I feel like everyone on the planet has read this book, so I’m not sure what else I can add to the discussion. We all know the story by now: a dystopian Chicago, teenagers who have to choose their faction – and their future as well, the brave young girl who goes against the grain, the realization that we may not all fit in to one neat little box, the older mentor she sort of falls in love with, the sacrifices of the parents.
I recognize that I’m not the target audience because I’m well over the age that YA authors are writing for, but it is nice to see a book that’s not about vampires, a book that doesn’t have a stupid girl in it, and a book that shows strong characters, both male and female, So often, I feel like the “strong girl books” paint the boys as weak, and that’s as damaging as when we write weak females. I get so tired of the notion that either the girl or the boy have to be strong, that they can’t be both, and that strong characters can’t show weakness. Real people are weak and strong at the same time, and we need to teach our kids that it’s okay to be both.
A friend (a high school English teacher, actually) recommended Divergent to me, telling me it was loads better than Hunger Games. I’m not sure I agree, and I don’t really think the two can compare. They both have a strong female lead, but I felt like they were very different books. I enjoyed Divergent, but I also wasn’t 100% compelled to rush right out and read the other two books in the series. I’ll eventually get around to it, I’m sure, but I didn’t need to immediately find out what happens.
More reviews can be found on my blog.