“Divergent (Divergent #1)” by Veronica Roth
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Science Fiction, Dystopia
Summary from Goodreads:
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.
As much as I enjoy Dystopian fiction, I’m starting to grow a bit weary of it. Despite my weariness Divergent grabbed my attention and refused to let go until it was through with me. This was yet another book that I completely plowed through in about a day.
I had mixed feelings about the world building of the book. The reader is thrown into this other world blindly, which does happen in a good number of books. My problem was things were never really explained later on. All that was really said was there were many problems with the world so the solution was to divide into 5 factions. What were the problems? Is the whole country/world like this? Is there even life outside the city? I just had too many questions and not enough answers. Towards the end of the book, more of my questions are answered but not enough. I’ll let it slide for now since is is the first book.
The story was a good mix of things we know with a twist and new material. I enjoyed the fact that the kids here were put in charge of their own futures unlike many books where people have no choice where they end up. The factions reminded me a bit of the Hogwarts houses mixed with Districts from The Hunger Games.
There was a lot of gray area concerning my feelings towards the characters. Tris is very likable. I thought her fear of intimacy was a very good twist. That’s not something you see in many YA books. +1 for Tris. Like many others have already said, she is very reminiscent of Katniss. I grew to like Four more as the book went on. [On a related side note: I’m a bit irked that his name is Tobias. Mainly because I will never not think of Tobias Funke.] I absolutely despised Eric, Drew, Peter, and Molly. Will, Christina, and the others? Eh. I didn’t have very strong feelings either way for them.
Maybe I’m just cynical and grouchy but I wasn’t too fond of the romance between Tris and Four. I will say it was done very well, certainly better than most of the teen romances that I’ve read. I’m a big fan of books that don’t push the just meeting and falling in love. [Though I suspected from the start the two would end up together.] Their romance did seem very natural but I did start losing a bit of my interest when the romance popped up.
Also, huge standing ovation for Miss Roth. It completely and totally blows my mind that she’s the same age as I am and she wrote this while she was a college student. I had a hard enough time reading a book or two a month, let alone writing a book.
I don’t know what it is but there’s something holding me back from completely loving this book. Definitely pick this up if you’re a fan of Dystopian books.