Friday, September 2, 2011
Books: the dystopian novel strikes again. in a good way.
so i just finshed reading Divergent by Veronica Roth
Divergent is a dystopian YA novel that is the first in a trilogy; the second and third have yet to be released.
For those who don't know, a dystopian YA novel is a book written for the Young Adult crowd where the characters live in a culture that is touted to be a utopia-like society. HOWEVER as it turns out what they are actually living in is in fact a dystopian society (dystopia meaning dysfunctional utopia). After some digging, the reader comes to realize that the formerly-perceived utopia is actually oppressive, controlling and fundamentally corrupt even though the objective it was to eradicate corruption. Dystopian novels are basically always a commentary on the nature of humanity, government, and our abilities and inabilities to live harmoniously and without corruption (and our constant desire to create an incorruptible society). Think 1984 and The Giver for other more well-known dystopian novels.
These books are typically set sometime in the super future after the collapse of our current society as we know it now...they never typically outright say what happened to cause the collapse of society but in general our current culture is heavily alluded to as the villain who caused massive destruction and the ruination of (hu)mankind as we know it. Probably rightfully so. We did create Pajama Jeans, afterall.
Anyway, I read this book because I am in the process of writing my own dystopian YA trilogy so i want to research what else is out there and currently selling. And, okay I also read itbecause dystopian YA trilogies are super fun and addictive and awesome.
As predicted this book was definitely all three. It kept me up reading all night which is something i love (until the next morning when i have to wake up at 6:45 with my 10 month old).
Because it's a YA book, it's definitely not difficult to read nor is it fine literature (it's okay, i can say that because the one I'm going to write will probably share these qualities at least to a certain degree). I think that's kind of half the fun of it.
That in mind, i do have to say that the book is pretty terribly written and is SUPER obvious with it's plot-lines. Like, really bad. It's so poorly written that when I was reading the "About the Author" part i was legitimately shocked to see she had graduated with her degree in Creative Writing.
But hey, it can't be THAT bad i guess because i did read the whole thing. It's just that there's so much more that she could have done, and so much that could have been done better.
Let's just say it's nowhere near as good as Hunger Games which, despite it's abysmal ending, was really legitimately a GOOD series. No, a GREAT series. It really was. Really good. Re-readable good.
I don't really want to give too much away about the plot of this book but if you're looking for a fun, easy, totally addictive book, this is the one to go to next. Unless you haven't read Hunger Games because really, you should. Those books rule. Okay, except for the last one. But it's still worth it.
Anyway, the point is, go out there and read these kinds of books. dystopian trilogies are super fun and all the rage and if i can get you guys hooked on them, you'll buy mine when it comes out hahaha it's gonna be just as formulaic and fabulous as the rest of these. i hope.
Oh and if you've read this and need another one to read, I suggest Matched by Ally Condie (the second one comes out in November).
that's all. off to bed with my child who sleep-crawls.