Review: Divergent (Veronica Roth)

Product Details:
Reading Level: YA
Pages: 487
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books (March 1, 2011)
ISBN: 9780062024022
Source: My own copy


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.

Divergent (Divergent, #1)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.

If I had to describe this book with just one word, it would be: intense. The dystopian world that Roth has created is truly intense. I couldn’t imagine having to pick a “faction” that would require the dedication of the rest of my life, especially the factions in Divergent. I think that Tris was one of the best characters I have read in a long time. She is strong, smart, and courageous. It was no surprise she chose to join the Dauntless faction. She belonged there more than any other recruit. But of course, her time during the initiation wasn't easy. It was very The Hunger Games-esque. The best and worst of human nature was present at all times.


Then there was Four. Smoldering, complicated Four.  Their relationship was wonderful. I loved that they were equals. There was no "side" with the upper hand. They fed off one another’s strengths. It was a very believable path towards a relationship, and I am a sucker for a good love story. Granted Four wasn't making bread, but he still won a spot in my heart.

I thought the overall plot of the book was fantastic. It was a little slow at first, but it picked up quickly. There were plenty of terrifying twists and turns throughout Tris’s time in the Dauntless headquarters. However, the tension was slow building; but when it exploded, it hit the fan. At times, I was a little frustrated with the slow building tension, but I appreciate its purpose. It was a slow and steady building climax, but the ending was a bit unresolved, in my opinion. There was a huge climatic event that didn’t seem to offer much resolution, but I know that’s because the next book is going to begin in the middle of some kick butt action. Overall, this was a good read, but I think book two will be better.
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2 comments:

Sarah E. said... .

I loved Divergent! It really blew my mind :)

February 27, 2012 at 9:35 AM
The Flashlight Reader said... .

Honestly, I am still thinking about this one. I read it right after finishing the Hunger Games trilogy, so it didn't seem as fresh as I would have liked it to be. BUT, I did think it was pretty darn good. I think by the time the next book comes around, it will be one of my faves.
February 27, 2012 at 5:00 PM

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