7. Divergent 

March has brought a little sunshine and warmer weather, what a sight for sore eyes! What a relief! I’m quite tired today, I’ve had a busy few weeks. I’ve been to Aberystwyth and back for seminars and taken a look at lovely Liverpool last weekend. I’ve started feeling like I’ve been living out of a bag with all of this bolting around the country so its really nice to stop for a day particularly on a day like this.

I have been bad and I have been cheating on my Reading Challenge, but honestly why read if you don’t enjoy it. A Reading Challenge is supposed to be fun and I’m already keeping up, so I decided a little break would be a good idea so this is a little less like homework. I’m already a fan of the Divergent films and I am a little excited to see the third film.

Divergent by Veronica Roth

Since finding the novel in a charity shop, I’ve honestly been waiting to get my teeth into it to see how the novel and film measure up against one another. I was afforded breaking the spine a couple of times as I read it on the train as the novel was in a relatively good state. Breaking the spine is one of those rituals I genuinely enjoy particularly with a thick volume like this. Don’t be put off though, it may be nearly 500 pages but the text is relatively spaced out on the page. It’s a speedy read and quite satisfying. I read the novel cover to cover in perhaps eight hours.

When it comes to variety I genuinely read anything I can get my hands on and I’m a big fan of young adult fiction. I really enjoy easy reads and light and imaginative novels that are executed well. I think this may actually belong to a selection of young adult novels that I am now an advocate of. I’m a fan of the Mortal Engines series, although I’ve only read two of those. I’ve read the Hunger Games series, I’m still infatuated with Harry Potter and reread those last year. But I really draw the line at Twilight. Twilight really promotes values to young women, in particular, that I do not agree with.

Anyhow. I was warned by a friend a while ago that I may not like the writing in Divergent, but it honestly didn’t bother me. The overall tone of the writing is consistent, however I can understand why it would be irritating. Some of the stream of consciousness first person writing is a little clunky and tries to convey nervous excitement in ways that I think is very true to adolescence. As the protagonist is 16, I really think it can be forgiven.

As I was reading I found myself being reminded by Ender’s Game, by Orson Scott Card quite often actually, particularly the training and internal politics of initiates is quite reminiscent of Ender’s struggle to fit in. Divergent, is quite a drawn out novel though, like Ender’s Game, it spends a long time developing Tris and her relationships with those around her. In reality the ending of the novel is quite abrupt, but it’s also a little bit of a cliff hanger leading into the second novel.

The differences between the film and the novel are also relatively minor. The Novel and Film stand shoulder to shoulder quite well in my opinion and neither I think has my preference. This is the perfect novel for a couple of long train rides. It’s engrossing and easy to flick through and if you’re already a fan of the films it doesn’t disappoint.

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