What I’m Reading: Divergent, by Veronica Roth

I aim an uppercut low, below her bellybutton. My fist sinks into her flesh, forcing a heavy breath from her mouth that I feel against my ear. As she gasps, I sweep-kick her legs out from under her, and she falls hard on the ground, sending dust into the air. I pull my foot back and kick as hard as I can at her ribs.

My mother and father would not approve of my kicking someone when she’s down.

I don’t care.

She curls into a ball to protect her side, and I kick again, this time hitting her in the stomach. Like a child. I kick again, this time hitting her in the face. Blood springs from her nose and spreads over her face. Look at her. Another kick hits her in the chest.

I pull my foot back again, but Four’s hands clamp around my arms, and he pulls me away from her with irresistable force. I breathe through gritted teeth, staring at Molly’s blood-covered face, the color deep and rich and beautiful, in a way.

I’m interested to hear what other people thought of this book. It’s supposed to be the next The Hunger Games; a movie is coming out next year.

I enjoyed it. I’m about 30 pages from finishing, and I don’t bother finishing books that I’m not enjoying. There’s just so much that I want to pick apart, though. And the excerpt I posted above, where Tris, the main character, relishes brutalizing a girl she’s set up against to fight? You might think that’s a momentary lapse, or a character flaw she will be forced to confront and reconcile later, but no: the book glorifies violence and mindless bravado throughout. There is more to come from this series, with hints at evolution to come (of both Tris and the dystopian society she inhabits), so I’ll reserve judgment for now. But like I said: so much I want to pick apart.

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