Divergent by Veronica Roth
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
So I've seen lots of reviews that say everything from "this is a watered down Hunger Games" to "OMG, this is so much better than Hunger Games!" It seems to compare the two is inevitable.
They are somewhat similar: they both are written by female authors. They are both written in the first person. They both have sixteen-year-old female protagonists.
But not all dystopian literature is the same, people! Besides genre (YA/dystopia), the similarities really end there. I don't feel compelled to say which one is "better."
I enjoyed this book on its first read. I enjoyed The Hunger Games during its first read, too. I've taught The Hunger Games, too, so I will say that Roth's writing style does strike me as more mature than Collins'; however, if I had to reread Divergent for teaching purposes, I might change my mind on that. Much of Collins' writing -- her symbolism and metaphors -- struck me as simple and glaringly obvious the second time around; however, I am also not her target market, being a couple decades older than the average Hunger Games reader.
But I digress...
Things I enjoyed about this book:
Tris is almost an anti-hero(ine). She is not necessarily, inherently, "good." She enjoys the adrenaline and the danger and newness of her position in an almost hedonistic manner. I enjoyed that change from heroines who are usually "good" and even self-sacrificing. That pleasure for its own sake feels much more real to me.
New vocabulary words! As this is considered Young Adult literature, I really, really hope it raises everyone's vocabulary a few notches as "abnegation," "erudite," "candor," and "amity" are not in the Average Joe's vocabulary. I enjoyed those (and other words) quite a bit.
Not the only possibility. (in order to view the spoiler, you'll have to read the review on Goodreads and click "view spoiler")[While Tris' "Divergent" status makes her an outsider, she's not the only one. If she's one of many Divergents (as this book seems to indicate), there's a greater possibility of her finding her "own people," and (more importantly), less chance of her being viewed as some kind of Christ figure/superhero. (hide spoiler)]
I will be reading the next two books as well, as soon as my turn comes at the library. Maybe I'll even see the movie. *gasp!*
View all my reviews