Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Divergent


Author: Veronica Roth
Genre: Young Adult/Dystopian
Type: Paperback
Pages: 487
First Published: 2011
Series: 1st book in the Insurgent trilogy
Series Order to date : Divergent (2011), Insurgent (2012)
First Line: "There is ONE mirror in my house."

Synopsis:  Imagine if one choice decided your future.  Imagine a world where society is divided into five factions.  Each faction is very distinct and focuses on different virtues in the hope that a 'perfect' society will be formed.  

When teens turn sixteen they are given an aptitude test to help them determine which faction they are suited for.  Shortly after the testing they attend a Choosing Day celebration where they will decide which faction they will live in for the rest of their lives.

Sixteen year old Beatrice Prior has been raised in the very sedate and self-sacrificing faction of Abnegation.  When it's her turn to decide which faction she wants to live in she decides to reject her family's faction in favour of another.  She even goes so far as to change her name to Tris as she begins her brutal and challenging initiation into her new faction. 

Tris also learns that the aptitude test that she took before the Choosing ceremony indicated that she has very unique talents.  Talents that put her life at risk.  Tris is warned to keep her results secret for if certain people found out about her 'talents' they would want to destroy her.

My Thoughts:  After hearing a lot of good things about Divergent I finally picked it up after the kids and I ran into Chapters for some new reading material.  This is a fast-paced read that not only has loads of action scenes but also has interesting characters and keeps the reader intrigued about certain secrets which the author slowly reveals. 

The characters, for the most part, are quite interesting.  Tris is, by far, my favourite character.  She's a strong female lead character who goes from this meek girl who lives in a very strict and stifling society to a young woman who finds the strength needed to survive in her new faction totally separate from the family she left behind.  Tris does have her own personal issues but I like that the reader sees her work through them -- even if she tends to work through her issues faster than I would have thought possible.  She goes from meek to strong/brave rather quickly.  I would have loved to see her struggle a bit more with her new world/friends etc. 

I found the issue of Tris' divergency (I won't give away what exactly that means) one of the most interesting parts of the book and can't wait to see where Roth takes the storyline.  I think that Roth has just hit the tip of the iceberg and will explain more about what divergency entails in future books (or at least that's what I'm suspecting).  I'm also intrigued to learn more about Tris' family and how their involved with the overall plot.  

One character that didn't impress me was Four (the male lead charater, not to be confused with the numeral).  He was just OK for me.  Kind of blaw actually.  Their romance was a little hokey for my tastes but, then again, I've been married 'for evah' and if I was a 16 year old teen reading this I think I'd have a different view of their relationship.

As a dystopian read it's good.  Do I understand the different factions clearly?  Not really.  Their descriptions are short and kind of glossed over.  Can I picture a society in which people are divided so extremely.  No (thankfully) but I'm hoping that the other factions will be explained more as Tris has more interaction (I'm assuming) in future books.  All this aside, I did really enjoy this book for what it was.  A good, action-filled escapist read that has me looking forward to reading the next book in the series, Insurgent, to see what's in Tris' future.

My Rating: 4/5 stars

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