The Blurb: In Beatrice Prior’s dystopian Chicago, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue—Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives.
The Short Stick: Everything you loved about the Hunger Games, without as much of the risk.
The Goods: The relationship that develops between Beatrice and another character that’s unexpected at first, and then controlled, and then expected and even encouraged. There were good lessons in this book about being brave and selfless and having fun in life and not being controlled. That being said, those were probably the best things I got out of the book.
The Not So Goods: I’m unconvinced. For one, it’s never mentioned that this city IS Chicago, in anywhere other than reviews and synopsis blurbs. Secondly, nothing is explained about the rest of the world. We never really get the feel that this place is bigger than a single city, and since the world is bigger than our limited views of Chicago, the anthropology aspect of the book is really lost on me. I could say the same thing about Delirium actually, but I hope that the way Lena left for the Wilds and Tris left for the fields will explore the rest of the world. The other thing that doesn’t draw me in is the backstory. Honestly I can’t see the human population ever coming to this end. I would have preferred knowing just HOW this all happened. As for Tris, she’s got borderline personality disorder. One minute she’s doing one thing and not thinking about it, the next she’s thinking about something and not doing it, it seems that she’s very confused as a personality. I suppose I can chalk that up to a triumph on Roth’s part since all teenagers are confused and making them choose to be one thing or another is completely unfair. Still, Tris is a walking contradiction. I don’t have much comment on the others, except for Four, and the thing is, I wish I had known the stakes more so I could understand and sympathize with their actions. I caught some of the reasons he was doing things, but then Tris never did. The other thing is that Divergent is never really explained, a lot of the explanations turn into innuendos which are then spun back into actions which are supposed to explain the rest. But they don’t. I didn’t like the first half of the book because it was all like pretend danger, not real danger. The last half of the book was expected, a little stereotypical for Dystopian and ultimately the ending was predictable. Living up to standards means living up to standards. It’s a great dystopian book. Is a great anything else kind of book? I don’t really know.
Pinnochio Factor: Pass, they’re real although they remind me of gang members.
Bella Swan Factor: Pass, none of that sparklepire stuff in here!
Jace Factor: Fail, they’re not really hot, but you can make anyone seem sexy.
Primrose Factor: Pass, lost the people we thought we should lose.
Potter Factor: Fail, lots of dystopian ideas from other dystopian series. I guess they all think alike.
Cheese Factor: Pass, definitely no cheese, mindless brutality is a check though.
Bible Factor: Pass, a couple of mentions about god, but no religion otherwise.
Temperature: 98 degrees, there was one seriously awesome scene you can’t miss.
Recommendation: Read it for the love story, not for the flimsy dystopian society the love story is balancing on. Don’t pick it up if you’ve had enough post apocalyptic stories, or dystopian stories in general.
And for the record I did like it, but the aptitude test I took on facebook (yes during all the book hype) named me a Candor. So suck it up!