I am all about the dystopian science fiction these days, huh? Just finished World War Z and already I’ve scarfed down this new young adult novel, the first in an eventual trilogy.
Prepare yourself to experience both shock and awe as I pronounce that I actually don’t have much to say about Divergent. It was enjoyable, a super-quick read (I started about 10:30 this morning, and with breaks for bathroom, lunch, web surfing, and a few chores, finished just after 2:00PM), and though, as my husband points out, it’s “pretty boilerplate,” we both agreed that it’s boilerplate done rather well, which sounds more derogatory than I intend it to be. I genuinely respect books and films that can take familiar material and handle it competently enough to hold my interest for any length of time. Sometimes, you just want to watch a movie about a guy and a girl who like each other, but, through a series of comical misunderstandings, are kept apart for approximately 80 minutes, and sort things out in the remaining 10. Maybe, for good measure, somebody comes to terms with something at some point.
Not that Divergent has anything to do with that plotline. Because of its content and proximity of release to The Hunger Games trilogy, Divergent will be subject to a bit of comparison. In a future Chicago, the world, which has, naturally, gone to shit, is divided up into factions depending on what the members think caused the going-to-shitness of the world. Our main girl, Tris, was born into Abnegation (the members of which think selfishness caused the shitpocalypse… get it?), but when she turns 16 and tests to see where her aptitudes lie, she finds that she has aptitude in three different factions, marking her as Divergent. I don’t think I need to explain that in the future, divergence is bad.
The book is a light, easy read, with little of the gravity and darkness that elevated The Hunger Games above its YA branding. But Tris is a fun little kickassing character. I’ll happily read the next two books in the series.