Rating: 2 out of 5 stars
As a critical reader, I could not ignore the major flaw that kept jumping out at me during the reading experience. Being divergent is described as fitting into more than one faction, thus being harder to control. But since some virtues correspond with one another, this crucial aspect is rendered void. Abnegation’s selflessness correlated with Amity’s kindness. Selflessness relates to bravery, a fact outlined in the book itself. Humanity is so multi-faceted that I have a hard time believing the system has stayed the same for so long. Being human means that everyone is divergent, because no one individual can be defined by only one thing. This book’s singular dimension renders it unbelievable.
Let’s use my results from the Divergent Aptitude Test, found on the movie’s website, for example. I asked three others to take the test, and all four of us received the result of Divergent. (I got divergence between Amity, Erudite, and Abnegation, but I digress.) Though a marketing tactic, it illustrates the point I’m making: the world is flawed because it is built on the notion that the humanity is Black and White, This or That.
This flaw undermines the driving force of the plot. Tris thus becomes a special snowflake for simply being a normal human.
The book opens with Tris describing herself via mirror. This beginning, made valid through Abnegation’s values, is overdone and made me wary of the book from the beginning.
Tris’s hypocrisy and lack of consequences made me question the book’s validity. One scene consists of her friends wondering if she is manipulating them, only for her to actively do so pages later without anyone acknowledging how her actions were hypocritical. She could do anything she wanted without realistic consequences.
I could look past the infamous knife-throwing scene. I can buy that Four was tough on the outside to hide his feelings; but I can’t buy his actions toward Tris when he is angry. In one scene, he not only grabs her arm, he pulls her and grabs both of her wrists so she can’t get away. These are warning signs of abusive behavior, yet the book portrayed this as romantic.
Overall, I felt as if I were reading the lovechild of The Hunger Games and Twilight that the former regrets. The book itself intrigued me, but I was constantly reminded of the flaws in the world’s rules, which took away from the reading experience.
This review can also be found on Goodreads.
Picture from Amazon.