Tag Archives: Divergent

Katniss Ain’t Got Shit on Beatrice Prior

4 Feb

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Fans of the Young Adult Dystopia genre (YAD for short) should at this point be at least vaguely familiar with Divergent, the first book in a trilogy by Veronica Roth that tracks Beatrice (Tris) and various other residents of a post-apocalyptic Chicago whose society is divided into five factions, each founded on respect for a particular virtue (Candor/honesty, Abnegation/selflessness, Dauntless/bravery, Amity/peace and Erudite/intelligence.) Divergent, which comes out in movie form on March 21, was released in 2011, while Book #2 (Insurgent) came out in May 2012 and the final book in the series (minus all the BS “extras” Roth will publish over the coming years to reap untold profits from obsessive tweens) was released in October.

It’s always hard to review the second or third book in a series without inevitably giving away some of the haps in the preceding titles. But given the impending theatrical release of Divergent (which I reviewed about a year ago) I would be remiss to not weigh in on the Divergent series in its entirety, which feels* so plainly desperate to capitalize on the popularity of Hunger Games that one almost expects Katniss herself to wander into a scene by accident. (*In the interest of full disclosure, Roth did write Divergent before HG was a thing, and HG itself has been criticized for its similarity to other novels.)

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Are teenagers obsessed with post-apocalyptic politics now or what am I missing?

4 Jan

Divergent hc c(2)After promising my sister that I would spend this past weekend hitting 20% on ye old Les Miserables, I did absolutely no such thing. Instead I got really caught up in this New York Times article about “new adult” books, then proceeded to read five books for teenagers instead. I know: I have the literary tastes of a 14-year-old me.

Of course, having now availed myself of the relevant resources (i.e. teen sex books) I have some things to say about this “new adult” trend, but that’s a post for another day. Instead, my first review of 2013 goes to Veronica Roth’s Divergent, Book #1 in a young adult series that will ring quite a few bells for anyone familiar with young adult series.

(It probably says something about today’s teens that all their literary blockbusters include dystopian future societies where political ideology results in the institutionalized oppression of the masses. Must be that Justin Bieber, influencing them on the causes that count.) Continue reading