Wednesday, 18 June 2014

What I have been reading - Divergent by Veronica Roth

If you liked The Hunger Games, then Divergent might be right up your street.  Based in a futuristic dystopia in which civilisation has been separated into different factions who perform specific tasks and behave in certain ways. Tris, the 16 year old main character feels like she doesn't quite fit in anywhere and so the adventure begins.  Tris is "Divergant" she doesn't fit into any of the factions and as such discovers secrets about how their society works to keep people under control and what might happen if one faction thinks they are more superior than the rest.
I found the book very gripping, an easy read, perhaps not quite challenging enough for me (probably a reflection of the fact that the books is written for teenagers) but still very entertaining, I read it easily in a couple of weeks of just snatching opportunities to read whilst having breakfast, riding as a passenger in the car and a bit at bed time.
What I loved most about this book was how it spoke to me about my life.  I am always looking for messages through the books I read that make meaning in my life, or tell me something important.  In this book I totally related to the idea of being "Divergent".  At my Church study group we have been watching a series by Cris Rogers called The Rebels Guide to the Good News and in the first session he talks about how Jesus is a rebel and how in the world today sinning has become the norm and not sinning is revolutionary. In Divergent, Tris is a rebel too, but ends up doing the right thing through her rebellion even though everyone else is doing something different.  This idea really resonated with me, I am not sure I have the full picture of it in my head yet but it is forming. There is something in there about doing the right thing in spite of ridicule or standing out in a crowd.

Divergent (Divergent Trilogy, Book 1)

Throughout the book I highlighted bits that spoke to me, they are slightly random and probably tell you more about the inner workings of my brain than te actual content of the book, but oh well!:

"It's a raven" - The image of a raven has been with me for a long time and my newest son's name means Raven.  I have been thinking about getting a tattoo of a raven for Biscuit's (not his real) name and a pine cone for Boris' (again, not his) name. So I was intrigued that one of the characters in the book has raven tattoos.

"Human reason can't excuse any evil; that is why it's so important that we don't rely on it" - I liked this sentence, it is Tris quoting her father, it reminded me of WWII and the Nazis, but is also true today and also made me think about how just because things don't have studies, research or evidence to back them doesn't mean they don't work or aren't real or true.  I think people try to use reason to prove to themselves that there is no God or spiritual world.  It reminds me that we can only really rely on God because people get things wrong.

"The best way to help someone is just to be near them" - True of a lot I have learned through my breastfeeding Peer Helper training about listening.

"We just have to let our guilt remind us to do better next time" - I am someone who often feels guilty about things.  I worry a lot about things I have said or haven't said to people and this quote just reminds me that there is no use to feeling guilty if you don't try to improve on yourself.

"I don't understand why we're such a threat to the leaders." "Every faction conditions its members to think and act a certain way. And most people do it.  For most people, it's not hard to learn, to find a pattern of thought that works and stays that way."..."But our minds move in a dozen different directions.  We can't be confined to one way of thinking, and this terrifies our leaders.  It means we can't be controlled.  And it means that no matter what they do, we will always cause trouble for them." - YES, totally agree with this in relation to our culture and being conditioned to like certain things, to behave in certain ways to not upset the status quo.  The government wants us to just sit nice and quietly in our homes watching television, going to work to benefit the economy and shopping in our free time.  The Government doesn't want free thinkers or rebels or people who think outside the box, it wants nice compliant zombies (am I being a bit extreme?).  This quote also resonates with me as a Christian in relation to good and evil. The devil also wants us to follow the common pattern of thinking and acting.

Am I the only one who tries to find meaning in books that isn't necessarily intended by the author?
What books have you read that have hidden meaning?
Oh and did you know there is a film of this book?!  I have to see it!


  1. I read these books recently too and got a whole lot out of them too. I found the discussions of divergent resonated with my parenting choices particularly!

    Thank you for sharing. Inspiring and interesting read. Xx