Divergent by Veronica Roth. What am I missing?
My problem? It's prescriptive and not unique. Prescriptive in the formula of adolescent breaks away from parents, faces adversity, meets romantic interest, becomes an adult. This I could give a pass, after all we can assign this formula to many kid lit classics. However, there isn't a unique page in this book. The protagonist, Beatrice, is underdeveloped. Her cohorts off-putting by their very nature. Big themes are never really developed and opportunities to expand either character or theme are brushed aside in favor of moving on to the next scene.
The New York Times' Review by Susan Dominus probably said it best, "For a book that explores themes about the right to be individual and the importance of breaking away from the pack, “Divergent” does not exactly distinguish itself"
This is a genre book for students who like dystopian stories. But make sure they've read The Giver or The Hunger Games before you send them off with this formulaic rip-off.
Labels: Speculative Fiction