Review: Divergent

Title: Divergent (Divergent #1)
Author: Veronica Roth
Published: May 3rd 2011
Synopsis: In Beatrice Prior’s dystopian Chicago, 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 to determine who her friends really are—and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes infuriating 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 a growing conflict that threatens to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves . . . or it might destroy her.

I bought this book having very high expectations as I only read good reviews. Before reading, I tried lowering my expectations so as to not be disappointed but there wasn’t any need to do that as Divergent is a highly enjoyable book though not without flaws. I’ll touch on the good stuff first.

Believe people when they say that they could not put this down. I tried convincing myself that I would close the book after just one more chapter but somehow that turned into staying up for hours. It’s a fast paced read with rarely any dull moments and the story is centred around remarkable characters but honestly, only one made me love this book as much as I do.

Tris (Beatrice) is awesome. She is strong, determined, smart and her development as a character is amazing. Initially, she’s Abnegation but questions the way she lives her life, she is quiet, innocent and there are instances in the beginning of the book which reflect these qualities. However, she grows into a very brave person, at times she was conflicted and may come off as cold but I liked that. It made her interesting and more dimensional as a character. I wasn’t really attracted to any other character though I did like Christina. I wasn’t captivated by Four as other readers were though he is strong and I liked that the author showed his vulnerabilities and different sides to him. For me, Tris outshone everyone but I do hope in Insurgent that the side characters are explored in more dept.

For half of the book, we see the Dauntless initiation and much of the focus is on the survival of Tris and her friends, this is where we see the changes in Tris not only due to the hardships of this new life but the freedom that allows her to interact with people and make the choices that she wants to make. The initiation was exciting, intense and there were moments where I had to calm myself before I read another page. The Dauntless are crazy and their actions make Divergent an “oh damn I can’t put this down” novel.

Now onto the things that bothered me about Divergent though it is very little. I had some concern as to the development of the factions. How was it developed? How did society become like this? What is the world like outside of Chicago? I would have liked if some of my questions were answered. Some things in the book were predictable but it didn’t really take away from the reading experience, I just wanted more and more. Most times I was busy rolling around fangirling over scenes in the book.

The climax, those brilliant last 100 oh so pages were so intense, emotional and incredible. I was very impressed by the time I finished. Veronica Roth managed to suck me in, keep me captivated and engrossed even though at times I thought “Oh this is ridiculous”. Plus there were extra sprinkles of awesomeness such as a little romance, humour and interesting relationships. This is an amazing book, if you enjoy dystopia YA then you’ll love this. If my gushing was no indication then I shall say it, I love this book. Read it.

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