Friday, 2 May 2014


So a while ago I got a coupon at work for my birthday that I could spend in one of the shops in Lokeren. Lokeren is a small town, and there isn’t much, but there is one bookshop. Just not a very good one. I knew that whatever I was going to buy was going to be in Dutch too.
So I got myself a copy of Divergent. I’d seen several teens borrow it in our library, and the first movie is in theatres now, so I thought I’d give it a go.

And it was as if I was reading the Hunger Games all over again. Seriously, what is it with Young Adult books and first person present tense?
Anyways. The story is about a girl who lives in a sort of post-war Chicago. We don’t actually know what happened: only that it was bad and that everyone became freakishly obsessed by a sort of cult that took the place of an ordinary government. Everyone has to join one of five groups according to what they think is the best character trait to thrive for: Abnegation (selflessness), Amity (peaceful), Candor (honesty), Dauntless (bravery), and Erudite (Intelligence). This girl grew up in Abnegation, but she doesn’t really fit in (oh, to find a teenage main character that does), so on pick-a-trait-day she goes for Dauntless, shaming her whole family. Not that we ever know if she has any other family than her parents and brother.
So then she goes through a training to prove that she’s Dauntless. This includes jumping in and out of moving trains, punching each other unconscious for sport, throwing knives and shooting.

So here is what I have a problem with.
- Who the hell lets 16-year-olds punch each other until they’re K.O.?
- Blood sacrifice during a Ceremony? Isn’t that a bit pagan for science fiction?
- Blond hair and blue eyes? Why?
- Who the hell gets like five tattoos in 1-2 months’ time, every time on a whim?
- No sense of time whatsoever.
- Everyone in the story doesn’t seem to have any other character traits but the single one they think is most important. Unless they’re a divergent. Or not ready. (Bit extreme, no?)

In the end she realizes she doesn’t really fit in Dauntless either, just like the boy she likes (what a coincidence). In fact, every time they do a brain test on her, she is able to tweak what happens in the hallucinations way better than she’s supposed to. She is… a divergent. This is also mentioned every other page. Just so we don’t forget.
(These hallucinations let you face your fears so you can become brave, but they are realistic enough to feel pain. So what if you are afraid of being raped? Yep, then you have experienced every aspect of it. But it’s not real, so it’s okay. Seriously, wtf?)

I promise you, I’ll calm down and see some positive things about this book, but it won’t be right now. Sorry fans, you may hate me as much as you like.

Until next time,


PS: so I wrote this whilst I was experiencing a migraine, so it might be a tad more angrily written than usually. I'm still exhausted, but I am already a day late and that made me itchy.

PPS: The Bloggess posted this on her twitter, and it's worth a look: WeNeedDiverseBooks

1 comment:

  1. "Who the hell gets like five tattoos in 1-2 months’ time, every time on a whim?"
    Hello, ;-)