Dec 8, 2012

Review: Divergent by Veronica Roth

Title: Divergent
Author: Veronica Roth
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Publishing Date: May 3, 2011
Pages/Format: 487, Paperback

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.

Initial Reaction of Book in One Word: GREAT

I am a nitpicker. When I read books, I try to find something wrong with them, something that bothers me. Divergent may have been a little insta-love (something that never really bothered me until people started pointing it out), and thinking back on it something may have been missing, but I don't know what. In truth, that's just me nitpicking and thinking about the book a week after I read it. Because, really, I can't find anything wrong Divergent. The pace never bothered me (in fact, I rarely even thought about it), it was well-written, and it was pretty much flawless. That rarely ever happens, you know. I usually find something that really bugs me about a book, but this has, like, nothing. How did you do it, Roth?

The real problem with Divergent is me--as in, why did it take me so long to read this book? It's been released for over a year, and I just now read it. Why, Rachel, why? Why do you do this? I don't know. I must be crazy. *reads all the books* This book was good. Like, really, really good. (A part of me still thinks it may have been missing a little, teeny tiny something, but I'm ignoring that thought.) Once I got into Divergent, I didn't want to stop reading it. I wanted to stay up all night and skip school and not do anything but read, but I couldn't. When I picked my cousin up from school and we were in the slowest moving parking lot ever I was reading while driving. (.789 mph, but still. True story!) I loved the world-building (similar to how it is today, yet so different) and the characters (well, not all the characters) and the story and everything.

I feel like a lot happened in this book, but it was done in a way that didn't feel rushed. It worked. (Thank you, Veronica Roth, for not making this feel so fast-paced.) The end of the book took me by surprise--I didn't expect things to get so climatic until the second or third book. Now I have no idea what to expect and I think that's awesome. The world was futuristic yet not--the setting itself was close to present day, but it's the factions that made it futuristic. The idea of factions is fascinating, by the way. I think it's an interesting way to break people up. For the most part, I liked the characters. Tris was a strong character of her own. (Side note: I am not happy that Shailene Woodley is portraying her in the movie. Not at all.) I loved Four--mysterious, tattoos, honest. I really hated Peter and Eric, and I may have thought violent thoughts about them. I also liked the process of being initiated into a chosen faction, and how it all worked. It was cool to see that, and I thought it was done well--and the fearscapes were interesting.

I remembering reading this book and thinking, this is going to be my shortest review ever, because I was kind of speechless. I didn't know what to say about this book, it was so good. Fortunately, I did manage to find something to say. I know I've said this before, but in the end this book was just so good. If you haven't read it, please do. Not just because it's good, but because it's well-written. I can't wait to read Insurgent (I'm around the 60th hold at my library, which is not okay) and to see what happens next. This is a book you want on your "Read" list.

Did I like it? It's hard not to.
Did I love it? Yes.
Would I reread it? Most likely.
Would I purchase it? Already have it!
Would I recommend it? Yes.

1 comment:

  1. The real problem with Divergent is me--as in, why did it take me so long to read this book?

    BAHAHAHAHA! That is almost IDENTICAL to what I said in my review! Fortunately it only took me 6 months to read it- go happy that you liked it! :D


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