Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Book Review: Divergent

Divergent by Veronica Roth

Release Date: May 3, 2011
Pages: 487
Source and Format: Library; Hardcover

Summary (From Goodreads)
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.

Thoughts on Divergent
Hi, my name is Lesley Anne and Divergent gave me JOMCS (Just One More Chapter Syndrome). I could not stop reading this book! I originally approached Divergent with skepticism due to the assumed similarities to The Hunger Games, since nothing could possibly measure up to THG when it came to dystopian fiction. (P.S. Have y'all seen the new movie posters for Catching Fire?! OMG! November can't get here soon enough!). 

But I was pleased to find myself loving Divergent just as much as The Hunger Games, just in a different way. Veronica Roth's dystopian world is so unique and intriguing, one that seems picture perfect on the surface, but secretly you know it could crack at any moment. This was not a world where there was an obvious evil, which made Divergent even more compelling in my opinion.

At first I thought I might have a hard time connecting with the characters in this book, but I was wrong about that as well. Tris was just so much fun to read about! She's a heroine with definite flaws and still has a lot to learn about herself, but she also doesn't let people push her around. She's one tough cookie. And Four. Le sigh. I could go on and on about how much I love Four, but that would take away the fun of reading the book for yourself (if you're one of the few who hasn't). ;)  

I was also surprised by the number of complex issues addressed in Divergent. Things like the impossibility of fitting people into a predetermined box, the depravity of man and how good intentions can quickly go awry, how the media can be used to manipulate opinion rather than expose truth, etc. were constant themes throughout the novel. I feel that if I were part of a book club discussing this book, there would be a lot of good conversations...over some good wine, of course!

Thankfully I got an email from the library today saying my copy of Insurgent is ready for pick up, the next installment in the trilogy. But the real question is, how on earth am I going to wait until October 22 for the Book 3 release? It's going to be a long seven months!

Memorable Quotes  
"I have a theory that selflessness and bravery aren't all that different."

"Human beings as a whole cannot be good for long before the bad creeps back in and poisons us again."

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