I live and work in Chicago, and for a shortish period of last year, I had the pleasure of bumping into the filming of the movie Divergent in various locations around town. I didn’t realize until it was already well under way that they’d turned a corner I drive past every morning into a mini film lot (though it made everything else make way more sense, since there was no insulation in those walls), they filmed in my actual workplace one Sunday, and I am a huge fan of films taking place in Chicago in general. I was eager to see the movie, and I wanted to read the book first, mostly so I would get the learning curve of this particular teen dystopia and could ignore the plot in favor of picking out where they filmed what and whether I’d stood in that same place before.
Turns out, that might have been the wrong tactic, since after reading the book I have little to no interest in seeing the movie (beyond the consistent motivating factor of getting to say “Hey! That’s my building!”). There are a great many things wrong with this book, everything from bad prose to bad concepts to bad execution. Added to that are poorly explained history, a failure to orient the reader in space (any space), and a whole whack of incredibly drippy teen romance. Hooray! …wait.
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