Apparently this was dystopia month for me… also things in threes.
Ah, yes. The last of what I consider to be the three “classic dystopias” – all of which I’ve read on my own, for pleasure, by the way. I find it very odd that I never had to read this or Brave New World or Fahrenheit 451 for school – neither high school nor college. But it’s okay. I submitted to the urge on my own; I didn’t need to be compelled by the school system.
I gotta be honest – of the three, this one horrifies me the most. All three novels tend to simultaneously fascinate and scare the shit out of me and other readers, but this one really got to me. And not just the portion where our main character is tortured – that was bad enough. But that this fictional government is in place and is so powerful and so evil that assimilating to what they want in action is not enough. If you don’t believe wholeheartedly what they want you to believe, they will find out, and they will quite literally force you to believe it.
Terror aside, there is so much I could talk about here, but predictably, my favorite is how language is dealt with. How they change language in order to control people’s minds – if the words don’t exist to discuss or think rebellious or controversial things, then the concepts cease to exist as well, at least to those who have access to that single language.
Not only that, but how incredible – though awful! – is it that they can tear the language to shreds, strip it to the bare minimum needed, tossing out all our synonyms and antonyms, depending on a number of prefixes and suffixes to help limit our vocabulary. While some situations make it frustrating, for the most part I think our language is beautiful. I love that we can have 5 or more words that mean essentially the same thing but allow us to express ourselves more specifically.
Ugh. To think that the government could actually destroy or take away words because they don’t fit in with their agenda. Fuck censorship.
As if I didn’t love Divergent enough, reading the second one made me seriously question my judgment in not reading this series sooner. Though, actually, I was probably saving myself some heartache, as my immediate reaction to finishing this book was to look up the release date for the third and final chapter, and lament that I have to wait until STUPID OCTOBER to find out what happens! NOT COOL!
I mentioned this to a friend the other day – I love the dystopian genre in general, but I tend to absolutely love those that aren’t dependent on some huge natural disaster wiping out half of humanity – I prefer those that deal with humanity, those where people as a society kind of devolve into chaos and depravity and that’s the reason the world is sucking. Those stories are interesting from a psychological standpoint… and can serve as warning, as indeed Mr. Orwell intended 1984 to be.
The Divergent trilogy appears to be one of those, as we get hints in this series about the reason behind the formation of the factions, and toward the end of this second installment, it implies that in Book 3 we will find out about the world beyond these five factions (six, if you count the “factionless” of course, which, clearly, you should count them).
I CAN’T WAIT FOR ALLEGIANT.
So, funny story.
I thought I was rereading this. Turns out, I either didn’t remember the ending at all, or I was only rereading about 3/4 of it, because I never finished it. NO IDEA HOW THAT HAPPENED.
The part I reread was just as great as I remembered. The part that felt new was also great. So, you know, that’s good.
This author by the way? She’s fabulous. Like, fashionably and personally so. I was following her blog and twitter account before she got published, which is pretty cool, and I saw her in person once when she did a panel at a local book store. She is FANTASTIC. and hilarious. and I love her.
Her writing is also often hilarious.
So this book. Our main character has this sort of Rogue from X-men thing going on, but with some twists. Her parents are dicks. Lots of people in the world of this book are dicks, actually. Like the guy trying to use her Rogue-like-ness for evil. Fuck that guy, man. I know some of her readers LOVE him, like, he’s “misunderstood” or something. WELL. I will be the judge of that when I read the second book in the series, and the novella that comes between book 1 and 2 that is told from dick-guy’s perspective.
Which, incidentally, is why I picked this up for what I thought was a second reading, because I still haven’t read book 1.5 or book 2 and yet book 3 will actually be coming in the spring so I must prepare! It’ll be good… it’ll take my mind off of waiting for Allegiant… replace waiting for good books with other good books…
Okay this is definitely a reread, no lying this time. I totes read this AND finished it before.
IT’S SO GOOD. I’d forgotten how good. I think most everyone I know that has read the Hunger Games trilogy agrees that Catching Fire is by far the best of the three. Now, I’m not quite as hung up on Mockingjay as some people are – it was NOT that bad, folks, cool your jets, but Catching Fire is just so good.
It’s like you think you know what’s happening but nooooope you really don’t. Also, I’d forgotten how funny it is! It’s so brilliantly yet darkly funny! The scene where Katniss drinks with Haymitch – perfect.
I am super excited about this film adaptation by the way. Particularly for reactions from people who don’t read. And the first film is SO well cast, I can’t wait to see how the actors for the new characters fare. S’GONE BE GOOD, I think.