Thursday, January 10, 2013

Review: Divergent

Divergent (Divergent, #1)
 by Veronica Roth
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, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves . . . or it might destroy her

Review: WARNING: This is going to be an obnoxiously gloating review because I LOVED THIS BOOK! I read this in three days....tops. I know I read a lot and I have a blog, but I am not an exceptionally fast reader, but I still finished it that fast! Tris is one of the greatest characters I have read about in a long time. Not only is she tough, brave and determined, but she is also kind, smart and self-less (letting her Abnegation roots show with that trait). However, Tris isn't some heroine that makes it all look easy or a superhero that built to be the best, she is just like you and me. She is a person that is thrown into an exceptional situation, and has to work hard through many challenges that don't always end well for her. She may falter a lot but she never gives up! Tris gets her ass kicked (multiple times), attacked, watched by the leaders and verbally attacked by another faction, which would probably break even the toughest of people, but not her. My point is, that Tris is awesome and definitely a female character I can get behind. 
     Four on the other hand is just swoon worthy. I mean really ladies, let's be honest, he is everything you could possibly look for in a book boyfriend (yes, I just used that term-deal with it!) and so much more. I am still left with all sorts of questions about him, such as how he got through testing without being detected as divergent and the whole history with his father, but from everything we do know about him I'm not sure I see any flaws! It surprises me to see a dauntless character that is also a fair balance of brutal but caring and not be kicked to the side of social order, but that's probably because he is the bad ass of any of them and could probably just knock them out.  It was comforting to see that along with Tris he has maintained his Abnegation roots and hasn't been lost in the "faction before blood" that most of the other people in this world seem to have done. 
     The group of friends that Tris keeps was another highlight of this book for me. Coming from all the factions and having varying personalities, I feel like each served as a catalyst in this story for Tris to become everything she is at the end. From former Candor, Christina to the couple of Dauntless born recruits they make a great clique of people that ultimately show great support when any of the friends need it, and loyalty when it counts (well, for the most part). These friends and the other people Tris loves are some of the reasons I am eagerly anticipating the second book in the series, they created all the traits I already listed that make me love this character. I know some of them are already dead, but I really hope they make a comeback in 2, or I'm going to be pretty sad :(
      Good guys aside, the bad guys are were I think I differ in opinion than the a lot of reviews I have read on the inter-webs about Divergent. I love the fact that all the "villains" in this book I truly hate. I could care less if Erik, Max, Peter and Jeanine get what is coming to them. They are evil. Plain and simple, just evil. They want power and they will kill any and everyone to get it, no matter faction or blood or anything else. I like my bad guys straight up evil, none of this wishy-washy I'm-really-a-good-guy nonsense. Erik is a violent bully, but really just a puppet for Jeanine, the Erudite leader-who just wants the power to control every faction and lead. Divergent did not disappoint, in my own opinion, when it came to antagonists. 
    Overall, I think Divergent succeeds in teaching lessons about people and groups. In a flooded genre of Dystopian YA literature, it stands out as being one of the best. It drew me in, kept my entertained and left me wanting more, which I will personally be fulfilling that need by reading Insurgent as soon as possible. It is marketed as a young adult book but I think it would keep any age group engrossed in its' pages and suggest that you BUY IT, obviously! - My Opinion: Buy!

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