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mags

mags

Divergent (Divergent Series #1)

Divergent (Divergent Series #1) - After the movie Amelie came out, seemingly every French film thereafter got compared to it. Part of it was that Amelie's success in the States provided a point of reference for an audience unfamiliar with French cinema. The bigger part was that Amelie was so beloved that people wanted to recapture that magic. The Hunger Games was my introduction to YA dystopia and it caught my imagination like no other book last year. Since Mockingjay, I've been fiending for that Suzanne Collins-esque good good -- and publishers have been quick to apply the "next Hunger Games" label on anything. You can't blame them, but it does such a huge disservice to the book when the disappointment inevitably comes. Divergent, of course, got slapped with that label but it reminds me more of Scott Westerfeld's Uglies series than Hunger Games. This book is promising, for sure, and I liked it, but I don't feel particularly effusive about it either. Veronica Roth sets the stage (Fighting), and sets the stage (More fighting), and then sets the stage some more (Did you hear about the fighting?), and at a certain point, you just want the show to start (Plot! Development!). I know it takes time to create a world, especially in the first book of a series, but she's only talking about one dystopian city. There is no reference beyond the five factions of this future Chicago. The sorting of all 16-year-olds into their respective factions reminded me of a bizarro Hogwarts sorting ceremony. This isn't a bad thing, but more to the fact that after reading something, I'd think, "That reminds me of..." (One of the main characters is actually named Four, as in I Am Number Four.) I didn't have that "This is fucking brilliant" moment like after reading the clock arena in Catching Fire. Oops, there I go with the Hunger Games comparisons. I can't help it because I WANT to like something as much. Halfway through Divergent, I told my friends I was reserving judgment until the end of the book because I wanted to love it. I wanted to be able to rave about it, but ultimately, liking it -- and it being 100x better than [b:The Goddess Test|9681214|The Goddess Test (Goddess Test #1)|Aimee Carter|http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51Nve345cKL._SL75_.jpg|14569146], by another debut author -- is enough.