Monday, August 15, 2011
To Be Borrowed: Divergent
After the whirlwind that was Catching Fire, I needed a book to take it easy with and Divergent by Veronica Roth seemed to be the one. I didn't feel like I had to rush through it. It was written at a pace I could sit back, relax and enjoy the journey of Beatrice (who ends up changing her name to Tris).
The book is about a dystopian society in Chicago separated into five different factions, each with their own values. It wasn't a roller coaster book like Catching Fire but it was still engaging. As I read, I visualized it in a similar style to M. Night Shyamalan's, The Sixth Sense and Unbreakable; very mellow and low key.
There were a couple of intense moments as Tris learned to navigate the waters of her new faction. However, near the end the narrative just got sloppy and confusing. A certain character was conveniently somewhere so he could be found and saved by Tris. Then after some very traumatizing events she's making out with her boyfriend in front of her brother! Oh, and there was the running across the "unyielding ground" (pg. 483) that really bugged me. Okay, yes, the ground is usually unyielding unless there's an earthquake or you're trying to escape a volcano. But considering there were no natural disasters or bombs going off, it's safe to assume the ground is unyielding without having to tell me. From that point on the book lost me and whatever I liked about it in the beginning was forgotten as I read what was a failed action/adventure ending. I finished this book on Thursday and since then, my frustration has grown as I've thought about it over the last few days.
I think the problem for me was reading three young adult books in a row about dystopian societies. I have nothing against YA books. My three woobie books are young adult novels. But there is a big difference in style (and substance) between Divergent and, for example, The Dark Is Rising, where the latter appeals to me more. Oh well, it started out well but lost me in the end. This is the first book of a planned trilogy. Will I read the next two books? Yeah, if I remember.