Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Divergent by Veronica Roth (Divergent #1)

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Goodreads Summary

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, Tris also learns that her secret might help her save the ones she loves . . . or it might destroy her.


Review

I have to admit. This was pretty amazing. The world building was pretty great, even though I still have SO MANY questions. But for now, I'm good. I'm hooked. I can't WAIT until I can finally get my hands on Insurgent and Allegiant.


I really liked Beatrice's POV. Or, I guess I should say Tris. She is pretty kickass, in a way that's subtle at first. But as you read on, you discover that she's real. I had no trouble believing her personality, her feelings, her actions. She can be selfish just as easily as she can be selfless. She's human. And every now and then, that's pretty refreshing. She's not overtly pretty, as far as I could tell. But I'd love to have her as a friend. I feel like I could count on her. Is it just me?

Four. Oh my goodness, Four. I really admire Roth for this aspect of the book. Because even though I absolutely wanted Four and Tris to become something, that was just about the last thing from Tris's mind. I mean, sure, there's a few funny looks and weird fluttery feelings. But Tris brushes it aside. She focuses on what's really important. And while I was sometimes begging, PLEASE GET WITH HIM ALREADY. On the other hand I was like YOU ARE SO AWESOME. Because she doesn't need a guy. At all. But damn, is Four awesome. And I loved watching them get to know each other. That was the best.

What kept this from being a five might have been the plot. It was a steady pace and it kicked up at the end. But for the most part, it focused on the initiation and that's great, but it took up most of the book. And the whole time I'm wondering, is there a point to this? I was more interested in the subplot at times. Like, what's Tris's mother up to? How's Caleb doing? What the hell is going on with Erudite and why is it affecting Abnegation and Dauntless? And then the main thing: what's up with those walls, and what the hell is outside them? Why are we still in this initation process??

Don't get me wrong. I liked it. The fear simulations and the knife-throwing and the final test. The rankings and competition. The insight into Dauntless and a reflection of Abnegation. The subtle looks into what their society should be like, but what it's really like. I love that kind of stuff. And I want more.

Rating: 4 stars


Recommendation: Those who read dystopians. Or sci-fi. Or anything remotely cool (;

-Wolfie

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