Saturday, March 16, 2013

Book Review: Divergent

Book: Divergent by Veronica Roth
Published: May 2011
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Length: about 480 pages, I think

Keep reading after the jump for the full review

Divergent, Divergent. This book first popped onto my radar when my eldest sister suggested it to me. I was hesitant about it, because it's in first person and I tend not to like first person books. Soon the book came back onto my radar as my sister had loaned it to my mother to read. After that my father ended up reading it. For her birthday they bought her the second in the series. Again that book was borrowed so they could read it. After my other sister's birthday dinner (outfit post mentioning it here) she loaned the first in the series to me.

What it's about: (copied from goodreads) 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.

What I thought: Right after I finished it I adored it. However, I let myself simmer on it for a few days before even attempting this review. The romance angle was great, while at the end their relationship got a little too cheesy for me and I felt like it didn't have enough dimension to keep it interesting near the end. I'm hoping that in the sequel this will be cleared up. I like the author’s take on the dystopian style, it also kind of makes me think of science fiction at times which is a plus. 

The relationships the main character - Tris - has with her friends and family and even her enemies feel real, which was one of the best selling points of this book. Often the moments with family in the beginning of a story feel forced. This wasn't the case. Tris, the main character, monologue did get a little annoying from time to time, but she wasn’t super whiny which I liked.

Predictability? I knew what was going to happen on the main points. However, I think books that are set to be a series like this one and in a dystopian genre are hard to pack big unexpected notes in. There were smaller things that seemed to come out of the blue, in a good way.

It's not a deep book, it doesn't probe insightful thoughts. It's easy to read and entertaining. It's written very straight forward and in first person. The descriptions, especially of fights, were long winded and I just ended up skimming them. The book does leave you wondering what happens next, but I'm not hanging on the edge of my seat to read the next book. I should note that I am going to read the next book, it's on the top of my pile; and it was also borrowed from my sister.

Mainly I don't think it is anything special, a good read and entertaining. For a while it might even take you out of this world, or at least to Chicago—who doesn’t love Chicago?

I’d suggest it to anyone looking for something light to read. It’d be perfect for flights, car rides, and trips to the beach. (It’s almost summer, right?)

Give me a comment and let me know what you thought of the book.

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