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Thursday, 15 September 2011

Review: Divergent by Veronica Roth

by Veronica Roth
Divergent # 1
Young Adult

This was one of the most anticipated (and maybe hyped) YA books of the year, and usually when I hear all that I get scared that the book won't actually live up to my very high expectations. I don't really know what I was expecting before I started reading, but it was definetely NOT what I got... and that's really a good thing.

This book surprised me, in regards to world building, plotting and storyline. It was a little slow but interesting nonetheless. It's a very unique tale of a dystopian Chicago where people have actually been divided into factions.

There are five factions:

* Abnegation (selflessness): you are not allowed to entertain any thoughts about your own well being, you shouldn't show love, you shouldn't care about your personal appearance and in fact they all dress in clothing that won't show their bodies. They should live to serve others.
* Amity (peace): maybe the least developed one in my opinion, but the name says it all.
* Candor (truth): it is said that people from Candor CAN'T lie.
* Dauntless (bravery): show no fear, be brave and willing to do anything and risk anything!
* Erudite (knowledge): know-it-alls!

So we meet Beatrice, she's 16 and at this point in her life she has to go through an aptitude test to determine which faction she should go into. She was born into Abnegation but she's never fit in. Except when she takes that test, her result comes back as Divergent. Divergents are dangerous, they can manipulate the tests and excel at many things, but they are also persecuted and the government or higher-ups want them all dead. So Beatrice has to hide who she really is from EVERYONE, including her family, and make a decision on which faction to take.

But she choses Dauntless. Of course, it's not a simple matter of chosing, the Dauntless have to chose her as well, and all "transfers" from other factions have to undergo a training and testing period to qualify and become Dauntless, the ones who don't make the cut, will end up without a faction. If you don't have a faction you live in the poor outskirts of town, your life would be ruined!

Beatrice grows out of her shell slowly in the book, even though at times it seems she's a little psychotic. But with the help of a few key players she actually uncovers and helps prevent the overthrowing of the current government, as well as protect herself from anyone noticing she's Divergent.

Along the way she gets a few tattoes, changes her appearance, meets some good friends, betrays those friends, makes peace with them, and of course, meets a hot and sexy guy, Four. Yes, his name is Four (or that's what they call him to be exact) but I won't tell you why, you have to read it to find out. She has a constant internal struggle with what she should do, should she help this person or would that be showing Abnegation, should she climb higher to show she's dauntless. I have to say I'm not a fan of Beatrice, even though she's ok. But she does need to grow up more. But I am excited to see where this world will go next and I'm looking forward to the next book.

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Lady Krishna said...

Nice review! The book seems to be quite interesting. It's kinda unique. I'm so amazed at how these authors write these kind of fiction where everything seems to be different and out of this world. I might try to read this^^

Jess said...

Great review! I was recommended this by a few of my Goodreads friends.. I love dystopian fiction, so I will definitely be giving this a try! Too bad Beatrice isn't a likable character. :-( I hate when that happens.

Sarah said...

Great review Fran!

Yeah I kind of had mixed feelings about Beatrice too, but I'm hoping, like you, that she will do some growing up and changing along the way. I was surprised by this one as well and really enjoyed it.

♥ Sarah @ I'm Loving Books

Lucy (The Secret Life of Books) said...


I just finished this book myself. I'll post my review soon. I really enjoyed it. I quite liked Beatrice but she does need to mature a bit more in the next book. I liked the fact that she cried when she was upset. It made her seem more real to me!


Maria said...

Great Review! Glad to hear it deserves all the hype it's been getting. I definitely can't wait to start it - the different factions sound really interesting! :)

Under the Covers said...

Thanks ladies! This was very unique and interesting, and the world and factions was really a twist on taking real life scenarios and feelings to extremes, I really enjoyed it.

And Beatrice wasn't terrible, I just think she needs to grow up.


KristinCanRead said...

I really enjoyed this book. I can't wait for the second book. I hope it is just as good.

The Book Vixen said...

I know exactly what you mean about being scared about a book not living up to its hype. I'm in that situation right now with my current read.

I absolutely loved Divergent. I loved Four and I can't wait for the next book. I'm glad you enjoyed it too :)

Under the Covers said...

I think the next one will be even better, we'll know more about what's going on!