I caved and read Divergent

I haven’t been fully present in my real life this week.

After months and months of resistance, I finally succumbed to the pressure to read Divergent. Then I raced through Insurgent. And now I’m making my way through Allegiant.

My resolve to be a Divergent holdout has been weakening for a while. Jennine at My Life in Books might have been the final nail in that particular coffin; if an adult teacher, with a love for The Great Gatsby and Les Miserables, intent on passing on a love of real literature to her students could get caught up in Divergent, what the hell was holding me back?

I borrowed the set from my friend. As she wisely pointed out, once I got started on the books I wasn’t going to want to wait around for my next hit.

These are the kind of books that you think about when you’re not reading, counting down the hours until you can re-immerse yourself in the world, snatching covert reading sessions wherever, whenever you can. I find myself looking around my life, attributing people to different factions: “You would totally be an Amity; she’s Candor without a doubt; you’re wearing Abnegation grey today.”

Since I’m apparently incapable of discussing anything non-Divergent this week, here are some thoughts.

I have always shied away from reading dystopian fiction. It’s not my go-to. But apparently there is room for it in my life. I loved The Hunger Games and when I was younger The Giver and The Chrysalids equally blew my mind. There’s something about reading books where an entire world is created for you, where there is only a hint of the world that you know, that is completely captivating.

Obviously Divergent has been compared to The Hunger Games. A lot. Suzanne Collins and Veronica Roth, too, are constantly linked together. I had no idea Roth was so young (22) when the first book was published (another one to really drive home how much I haven’t accomplished in this life!). By the time Collins’ wrote The Hunger Games she had been writing for years, books and for TV. And I think you can tell. But over the course of the Divergent books, you can see Roth’s writing style evolve, feel that her choice of language becomes more thoughtful. That said, I don’t think I’m into the alternating points of view in Allegiant. I don’t know why we suddenly need Tobias’ view of how things go down. But maybe that will become clear later (I’m a little afraid of this 3rd book since everyone seems to have given up on it half way through- I don’t want to fall out of love).

I also normally give YA fiction a wide berth. I know – I’m totally an a-hole since clearly there are so many excellent examples of it out there these days. But I have trouble identifying with fictional teenagers that are making terrible decisions. I read Twilight and spent a lot of time wanting to shake Bella. Obviously Tris isn’t living for a man, and that makes things so much better, but I also seem to have become way more tolerant of fictional teenagers. I don’t seem to be holding Tris to grown up standards of behaviour and I’m certainly not so judgmental of her up and down relationship with Tobias.

Evidently I’ve grown as a person.

Anyway, people in my life are excited that I’m reading these. My 10 year old goddaughter and I are reading the same books. I try not to think about that too much. At least I’ll have someone to see the movie with and make it look like I’m just being a good aunt.

15 thoughts on “I caved and read Divergent

  1. I never thought I’d enjoy being a nail in a coffin so much! I’m so glad you are loving them! I liked Allegiant better than Mockingjay, as far as last book of trilogies go. And I didn’t care for the dual narrative either, but there is definitely a reason for it.

    • I get so confused with the dual narrative- they don’t sound unique enough to be able to keep them straight. Am just over 300 pages in now and I’m a little frustrated with how much everything keeps shifting.
      I guess nail in the coffin was kind of a terrible analogy hahahaha

      • I had the same problem. I had to keep turning back to the start of the chapter to double check whose point of view I was reading. There is a reason for it, but I like neither the dual narrative nor the reason!

        I wrote a review a couple months ago using the nail in the coffin analogy in relation to someone too! Haha, great minds think alike 😉

  2. I find the books I read that are outside my go-to genres are often the ones I like the best. =) I’m going to recommend this series to a few friends who enjoy dystopian fiction

  3. No need to be ashamed that you’re reading the same book as your goddaughter! I still love plenty of YA books! Just because they don’t have sex scenes doesn’t mean they’re great books. ; ) That being said, I still haven’t read Divergent either… I just might have to add it to the list though. Hmmmm… I enjoyed Hunger Games, though they certainly weren’t as outstanding as everyone promised they ‘d be.

  4. I do love the kids’ books myself. But I understand about the frustration of insipid, bad-choice-making characters in YA. I think many YA authors assume that their teen audience won’t get things (untrue) so they make plot lines and choices super obvious to the reader, who then can’t help but think the protagonist is an idiot for not seeing those things. In other words, they can lack subtlety in the story telling, but the ones that provide that subtlety end up writing the best books around ( ie: Perks of Being a Wallflower). Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe is a good one for that, too (imho). -Tania

    • Shame that YA authors don’t think their readers are smart enough to pick up on subtlety. I will say that YA books are an excellent bridge to more adult content. I remember being around 11 or 12 and done with most of the children’s fiction available and lamenting that there was only going to be “boring” adult fiction available to me now. I likely would have been a huge fan of YA fiction had there been more of it available at the time.

  5. Pingback: Sometimes My Little Sister Knows Best | The Paperback Princess

  6. Pingback: 2014 Wrap Up | The Paperback Princess

  7. Pingback: Stuck in the Middle | The Paperback Princess

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s