Monday, October 10, 2011

Review: Divergent

Divergent by Veronica Roth

Age Group: Young Adult
Published: May 3, 2011 by Harper Collins Children's Books
Format: Hardcover, 489 pgs
Source: Purchased
2011 Debut Author Challenge


Beatrice "Tris" Prior has reached the fateful age of sixteen, the stage at which teenagers in Veronica Roth's dystopian Chicago must select which of five factions to join for life. Each faction represents a virtue: Candor, Abnegation, Dauntless, Amity, and Erudite. To the surprise of herself and her selfless Abnegation family, she chooses Dauntless, the path of courage. Her choice exposes her to the demanding, violent initiation rites of this group, but it also threatens to expose a personal secret that could place in mortal danger. Veronica Roth's young adult Divergent trilogy launches with a captivating adventure about love and loyalty playing out under most extreme circumstances. 

Mini-Review: An exciting debut full of adventure and intrigue that's set in a magnificent world brought to life by Roth's imagination. 

My Thoughts:

In Veronica Roth's debut novel, the citizens of Chicago are divided into factions, each group dedicating their lives to a particular virtue. At the age of sixteen every teenager must decide whether they are going to stay with their family or leave the faction they grew up in to join another. Although she doesn't know it, the choice Beatrice makes will have consequences for everyone.

I was hooked immediately by the idea of the factions and what it would mean to give up your family forever because your instincts didn't coincide with theirs. Beatrice struggles to make up her mind and doesn't choose until it is her turn at the ceremony and she absolutely has to decide. And then things get really interesting. We're thrown into the world of a completely different faction, and we, like Tris, are exposed to an entirely new way of life. It's exciting. As soon as she makes her choice, Tris moves from one challenge to the next just to prove that she deserves to be a part of her new faction. She makes friends for the first time, experiences quite a few new things, and meets a boy she's drawn to: Four.

I love Four. He's wonderful, good looks and hot tattoos aside. I love his character. He isn't perfect or always nice. He's real and he's damaged and I absolutely love him. Veronica Roth has a way with creating real characters that you can't help but get attached to.

Everything about this book was fantastic: the plot, the world building, every single character (including her parents and brother!). Regardless of how you feel about dystopian books, you need to check this one out. I will be waiting patiently anxiously for book two.

Visit the author online.
Buy the book: Amazon | B&N | Book Depository


Jaimie said...

Yo, what's up with you? (Remember when I took a sort of blogging hiatus? I'm not "back" or anything, but obviously I think you're pretty great [OBVIOUSLY] and I'm wondering how you're doing.)

Ahhh Divergent. I didn't love that book. It got sort of slow at the 1/3 mark and I couldn't finish it. I didn't even feel the desire to skim it. I wanted it to surprise me more, and it wasn't doing that. For being about going outside one's comfort zone, it felt pretty safe.

"And now we're going to jump off a train together, and now we're going to jump off a building together, and now we're going to play capture the flag together."

One of the ways The Hunger Games rocked at the out-of-your-element thing was that Katniss was so alone. From the second chapter. I was never shocked at anything Tris was doing because hundreds of people had done it before her.

Anyway, sorry for the essay. I haven't really vocalized this yet. Thinking aloud.

Amanda J. said...

Yea, I haven't read Hunger Games yet. I was planning on it, even bought the first book, but then Mockingjay came out and everyone got pissed at the ending and made me not want to hurry to read it.

As for the comfort factor in Divergent, it never really came across that way to me. Yes, they were all together, but even after they jump off the train a girl who has done it hundreds of times before falls to her death. So there's still constant danger, especially for a girl who has never done anything. I see your point though, just goes to show that everyone likes different things. :)

Jaimie said...

Yeah, I am in no way recommending The Hunger Games, lol.

And I agree that Divergent didn't work with me on a gut level, which is why my review reads all "the only way this could have pleased me was by being a different book altogether." Her writing was very strong. I'd be interested to read something from her -- something adult which I think better suits her contemplative style.


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