I’m going to admit something extremely depressing to you, Internet folks. I just spent the last week watching season 2 of Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, and I’ve been loving it. It was the third night in a row of endless guffawing at Mama June’s hollerin’ and jigglin’ that I decided that maybe I should pull myself out of the deep, consuming hole that is terrible reality TV.
The BF and I decided that perhaps we should read Divergent together before the movie comes out, just because we rarely read and we needed something to distract us from downloading Cougar Wives.
I’m rarely one to hate on a book. I figure, if it’s good enough to publish, then it’s probably good enough to read without disemboweling myself with a crochet hook (unless it’s 50 Shades, in which case FUCK YOU, UNIVERSE). I don’t mean to toot my own figurative horn, but I think it’s quite a big deal when I say: this book kinda sucks.
Now keep in mind, I’ve only read the first couple of chapters of the novel, but if you hate the first page, it’s probably not going to bode well for you for the rest of the book.
The entire book stems on the flimsy (and completely retarded) belief that a human being is defined by ONE, SINGLE trait and must live their life accordingly to that trait. The five traits being: bravery, wisdom, honesty, peacefulness, and selflessness.
Admirable traits, no doubt, but you can probably see why that’s a problem. Any person with – oh, I don’t know – a multidimensional personality is immediately branded as the spawn of the devil.
Want to be brave AND wise? Too fucking bad. Want to be selfless and peaceful (whatever the fuck that means)? TOO FUCKING BAD, EAT A DICK.
Some may compare it to how the students at Hogwarts are sorted, but I say, NO SHUT THE FUCK UP, because Divergent can’t touch Harry Potter with a fucking hundred foot pole.
At least the Hogwarts students are allowed to have – le gasp – more than one definable trait and not be ostracized for it. Hermione was brave, loyal and wise. You don’t see Dumbledore pulling back and hissing into his sleeve, “Eeeeeeeeeviiiiiiiiil wiiiiiitch.” No, because that would be absolutely idiotic.
Don’t even get me started on the writing. While I commend the author on using the increasingly popular present-tense prose, she doesn’t use it particularly well. At many moments it crosses over into Mary Sue territory and it really does feel like some idiotic 16 year old wrote it. It’s hard to hit the sweet spot with present-tense prose, but when it’s done well, it’s done really well. This was not the case. At least, not for me.
The biggest issue with a lot of young adult novels is that instead of letting the reader decipher for themselves, the authors feel the need to lay everything out on the table, just in case the reader has half a brain or something. For example, Beatrice feels the resolute need to let us know her father is opinionated, then show us half a page later of her father ranting about some political BS. Oh, wow, how would I have ever known Caleb has a giant stick up his ass?
Oh, I have a theory.
It occurred to me around page 30, when Beatrice starts describing the factionless (people without any definable traits), that this entire book is probably just a heavy-handed metaphor for going to school. Or more specifically, university. Now the book reads like a stern mother wrote a sci-fi, post-apocalyptic romance novel just to convince her teenage children to work harder in school or else.
See, the traits are the faculties, and when you turn 16, you choose your major. And you’re basically stuck with it for the rest of your life, and god forbid if you ever wanna switch majors. Oh, and the ones who don’t go to school become homeless, grimy labourers that wear loincloths.
I don’t think that’s too far-fetched of a theory.
It reads like a shakier, less interesting Hunger Games. I don’t think it brings anything new to the genre, it’s not spectacularly written, and it’s kind of… boring. Honestly, I think the movie is going to do as well as City of Bones did. Which was not well at all, and deservedly so.
Yes, I will probably finish it, and yes, I will probably grow fond of it later on (though I doubt it at this point), but it won’t make it any less terrible than it presents itself as.