25 February, 2012 | By: Rhee

Review: Divergent

Divergent (Divergent, #1)

Title: Divergent
Author: Veronica Roth
Series: Divergent
Pages: 487
Published: 2011

Summary: In a future Chicago, 16-year-old Beatrice Prior must choose among five predetermined factions to define her identity for the rest of her life, a decision made more difficult when she discovers that she is an anomaly who does not fit into any one group, and that the society she lives in is not perfect after all.

Review: I’m always hesitant of novels that have ended up on bestseller lists, especially since the whole Twilight fiasco all those years ago. Reading Divergent was something that I had wanted to do since it had come out, but I kept having to put it off because of one thing or another, and by the time I got back to it, I was hesitant to read it. It was recommended to me as a read for this month and so I took on the challenge and actually sat down to read Divergent, allowing myself to get into the book and read it, and I have to say that I was very surprised with how much I liked it.

Set in futuristic, dystopian Chicago, Divergent is about a girl named Beatrice who has to pick which of the five factions (groups of people) she belongs in. She finds out during the test that she’s a Divergent (destined for multiple factions) and is told to keep the whole thing secret while she considers which faction to choose.

The five factions: Candor, Erudite, Abnegation, Amity and Dauntless, each have a key defining point that make them a faction. The faction that Beatrice chooses, Dauntless, is known for bravery. She then changes her name to Tris and meets Four, her new coach who is to lead her and the other new transfers through the screening process to stay in Dauntless. If not, then end up factionless, the equivalent of a homeless person and they have no one or nothing to look forward to ever.

I really liked reading Divergent because the plotline was intriguing and the relationship between Tris and Four builds beautifully, in a sort of slow and continuous way rather than choppily or sudden like most YA novels these days. I just had a problem with the way that the Dauntless worked. I mean, the fact that they all wore black and had tattoos and piercings was cool and all, but the concept of jumping on and off of trains, throwing yourself off of buildings and basically letting yourself get killed or almost killed just in order to be accepted into the faction is ridiculous and disturbing. Well, not disturbing, but quite improbable.

The thing that I understood the least was that Tris and all of these recruits just went along with it like there was nothing wrong whatsoever. I understand that had they not, they would have ended up factionless and that is a disturbing thought within itself, but it just seems like people wouldn’t blindly go through all of these tests without even knowing if they’re going to come out of it alive or not. SPOILER: [Also, a place where suicide is considered a bold and heroic movement is…I don’t have words…]

Aside from that, I really liked the plotline and I really liked that the author didn’t leave us with a cliffhanger that made us desperately crave the next one the second it was done. I have to say that I desperately craved it anyway, but the point of that is that cliffhangers seem to be the next big thing in YA fiction and it’s really frustrating because I’m sick of being stuck in these , ‘Will this happen will that happen oh my god what’s next!?’ ending to books. I like that Veronica Roth didn’t leave us with a cliffhanger and yet still left us desiring more. I’m craving the next book so badly that it makes me want to cry.

I can’t wait to see what happens in Insurgent, and if you haven’t read Divergent yet, you really need to. Despite some plot holes that I really can’t get past, it’s a really amazing novel, and it deserves to be read.

Rating: ★★★★ 4/5 Stars

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