Sunday, May 8, 2011

Book Review: Divergent, by Veronica Roth

Author: Veronica Roth
Release Date: May 2011
Publisher: HarperCollins 
4.5 Stars - LOVED this book!

Synopsis: 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.
Debut author Veronica Roth bursts onto the literary scene with the first book in the Divergent series—dystopian thrillers filled with electrifying decisions, heartbreaking betrayals, stunning consequences, and unexpected romance.

WARNING: Spoilers!  
First of all, I loved this book.  I only had one real problem with it.  I guess I will start with my critizism, and end with my praise.
The only thing that kept me from giving this book a 5 star rating was the serious lack of reaction and grief to her parents deaths.  The author really tried to covey a closeness between Tris and her mom, but I didn't really feel it.  My biggest issue was her reaction, or lack there of to her mother and fathers deaths.  When her mother was shot in front of her,  Tris was trying to be brave and move on to save more people.  After that she also watched her father shot and killed, and still she pulled through it.  That is great, it showed how brave she was.  It was how she reacted when the battle was over.  Saved the boy, kissed him, and moved on.  I have lost both of my parents, and maybe not in the violent fashion that she did, but I can tell you about the extreme amount of grief that I felt.  I just wanted more emotion from Tris and the author.
 Now for what I loved!  Since The Hunger Games, Dystopian fiction has exploded.  Divergent brings to life an extremely different future, reminiscent of what would happen if "cliques" from High School took over the world.  The choice you make is in complete control of your eminent future, and you can not change it.  Your life is set in stone.  I loved the idea of the "self-less" leaders.  The problem is that we are human, and human beings have always hungered for power and influence.  There will always be corrupt, jealous people.  I loved the original Dauntless philosophy of facing your fears and living life to its fullest.  As usual, it was malformed by power hungry people.  
I liked watching Tris transform, face her fears and become her own person.  The very beginning of the book, where she gets to sit in from of the mirror for those few minutes was one of my favorite scenes of the entire book.  It was heartbreaking, and eyeopening at the same time.  Tris stays true to herself by getting tattoos of her family, and not forgetting where she came from.       
I haven't figured out if its a good or bad thing when the author leaves out the reason for the fall of our society, she leaves that a mystery.  I want to know what is outside of the wall! Are there more societies with their own factions? Are the Dauntless protecting the city from Zombies?  What happened to Tris's Friend Christina? Did Al really kill himself or was he a Divergent also?
Hopefully some of these questions will be answered in the next book!

Did I forget to mention how much I LOVED the cover??

Photo and synopsis courtesy of Goodreads


1 comment:

  1. Great review and totally understand the concerns. can't waot for next book either