Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Divergent by Veronica Roth

Divergent (Divergent, #1)
by Veronica Roth

Hardcover487 pages
Published May 3rd 2011 by Katherine Tegen Books

Goodreads Choice Award for Favorite Book of 2011 and for Best Young Adult Fantasy & Science Fiction (2011)

Premise: Ganked from Goodreads:

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 rec'd this book via Secret Santa from A Bird's Eye Review - thx, Somer!!!!!  :-D

My Rating: 5 – Love it!!

My Review (with not so many spoilers, but plenty of thought):

I love this book a lot… it’s almost an Instant Reread, 5.5. 

The entire 487 pages take place in a short amount of time, which means that it’s fast-paced action from start to finish. In that period of time, Beatrice makes life-changing decisions, discovers secrets about everyone in her family, turns into a muscle-bound, kick-butt woman, learns what it means to fall in love, overcomes her fears (literally), and joins forces to turn a revolution upside down.

*Deep breath*

What makes this bundle of action even more fun is that it’s complicated. There are the different factions supposedly working together in a hard futuristic setting. There are problems right from the beginning as “Divergent” is opened up as a frightening question that isn’t answered but sounds like a glitch in either the program or Beatrice's personality. People who are in leadership positions have hidden evil secrets and motivations. So, where there should be confidence for 16 yr olds in Initiation, there is a lot of insecurity instead. Complicated!!

And then there’s the amazing Dauntless faction and Tris’s crazy go-for-it attitude. It is so fun to be inside her head. I guess I am not really a Dauntless, although I feel brave and I’ve made plenty of crazy choices for the fun of it… I could never climb a ferris wheel.  Hahaha  No, not ever!!  Just reading it took my breath away, it was so well described. And that zip line?!  OMG!!!  I literally leapt out of my chair to run the other direction and only stopped by telling myself that I am just sitting, reading. No one’s actually asked ME to jump off of any buildings or moving trains. I also love how injuries abound. Fighting the way they do causes pain and injuries and the author gets it all in there from spreading bruises to gun shot wounds to getting admitted to the hospital after a brawl. I cringed over and over, but I’m glad the whole concept was included and people didn’t go around kicking someone in the ribs without consequences!

Ganked from Veronica Roth's blog
to break up my very long review!
The various factions were interesting and they created a great framework for the story. I don’t swallow the idea whole that most people fit in any one of these factions completely. I think everyone would be more like Tris and Four, fitting into more than one and having a tough choice. I mean, I love aspects of the Dauntless so that I would feel conflicted about joining, whereas I could see myself fitting into the Adnegation, too, but not comfortably. I’d probably run away eventually because as much as Faction-less is horrible, it’s not as horrible as being locked into one thing forever. Or, not for me as I understood the concepts. Candor is probably my easiest fit, but I try to keep control over my loose tongue, you know? It’s not usually appreciated!!  Amity looked by far the funnest place to hang out with the music and laughter and growing crops. I think they would be overwhelmed as people fled the other factions.  Hahaha   Finally, Erodite is almost more like a stage everyone needs to go through, studying and valuing knowledge higher than anything. I guess I’d probably find myself choosing between Erodite and Candor and I’d hate my choices.  Hahahahaha  It’s pretty creative of the author to come up with a system where everyone wants to see how they fit in, though, don’t you think?

I loved, loved how the love of knowledge got out of hand and figured out how to destroy two other factions at the same time. That was beautiful in a sick, twisted way. Knowledge unbalanced is no good!

Relationships. I really enjoyed Tris as she made choices every step of the way. I loved how she was frustrated with her parents and their coherence to the Not-Sharing rules of Abnegation. That was really frustrating when they knew information that could have helped her if they’d been willing to share experience. I loved how Tris made friends. Christine and Will were really fun people to get to know, making the Dauntless and the other factions more approachable and believable. Four was amazing. I especially loved how Tris and Four’s relationship grew so slowly, despite themselves. As teacher-student, they did not have freedom to express how they felt and there was a barrier between them that took a long time to pull down. As I learned more, I loved their relationship more because they had so many things in common and such mutual respect. Both of them were able to be themselves around each other and their individuality improved their togetherness. (So many times a romance disintegrates one of the character’s personalities, you know? One person is overpowering or extra special or something. But Tris and Four were both incredible people on their own and each of them had moments of looking at the other in awe. I totally loved that.)  I also loved how the parents and brother came back into the story with more depth. I felt the author hinted quite a lot about them and then revealed their true characters at a great time.
Insurgent (Divergent, #2)
This book ended in a great climax. Along with the action there was a culmination of being true to self, which was so great. I felt satisfied with the ending. There is plenty of a lingering mess and conniving bad guys to look forward to the next book. Although Tris survives to fight again, enough people have died that anything can happen and I can’t wait to find out what does happen in Insurgent.

The Author:
Veronica Roth
Veronica Roth
  Ganked from Goodreads: 
Veronica Roth is only 23, so her bio will be short. She’s from a Chicago suburb. She studied creative writing at Northwestern University, and wrote DIVERGENT (Katherine Tegen Books, May 2011). The second book in The Divergent Trilogy, INSURGENT, will come out in May 2012. In the meantime she will spend endless hours browsing Wikipedia in her pajamas as she eats corn flakes. (Or some other kind of bland breakfast cereal.)

If you have reviewed Divergent, leave me a link!!!  I'd love to see your review!!!