Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Review: Divergent by Veronica Roth

Badass. That is my word of choose to describe both the protagonist and the author of this amazing book. I’d had my eye on this book for a few weeks after hearing amazing things about it and now after reading it, I want to write so more amazing things about it as it is, as all the reviews said; amazing.  
Divergent is one of those books where you pick it up, begin to read and can’t put it down. You physically can’t. From the moment I began reading I could not be detached from it and read the entire thing in one sitting. I was walking the streets of Melbourne with book in front of my face, stepping on more than one set of toes and getting yelled at for not looking where I was going but I really couldn’t care less. And now that I’ve finished, I’ve already picked it up again to lose myself in this astonishing world Veronica Roth has created.

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. (Taken from the Divergent Trilogy fansite here)

Without being too spoilery, the book is set in a world where when you turn sixteen you must choose a faction in which to spend your life. You can stay with your family in the faction you grew up in, or you can leave and make a home for yourself elsewhere. There are five factions; Amity, Erudite, Abnegation, Candor and Dauntless. And they each represent something different.
This was an aspect of the book I loved. I loved sitting there after I’d finished the book and mulling over exactly which faction I think I would belong in. Would I brave enough to join the Dauntless? Good enough for Abnegation? Which would I choose, and could I ever belong there? This is an amazingly thought provoking novel.
With all the layers of secret and mystery in Divergent, it is truly a page turner that you will not be able to forget. An intricate plot unravels in this action packed novel through the eloquent writing of Veronica Roth. It will have you screaming at the book, laughing out loud and when you turn the last page, begging for more.
As I said at the top of this review, I cannot describe Tris, the protagonist, with any word more appropriate than badass. Tris is everything I wish I could be, brave, strong, smart and and at her core essentially good. She is also real. I'm not a fan of characters who show no indecision and don't even think about what they may have done after it and therefore I loved Tris who reflects back, shows regret and thought on what she's done. And loved watching her grow as a character and can't wait to read more about her,
Also this book offered me yet another fictionaly guy to crush on. And oh how I love him so. Four. He is the man I want to have my fictional babies with! I don't want to say too much about him so I don't ruin him for anyone, but just remember, when you read abourt him and subsequently fall in love with him, I've called dibs!
With a cast of memorable and sometimes sinister characters Divergent is something special all fans of dystopian fiction should read!

4/5 silver platters!

- Laura

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