I think what she really means is Theo James, who plays one of the main characters, looks good. Alas, Divergent is rated PG-13, so I won’t let her see it yet. Besides, she hasn’t even read the books, and in my mind, one MUST read the book before watching the movie.
In case you don’t follow that motto, or you’ve read the books and need a refresher, here are some things you should know about Divergent, the book, before you see the movie:
- It’s dystopian fiction, so expect an oppressive government, a dysfunctional society, and a futuristic/apocalyptic setting. Throw in a serious threat to survival of the characters.
- Divergent is set in futuristic Chicago, and the people of the society are divided into five factions based on the virtues of abnegation, amity, candor, erudite, and dauntless. For a complete definition of each faction, consult my faction vocabulary post. The quick and dirty synonyms are selfless, peaceful, honest, intelligent, and brave. Visit IMDB to see a cool factions infographic.
- Only people from the abnegation (selfless) faction are allowed to hold political office. (As you can expect, this causes problems.)
- Those who fail to assimilate into a faction become “factionless”- the people living on the margins. (More problems)
- Some special people show aptitude for more than one faction, and they are labeled divergent and are regarded as dangerous by “authorities.” (Big problem for some characters.)
- The story is dark and sometimes brutal. However, the violence isn’t as disturbing as the sadistic plot of The Hunger Games, in which a corrupt government pits children against each other in a battle to the death. In Divergent, conflict arises between the factions as different groups struggle for power. That doesn’t sound much different from our own world, does it?
- The characters must undergo “simulations” for training and assessment. This requires being injected IN THE NECK with various serums. *cringing*
Divergent has lots of action and a compelling lead, named Tris. She’s small, yet strong, and struggling to understand where she fits in. The brutality of her society troubles her, and yet she must engage in violence to survive. Good internal conflict there.
Divergent provokes questions about government and society, the thin line between protection and oppression. I was especially interested in the idea of factions. Does a society need people who embrace the five virtues? Why these five? Should only selfless people rule? Which faction I would choose to join if I were Tris? Definitely NOT dauntless. No jumping onto trains for me, thanks.
What I didn’t like about the book
Divergent is heavy on action and plot twists and light on character development. It feels like a lot of other dystopian reads with a female lead enduring a choosing ceremony and then going on to fight for survival and the people she loves. I also didn’t like the ending. It’s basically just a page break before the next book begins.
I do plan on seeing the movie, and I’ll tell you about it soon.
Have you read Divergent? Did you like it? Did I miss anything? Do you plan to see the movie?