Archives for posts with tag: Factions

Genre: YA Dystopia

Notes: 18/50 books. So much teenage angst.

Review: Sigh. Divergent, like you can tell from my review, started off so strong. I liked the characters, I liked Tris, and I liked her relationship with Four/Tobias.  She seemed strong, independent, and didn’t seem like a silly teenage girl for the most part.

Oh, how wrong I was.  Tris is a silly teenage girl with angst oozing out of her pores.  Before I rail on Tris and the problems I had with the book, let’s start with what I liked.

First of all, I really liked this book.  It’s not the best book ever written and it’s not fair to compare it to the Hunger Games, but I like it and will definitely be reading the third.  (I’m going to guess it’s going to be named Emergent – just going with the “-urgent” theme.  Roth, I expect royalties on the title. Thanks).  We get a much better look at the factionless.  We see what motivates them, how they organize themselves, and a better idea of what life is like for the people who don’t make initiation into their faction or were kicked out due to old age (Cough Dauntless Cough.  Heartless bastards).  Plus, Roth gives us a decent look at every faction in turn – she shows their idiosyncrasies and their strengths.  However, herein lies my biggest problem with the book:

HOW AND WHY DO PEOPLE ONLY HAVE ONE ATTRIBUTE THEY FOLLOW ABOVE ALL OTHERS? Like, does not being in Erudite make you a moron?  Some of the stuff that Tris points out to the Dauntless about their plans is ridiculous.  Is she the only one who can think logically because she’s Divergent?  Like, really?  Dauntless is just a bunch of brave, screaming idiots who will rush into danger without a plan?  And the Erudite can’t not think logically?  People don’t fit into boxes and asking me to accept that in this world, people do (mostly) fit neatly into boxes is beyond absurd.  Every person should have all five of the faction traits in them – that’s the only way to be a complete human being.

In this book, Tris seems to dissolve into a teen drama queen.  She has this massive guilt trip about shooting Will (which is fair, I would too) and she’s beyond convinced that Four will leave her because she’s just that unlovable.  Barf, please.  Having some insecurities is human, but harping on them all of the time and actually driving people away is pathetic.  She battles with depression, tells herself she doesn’t want to live, but when faced with death, actually finds she loves her life.  Please.  It was like she took every annoying characteristic Katniss had when she moped around about Peeta and magnified them.  Get a grip, girl.  Don’t you see there are more important things going on?!

Bottom Line: The series is addicting, but has annoying plot holes and mediocre world building. I would still recommend it because Dystopian Literature is fantastic, but I’m still saying Hunger Games  and Katniss > Divergent and Tris.

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Genre: YA Dystopia

Notes: 17/50.  Don’t judge my reading choices.

Review: This. is. my. new. series.  Love times ten. And you know why?  BECAUSE THERE ISN’T A FREAKING LOVE TRIANGLE IN IT.  No Katniss > Peeta > Gale and especially no Bella > Edward > Jacob.  I love Hunger Games, but the love triangle was a bit much.

Divergent is set in a future Chicago that has basically crumbled.  We get snippets that there was a big war, everything got fucked up, and the leaders basically created factions to keep the peace (which makes no sense, but we’ll get to that later).  Each faction has one value that hold about all others: Dauntless values Bravery, Amity values Peace, Candor values Honesty, Abnegation values Selflessness, and Erudite values Intelligence. Each faction believes their way of thinking is the key to peace in the world and each has specific jobs to make sure society continues functioning. Each faction lives separately, wears special clothing, and only thinks like their faction.  If you can’t fit into one faction, then you live factionless, which is basically living in homeless squalor.

You know why I love this book?  Because Beatrice Prior (aka Tris) is a badass.  She does some dumb things, but she takes care of herself.  Originally born into the Abnegation faction, she chooses to join the Dauntless faction on choosing day at 16.  Their initiation process is brutal (and stupid, I would never have joined Dauntless) and she learns how to fight, how to survive, and how to become the person she was meant to be.  She takes a short trip to bitch town for awhile, but who doesn’t? She rights herself in the end.  What’s special about Tris is that she’s DIVERGENT.  She doesn’t fit into any one faction well.  She actually fits into three, Abnegation, Dauntless, and Erudite.  In this world, being Divergent is dangerous because it basically means you can think for yourself and can’t easily be controlled – something the power-hungry Erudite won’t stand for.  Divergent are usually rooted out and murdered.

I mean, to be honest, the story has been done before.  16 year old girl has a sneaky suspicion she doesn’t belong, no one understands her, has an inner struggle, and goes on a journey to find herself.  Finds love along the way, kissy puppy love, and saves the day.  How many times do we need that storyline? Apparently a lot because girls like me eat that shit for breakfast. I identified at times with Tris because I think (hope) that I would be Divergent too.  No one can make me do what I don’t want to do.  Just try.  I’ll spite you just because I want to.

Now, the plot holes: CREATING FACTIONS IN ORDER TO FOSTER PEACE DOESN’T MAKE ANY SENSE. Sorry Roth, your dystopian premise doesn’t hold a lot of water.  I’m willing to forgive you though because the action moves swiftly and my 12 year old girl heart loves Tris and Four/Tobias together.

Bottom Line: I bought this book at the airport in Minneapolis on Sunday morning for my flight back to South Carolina…and finished before I landed.  Get your hands on it!  I’m reading Book #2, Insurgent, right now and #3 is slated to come out Fall 2013.