Veronica Roth‘s Divergent was one of 2011 must reads. I remember the day I waltz into Borders and seeing it sitting there on the shelf. I thought the premise was a little too Hunger Games for me. But it was on my to-read list on Goodreads, and I thought, why not?
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Okay so according to Goodreads a five star rating means ‘it was amazing’ and after reading so many dystopians, I didn’t think this was possible, but there we go, there is the rating, and yes, believe me it was amazing.
sixteen year old Beatrice Prior is on the verge of choosing the Faction she will live in for the rest of her life. On the day of her test something goes wrong and affects how she ends up choosing. There are five factions, Abnegation (selflessness), Erudite (knowledge), Candor (honesty), Dauntless (brave/fearlessness) and Amity (peace/friendship). When she chooses Dauntless she becomes Tris, and from there her initiation marks the path to what it really means to be Dauntless. Veronica Roth has created a remarkable dystopian world and Tris’s story is page flipping.
I picked this book up when I happened to be in Borders because well, it’s been on my to-read list for a while, and I absolutely loved the cover. The premise on the back though…that just told me this was another dystopian future world that is very restricting, not much different to other recent debut Dystopians, Such as Matched, Delirium, and Wither (Which I have yet to read). They’re all similar in the sense that a) they’re dystopians and b) they are about a future that either has a controlling sector or varying factions (although I cannot speak for Wither because I have yet to read that one. I just included it because of its similar sounding similarities.) And blah blah blah so on right…so what makes me rate this one 5/5 that’s easy…it’s actiony, and real sounding. The romance was not the singular focus but it was there. The mysterious ‘Four’ was cute and sexy in the way Roth delivered him. The protagonist though – she was strong willed, and human – italics because what person is ever just stupid brave or selfless? Tris is every and none of them at the same time, which makes her likeable, real, and easy to empathise for the reader.
Now comparing it to the supposed it dystopian trilogy – The Hunger Games which did not get a high rating from me except for the last book, I’d have to say I preferred Divergent better. Don’t get me wrong, I liked The Hunger Games but Divergent had a quality to it that made it so much more readable.
But hold up a second – I’m not saying it was perfect. No book is. I already mentioned that the summary on the back didn’t quite intrigue me, and I’ll say that when I first began the novel I was a bit iffy, because you know I just finished reading Delirium which was like Matched love based, so my hopes weren’t too high. And plus the writing at the beginning began rockily so I really was iffy, until the story starting sucking me in. The further I read the more I couldn’t put it down. I had to know how Tris dealt with her problems, with Four, with her enemies and her friends, and her family. I just had to know. And bam! just like that it was 1am in the morning and the book was finished. It took me a total of 3 or 4 hours to finish – which I only ever do to books that absolutely amaze me. I didn’t do it to Delirium – which took me what 8 hours over 2 – 3 days to finish. And I didn’t do it to The Hunger Games– well I did with the first book only because I skimmed the second half of the novel because I couldn’t stand anymore of Katniss’s whining and manipulating.
SO you’ll have to try this out if you’re interested in Dystopian fiction. But if you’re looking for novels like Delirium or Matched then you might not like this as much, not that I’m saying you won’t. But…if you’ve read The Hunger Games or even the the Obernewtyn series by Isobelle Carmody then you’ll like Divergent.