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Portable Magic

Reading, for me, is entertainment and an escape from the real world. But it can also inform and stretch the boundaries of the life I live.

Currently reading

The Cypress House
Michael Koryta
The Outsider
Stephen King
Progress: 34 %
I am No One You Know
Joyce Carol Oates
The Return of the King
J.R.R. Tolkien, Rob Inglis
Progress: 13 %

Divergent - progress update: 60/487 pages.

Divergent  - Veronica Roth

My sister loaned me her copy after I expressed some interest when we saw the movie previews back at Christmas. She and my niece both rated it five stars.


Thoughts so far:


1. The MC thinks she's plain. She's awkward and clumsy. She's attracted to the badass boy with the tats and piercings. She discovers that she's a special snowflake. Haven't I read about this character before? She sounds terribly familiar.


2. The whole dystopian premise is kind of stupid. Society has suffered terribly through wars and decided that the best way to live peacefully together is to segregate into factions based on a single prized virtue. Courage, thirst for knowledge, selflessness, get-alongness, and truthfulness. They self-isolate from one another and sneer at each other's values. And anyone who fails initiation into a single faction is left homeless, hungry, and desperate. I'm supposed to find it plausible that a society believes this is the recipe for peaceful living?


3. The five virtues prized by each faction aren't mutually exclusive. Why would it be rare for someone to exhibit the characteristics of all?


3. Evidently, courage = reckless hooliganism. No quietly heroic courage here.


4. Valuing knowledge leads to a thirst for power, so only the selfless can be trusted with governmental authority? Tolkien knew better. The ring of power tempted even the selfless, from a desire to wield power to help others - to Do Good.


5. So you have to be athletic to be Dauntless? That means that non-athletes are cowards? And there's no place for the physically weak or disabled among the courageous?


6. Still, I'm finding this a strangely compelling read. I'm interested to find out what happens next, even while I'm thinking, "Seriously?"