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Monday, June 6, 2011

Review of Divergent by Veronica Roth

~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.~

It's been almost a year since I posted a book review. Where does the time go? I blame my absence on being very ill, a minor surgery followed by a major surgery, and a complete lack of interest in most of my reading material lately.

But I am delighted to say Divergent has changed all that!

This book is the first YA book I have read in a while (since Hunger Games most likely) that didn't make me want to stick my fingers deep inside my throat until putrid yellow bile came spurting out. Most YA books try to keep things so tame that they literally bore me to tears. I am so sick of the build up, the love triangles, and the resulting nothing ending that leaves almost everything unresolved because the writers have to drag everything out into at least a trilogy nowadays. It's sickening. I've mentioned before my hatred for the cliffhanger ending and the being held hostage by the author...Roth doesn't do this to us.

Granted, from what I have learned, there will be at least two other books in the Divergent series. But that's not the important part. The important part is that there doesn't have to be. If this was a stand alone book I would be 100% happy. It solved the issues that needed to be solved and it concluded. The end. I see where it can go if it wants to (which it obviously does) but it doesn't have to. And that is the major point. Most books skip so much of the story because they know they have to leave something for that next book, and to be honest, it makes the books dull and empty. Divergent is full of story, character, action, everything. Nothing is lacking.

One of my favourite parts of Divergent is the characters. Not just the main characters, all the characters. I am so tired of the "cardboard" characters in these YA books. I rarely can connect with them. They just don't seem real. They don't make real people decisions, and they often lack emotion.

Veronica Roth has created fabulous characters. The main character is not just the typical strong female teen we get in most YA books these days. She has actual flaws. She makes both good and bad decisions, decisions that I could see myself making given the circumstances involved.

The minor characters are real. They are not just there to fill a spot in the story. They have strong personalities and stand out on their own in the story. Most times when I am reading a book and the main character mentions another character I tend to have to think very hard about who it is again they are talking to. Not with Divergent. I immediately know which character is in every scene.

I just can't say enough good things about this book and I don't want to keep rambling on so I'll end it here...fabulous it now.

My rating?

5 stupendous scribble spiders out of 5!


  1. Excellent review! (I'm nodding like a bobble-head here.)

    Regarding cliffhangers - they drive me crazy, and lately it feels they are everywhere in YA. Which makes me look forward to Jennifer Estep's new YA due out next week (Mythos Academy) - her adult books have incredible endings. All the plot threads get tied up, and she has exquisite timing that gives the story time to "settle"... yet she introduces just a hint of mystery to pull you into the next book in the series. Truly excellent writing, and I hope she does the same with her YA story.

  2. I totally agree with the part where you mention that the side characters 'real'. I actually found myself feeling for the side characters. Usually, I just feel a bit then it dissipates by the next few chapters. But this one really keeps a subtle reminder of the other characters, and for that I'm grateful . =)