Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Review - Divergent by Veronica Roth


Divergent #1
Genre: young adult / science fiction / dystopian
Pages: 487
Rating: 5/5 stars

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.

My thoughts
I have been wanting to read this book for a very long time. When a friend of mine said she had bought it and I could loan it, I first said that I was going to buy it myself. However, I couldn't wait any longer and borrowed the book from her anyway. I had heard about this book before, but never given it much thought until I heard it was being made into a movie. I'm really glad that I finally read it, because it's been one of the most enjoyable books in a while.
After The Hunger Games was a huge succes, there seemed to appear a lot of dystopian novels that where very much like The Hunger Games. Divergent is the first dystopian novel I've read in a while that was different than any of those. I was intrigued by the idea of a society split up in factions that represented certain character traits. Eventhough I don't think that governements would ever decide to organize their people this way because they probably would revolt against it, I could also see why people might think that this could actually work. I liked that the book was all about how Tris had to decide what her future would look like and how it would affect those she loves. Tris was a very realistic character and I could relate to her very easily, eventhough I live in a society that is completely different. She was a quiet girl, but was also strong-willed and brave. She was likable and smart, but she wasn't without flaws. Like any other human being she had her ups and downs and, she too, fell apart from time to time.
Christina, Will and All were all interesting characters too. They struggled in different ways with the question 'how far can I go to achieve what I want?' I liked that the line between friendship and enmity was sometimes very thin. Allthough it would have been hard to deal with that, it was very realistic that something like that would happen in such a harsh environment.
The book was very fast paced and a lot happened. Roth was not afraid to let unexpected things happen and because of that there wasn't a moment that I was bored or struggled to read on. This was definitely one of those stories that kept me up at night, wanting to know how it would continue. I can't wait to read the next book in the series and to see the movie.

'We believe in ordinary acts of bravery, in the courage that drives one person to stand up for another.'

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