Friday, May 11, 2012

Review: Divergent by Veronica Roth

Title: Divergent (Divergent #1)
Author: Veronica Roth
Published: May 2011 (Katherine Tegen Books)
Summary: 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.

My Review: Quick back story (and, thanks to Phineas and Ferb, I now always think of Doofenshmirtz any time I hear that term, LOL). A couple weeks ago, I had one of those moments when I finished an incredible book - Outlander in this case - and I had no idea what to read next. I knew my next book would have to be amazing, too, but I couldn't decide what I wanted to read because nothing seemed quite right. But then my roommate had a horse show, and I went to support her. However, she only rode for the total of about an hour in the course of a 5-hour show. Thankfully, I'd had the foresight to bring along a book (because, well, that's just what I do). It was Divergent. OH MY GOSH. I read about fifteen pages before she started, and after that, the second she was done in any of her sections, I made a dive-bomb back to my book. I could barely tear myself away. I attempted to read it while I was walking back to the room after the show, but it was raining and I didn't want to mess up the pages. I finished it quickly, wrote down the quotes I'd noted, and handed it off to Lynne, who then proceeded to read it all that night as well. We frequently pass books back and forth, but we haven't both read the same copy of the same book on the same day since The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer. (For the record, Divergent was even better and just as addicting!)

There were so many things I loved about Divergent. The first was the creativity behind the world itself. There were five factions, kind of like the Harry Potter houses, each focusing strongly on one trait. However, the people were crazy strict about it. The reasoning behind the forming of the factions was interesting and made sense as to which traits were chosen. I also liked the names of the factions; they fit really well with their connected traits. The details of the world were incredible, particularly in the faction Beatrice chose. The descriptions really sparked my imagination, and I could see all these incredible things. Roth did a great job with that.

The second thing I loved was how incredibly riveting it was! The characters, chemistry, and circumstances all combined and begged you to stay in the story. I liked the unpredictability of it. Sure, there were foreseeable moments, but there were some interesting twists I was not expecting. A couple of those broke my heart a little bit, but it's still something I can appreciate in a story.

As for the characters, the cast of characters in Divergent was large, yet not. The "main" secondary characters were fairly easy to keep straight after they were all introduced, especially because they were all so different. Tris was interesting, and I liked her! And then there was Four. Excuse me while I swoon. Loved him! The chemistry between the two of them was great (and it produced some great quotes, which you will see momentarily). Their relationship progressed a little too quickly and didn't have enough subtleties for my taste, and I feel like they suffered a little for it. But then, I'm weird and like my fictional relationships to have some crazy long build-up. I still loved them, though.

I felt like I was the very last person in the YA-reading world to read Divergent, but I'm actually not! I've seen several people "currently reading" it, and a couple people mentioned they haven't read it yet, either. If you fit into that category, I would encourage you to read it! After all, what are you waiting for? The second book is officially here! Or, in my case, will either be here after 105 people from the library finish reading it, or I cave and buy it. Whichever comes first.

(Apparently, EVERY SINGLE quote I saved was about Tris's reaction to Four. Whoops! Guess you can tell where my mind was... Honestly, though, who's actually surprised?)

When he stops in front of me, my insides twist like someone’s stirring them with a fork.
Something about him makes me feel like I am about to fall. Or turn to liquid. Or burst into flames.
I feel my heartbeat everywhere, even in my toes.
Sometimes I see him as just another person, and sometimes I feel the sight of him in my gut, like a deep ache.
Stay Up 'til 2 AM
Purchase this book at: Amazon || Barnes & Noble || The Book Depository


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Psst! I now reside over at The Book Barbies. I'd still love to hear your thoughts, though!