Divergent by Veronica Roth Book Review

Friday, July 20, 2012 10:18 PM

Divergent by Veronica Roth
Publisher: Harper Collins
Release Date: May 3, 2011
487 pages, Divergent #1
Rating: 5 stars
Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes and Noble

"Becoming fearless isn't the point. That's impossible. It's learning how to control your fear, and how to be free from it.” ― Veronica RothDivergent

Synopsis
In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago world, 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 alongside her fellow initiates to live out the choice they have made. Together they must undergo extreme physical tests of endurance and intense psychological simulations, some with devastating consequences. As initiation transforms them all, Tris must determine who her friends really are--and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes exasperating 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 unrest and growing conflict that threaten to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves . . . or it might destroy her. (Goodreads)

My Thoughts
Divergent was a wonderful read! From start to finish I could not put it down. I literally devoured this book, only taking breaks to eat. Divergent is constantly compared to The Hunger Games, but while there may be a couple of similarities, this series starts off original and refreshing. And if I had to compare, I would say Divergent is better than The Hunger Games in some ways.

First of all, there is no love triangle! That's cause for celebration! Divergent's romance was well-done, and Tris is only interested in Four with no rivals for her attentions. I hate when the story revolves around the protagonist trying to pick between two love interests. And then people make teams around which guy she should pick until everything becomes absolutely ridiculous (cough Twilight). In Divergent, we stick to one potential boyfriend, and I love him so much. Yes, he's sweet to Tris, which is awesome. But I really liked that he had a head on his shoulders and was able to assess a situation logically. Plus, he isn't too lovesick and sappy to make the reader feel slight indigestion if you're inclined to that.

I loved Tris as well. I have been reading about some great heroines lately, but she really outshines the rest because 1) she can kick ass despite her small size, 2) she's self-sufficient and doesn't depend on Four for survival, and (3) she outwits others. I really enjoyed watching her grow as the story developed, and I loved that she had flaws and imperfections. It should bother me that she was the cliched sixteen year old flat-chested, never been kissed heroine but it didn't for some reason. I guess because her appearance seemed to take a backseat for the most part. Roth concentrated more on her personality traits. What a surprise in a society organized into factions by virtues!

I loved the action-packed scenes and the tension building between initiates. Divergent is definitely a fast-paced read. The tattoos were also a nice addition as their symbolism brought a lot to the story. I now feel a certain attachment to the characters, especially Caleb, Tris, and Four. I also loved  Christina and Will and how, despite some bumps in the road, they stood by Tris. Lately, I've missed having friendship emphasized in books instead of romance. In YA, girlfriends tend to turn against each other or the friends aren't as important as the boyfriend. I hope that their friendship only strengthens in the face of conflict, but I have an uneasy feeling it will go downhill.

In short, Divergent is a new favorite. I can't wait to read the sequel Insurgent!

Happy reading,

Courtney

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