway of the book).
Why? Having gone through the sad period myself - my father died right the day before my first paper of first semester final exam, and my mother died within the revision week of my degree program - I found the plot too dragging - for I quickly bounced back after the death of each of my parents. If I have kids, I'd like to think that they will be as strong as I am, that they'll be able to endure the pain of loss, not dwell on the past for too long. We must move on with this life, not be bogged down with sadness longer than we should. Yes we should mourn, but for how long?
If I hadn't read the phenomenal novels by Andrea Hirata, if I hadn't discovered A Little Princess by F.H. Burnett, I might love The Wishing Trees to the core. I'd love to love this novel, because it started so beautifully; not many books are written from men's perspectives (or maybe it's me who haven't read that many) about facing the days after your beloved died.
John Shors, if you care to read this, I truly believe that you are a terrific author. But I wish you had created strong characters for people to look up to, not just connect to.(less)
Novel yang tidak mengecewakan. Andrea Hirata masih mengekalkan gaya penulisannya yang kukenali: jujur, tepat, padat, dan dihiasi sedikit sebanyak deng...moreNovel yang tidak mengecewakan. Andrea Hirata masih mengekalkan gaya penulisannya yang kukenali: jujur, tepat, padat, dan dihiasi sedikit sebanyak dengan metafora.
At my age, people may ask "why do you still read children's books?". To them, I'd reply "Why not?".
Children's books may have simple narration, but the...moreAt my age, people may ask "why do you still read children's books?". To them, I'd reply "Why not?".
Children's books may have simple narration, but the imagination has no limits. Take this book for example. For such simple storyline and illustration, the book shows extraordinary imagination, which will be enticing to kids and new readers. I'd also recommend this to reluctant readers.
I wish more local authors cum illustrators will come up with such imaginative ideas.(less)