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487 pages, Trade Paperback
First published April 25, 2011
"Decades ago our ancestors realized that it is not political ideology, religious belief, race, or nationalism that is to blame for a warring world. Rather, they determined that it was the fault of human personality - of humankind's inclination toward evil, in whatever form that is. They divided into factions that sought to eradicate those qualities they believed responsible for the world's disarray."How ridiculous is it? Well, it's a dystopian Chicago where, in an attempt to battle the evils of this world people came up with a BRILLIANT idea to segregate into five "factions", each of one is based on ONE quality that is supposed to be the uber-defining feature of them. Therefore we have the brave, the selfless, the smart, the truthful, and the kind.¹ Except some people can be more than one of those - the Divergent.
¹ You know what this idea is missing? A Sorting Hat yelling out, "GRYFFINDOR!!!" as the character decides to make a choice and join theNo, really. That is stupid. First of all, how exactly will our society ever get to the point where such thing becomes plausible? (I mean, seriously - at least we can imagine the world of "The Hunger Games" happening given current obsession with reality shows.) And second of all, how exactly is everyone in this world NOT 'Divergent'? They have an option to switch factions after being raised in one; so basically it's okay to internalize the principles of more than one of them. How will that not make them 'Divergent'? So there's that, and the sheer impossibility of a person to live only within the rigid frames of one of the factions' principles.
recklessbrave. I eyerolled at it in a children's book where it made its appearance. I exasperatedly eyeroll at it now.
For instance, let's look at doctors, 'kay? In this book, they belong to the faction of the kind. Because, clearly, for this profession you don't need the smarts to learn medicine, the selflessness to sacrifice sleep and rest in favor of helping the sick, the bravery to cut into someone's bodily cavity, and the truthfulness to deliver bad news or admit when you don't know something.No wonder this world does not work well. Duh. I mean, how well does complete segregation work to create peace instead of creating new lines of division of "Us vs. Them"??? Clearly complete segregation would do wonders to solve the violence-causing issues in the world. History showed us many examples of that. And I cannot believe that up until this point in that universe nobody questioned the validity of this structure.
Clearly it would take a special brain to use more than one of these qualities not only simultaneously but EVER.
"I think we’ve made a mistake," he says softly. "We’ve all started to put down the virtues of the other factions in the process of bolstering our own. I don’t want to do that. I want to be brave, and selfless, and smart, and kind, and honest."Well, duh. Did it take centuries to come to this conclusion?
"Somewhere inside me is a merciful, forgiving person. Somewhere there is a girl who tries to understand what people are going through, who accepts that people do evil things and that desperation lead s them to darker places than they ever imagined. I swear she exists, and she hurts for the repentant boy I see in front of me. But if I saw her, I wouldn’t recognize her. “Stay away from me,” I say quietly. My body feels rigid and cold, and I am not angry, I am not hurt, I am nothing. I say, my voice low, “Never come near me again.” Our eyes meet. His are dark and glassy. I am nothing. “If you do, I swear to God I will kill you,” I say. “You coward.”
Because, it seems, ever since Rocky Balboa took the second place we have become accustomed to root for the seeming underdog - but that underdog now invariably turns out to be the winner of whatever competition there may be in the book - and the hottest male lead as a special prize.
The Written Review
New week, New BookTube Video - all about the best (and worst) literary couples
Divergent - the Walmart of Young Adult
"My first instinct is to push you until you break, just to see how hard I have to press," he says, his fingers squeezing at the word "break."This book focuses far too much on forcing the relationship and shoe-horning Tris into the self-sacrificing hero role that there's little time for anything else...like a plot.
The roots of the word dystopia, dys- and -topia, are from the Ancient Greek for "bad" and "place," and so we use the term to describe and unfavorable society in which we live. "Dystopia" is not a synonym of "post-apocalyptic"; it also is not a synonym for a bleak, or darkly imagined future. In a dystopian feature, society itself is typically the antagonist; it is society that is actively working against the protagonist's aims and desires. This oppression frequently is enacted by a totalitarian of authoritarian government, resulting in the loss of civil liberties and untenable living conditions, caused by any number of circumstances, such as world overpopulation, law's controlling a person's sexual or reproductive freedom, and living under constant surveillance.
"She pushes the bullet chamber open and peers inside. Seeing how many bullets she has left. Then takes a few out of her pocket and reloads."
"But our minds move in a dozen different directions. We can't be confined to one way of thinking, and that terrifies our leaders. It means we can't be controlled. And it means that no matter what they do, we will always cause trouble for them."
“He” would probably throw a party if I stopped breathing.”
“Well,” he says, “I would only go if there was cake”
Sorry, Maria. I perfectly understand why you love this book. It is just not for me. You cannot hate me anyway since we work in the same company and I know that my disliking this book is not enough for you to consider me your enemy. Oh, I agree that you and Four can make a wonderful couple ha ha! Thanks for lending me this book. :)