Review- Divergent by Veronica Roth

Exciting news–The Indigo 2011 Top Teen Summer Read is Divergent by Veronica Roth! I couldn’t be happier- it’s one of my favourite YA reads in a long time! I actually wrote a review on Divergent a while ago, but just found the time to post this weekend. I’ve been super busy this summer with the summer reading club, grant proposals, and preparing for Fall programmes.   Anyway, without further ado, here is my review:

First off, I can’t believe Divergent is a debut novel by talented writer Veronica Roth.  On top of that, she wrote the majority of the book in college at age 22!  I’m extremely jealous of her creative writing ability.  Thank goodness the story will continue in Roth’s follow up called Insurgent due out May 2012.

Divergent is all about choices and making decisions. Beatrice “Tris” Prior has turned sixteen, the age in which teenagers living in Roth’s dystopian Chicago must make a decision whether to stay with their families or have the courage to choose the virtue (and faction) they most believe in.  The factions are divided into: Candor (the honest), Abnegation (selflessness), Dauntless (daring), Erudite (knowledgable) and Amity (peaceful).  Roth explains, “It has been this way since the beginning of the great peace, when the factions were formed. I think the system persists because we’re afraid of what might happen if it didn’t: war (p.33).” This explanation confused me.  Dividing individuals up based on differences is completely illogical and just asking for war to break out. Looking back at our own history is proof— if this story takes place in the unknown future, shouldn’t they have learned by now? I really hope Roth gives more information about how and why the factions came into existence in the next book. 

Critiques:

  • The majority of the book is dedicated to Beatrice’s initiation into her faction and undergoing intense emotional/physical trauma. I thought it dragged on, and I started wondering when the story was really going to pick up (in the last 100 pages).  In terms of the number of pages (487 pages), it is formatted so there is a large amount of white space, so it isn’t quite as long as it appears.

Positives:

  • I loved the main character, Tris.  We are able to watch Tris develop gradually throughout the novel by overcoming her fears and learning to maintain balance between her old and new life.  She’s one tough gal.
  • As a reader, it’s really fun trying to figure out what faction you would belong to. I imagine all readers do this! Personally, I couldn’t decide, but I took the Divergent Faction Quiz available on Facebook to determine where they would place me. I was deemed as ‘Erudite- The Intelligent’. Those that have read the book would understand why I’m not sure how I feel about this…
  • Divergent is a gripping, intense, original book.  I know I will be recommending Divergent to those that are looking for something to fill their Hunger Games void.  Like Hunger Games, I think it would also appeal to both male and female readers.
  • I enjoy when romance isn’t the focus of the storyline, and this proved true in Divergent.  I won’t give too much away, but it’s a very sweet and surprising romance.
  • While I did pick up on Four’s big plot twist the first time I read Divergent, I know I missed some things and am currently re-reading it. I rarely re-read books because I have tons of my ‘to-read’ list, so this in itself says a lot about the book.

WANT MORE DIVERGENT?

Watch the Divergent Book Trailer

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Read the first 100 pages available free!

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: My favourite YA Book of 2011 « Books in Transit Blog

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