Saturday, July 14, 2012

Review: Divergent by Veronica Roth

Title: Divergent
Author: Veronica Roth
Series: Divergent Series #1
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Release Date: February 28, 2012
ISBN13: 9780062024039
Format: paperback
Genre: YA, dystopia, sci-fi, romance
Source: bought

Rating: 9.5/10

In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago world, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue--Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is--she can't have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles alongside her fellow initiates to live out the choice they have made. Together they must undergo extreme physical tests of endurance and intense psychological simulations, some with devastating consequences. As initiation transforms them all, Tris must determine who her friends really are--and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes exasperating boy fits into the life she's chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she's kept hidden from everyone because she's been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers unrest and growing conflict that threaten to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves . . . or it might destroy her.

Veronica Roth is the "New York Times" bestselling author of "Divergent," the first in a trilogy of dystopian thrillers filled with electrifying decisions, heartbreaking betrayals, stunning consequences, and unexpected romance.

My thoughts:
I borrowed this book from the library to read it last year, but I bought a copy of myself this week at a local bookstore, Black Bond Books. Divergent never ceases to amaze me. 

I've read countless dystopian novels, but I find that this was probably my favourite. Divergent not only has a great plot, but is jam packed with emotion; sometimes so sweet that I wanted to cry, while other times I'd feel like screaming, "Don't you dare do that, Tris! It's positively the most stupid idea I've ever heard!" Another part why I found it to be so great was because it doesn't let romance overwhelm the story-line, something that's a bit uncommon these days.

The characters are perfectly flawed, selfish, and that what I love about them all. Veronica Roth doesn't jut write about perfect people, instead making them painfully realistic so that I would not necessarily sympathize with them but treat them like actual people rather than characters in a book.

It's very liberating to read from a protagonist who would actually admit her [Tris'] mistakes, take it for all it's worth, and just get on with life instead of thinking of any other thing she probably could do better in that situation. To just be plain straightforward. After all, life has no rewind button, life give you no second chances. Highlight to see teensy tiny spoiler. Although it was a bit of a let down that Tris kind of betrayed her family in the Erudite headquarters, I felt like I had to understand what Tris did because the society in which she grew up was very different from our own, and that she did it to survive.

The character of Four was great; he was mean, pushy, a pain in the butt, but in the end it shows that he cared a whole awful lot. He doesn't meet the typical boyfriend stereotype because he's not the sweet guy who'd give you flowers and jewelry. (Tris would probably think they're impractical.) He would instead compliment Tris by making her as tough as she could be, instead of treating her like a shrinking because that's what it would take for her to survive, and because he knows she isn't delicate and fragile.

The entire idea of the book was unbelievably original; from the five factions to the simulations to the entire would that we could not begin to understand. It gives us a glimpse into a life that's not all bubblegum and charm. I've read Insurgent just a few weeks ago, so be sure to watch out for my review sometime in the next couple weeks.

If you like this, you might like:
Legend by Marie Lu
Birthmarked by Caragh O'Brien
Inside Out by Maria V. Snyder

Grace, waiting at the edge of my seat for the next installment of the Divergent Series.

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