“I can’t back down now. Not with all the people betting I’ll fail behind me.”
Official Synopsis 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.
Veronica Roth is the New York Times bestselling author of Divergent, the first in a trilogy of dystopian thrillers filled with electrifying decisions, heartbreaking betrayals, stunning consequences, and unexpected romance.
GENRE: Young Adult, Dystopia FORMAT: Hardcover PUBLISHED ON: April 25th 2011 by Katherine Tegen Books GET A COPY: Amazon / Barnes & Noble / National Bookstore
Divergent sat on my bookshelf for too long because I was afraid to read it. Yep, afraid is the right term. I knew this series is famous and well-liked by so many and I was afraid I’d only like this because a lot of people do.
Well, that’s what happened… but I liked this book just because I LIKE THIS MF BOOK AND I CAN’T FIND A WAY OUT, SALLY!!!
Before picking up Divergent, I really thought my reading experience would be dragging– well, i mean, I’m not gonna lie… I half-expected it because I rarely read Dystopian novels! The last Dystopian book I have read five years ago is The Hunger Games which I liked so much too but there’s no intense craving for another one after reading it.
Anyway, I feel like I should hate myself for avoiding this book in bookstores for so many years and ignoring it when it’s already on my shelves.
The story is really simple, easy to understand and most of all, enjoyable. There’s never a dull moment when I was reading this book and contrary to my review of the first Veronica Roth novel I have read which is Carve the Mark, Divergent didn’t disappoint me at all.
Okay, let’s talk about the characters. Beatrice Prior also known as Tris is someone I really adore. She has this beautiful urge to follow her heart and not conform to the society. There is so much to learn from her monologues and I enjoyed knowing what she thinks of the people around her. How she adapted so easily to her new faction is something I really admire also. She acts without thinking sometimes, though.
Four aka Tobias has an interesting background too. I really didn’t know what to expect when he showed Tris his fears and the meaning behind his nickname. Four’s character development is one of the things to watch out for.
The villains, Molly, Peter, Drew and Al are all so likable– as a villain. I can’t say that they brought out the best in Tris by wanting to put and actually putting her in so much trouble compared to the other villains in other books/series though. But Tris won’t be Tris, the Divergent who belongs to the Dauntless faction, without them for sure.
Jeanine, the smartass, has the personality that’s really necessary in a story like this. Although I’d like her to be a lil bit meaner. And Marcus too. I have almost forgotten what he did to one of the characters in the past because he seems weak for a villain.
As for Tris’s friends, Christina and Will, I didn’t like them that much. Christina isn’t always reliable but at least she’s the first to ask Tris where she’s been when she goes missing.
The other Dauntless initiates, Uriah, Zeke, Shauna and the others I can’t remember are likable too but they are not consistently building a relationship with our heroine so I am not obsessed with them and I don’t feel any attachment to these characters. But it’s nice whenever they appear.
The balance between the main character and the supporting characters or the “decorations” are maintained throughout the story.
I think what captured me here is the fact that I can feel whatever emotion the characters have in a given scenario.
Tris’s adrenaline rush? Felt that. Christina’s doubt for her friend? Felt that. Understood that. The Dauntless initiates’ desire to jump from a hundred-floor building? I don’t understand why they have to do that but when they jumped I felt like I was the one jumping instead and it was beautiful. Four losing his shih because of a talkative person? Uhm, hey I know that freaking feeling!
Even the villains constant nagging and jealousy are understandable for me. They are annoying, yes. Annoying but necessary. I don’t know, maybe that’s just me.
There are just some problematic areas I would like to complain about:
PROBLEMATIC AREA NO. 1: The first romance that this book introduced is not, I repeat, not unexpected. I totally saw it coming OMG it’s very obvious, my stomach hurts HAHAHA.
PROBLEMATIC AREA NO. 2: This romantic thing is a dreaded instalove kind of thing. Their chemistry is okay despite their age gap but I need some development. You can’t just meet somebody and then decide you like them already.
PROBLEMATIC AREA NO. 3: TOO MUCH KISSING!
PROBLEMATIC AREA NO. 4: The romance between two supporting characters is the one that’s totally unexpected. Okay, so??? I need to know what happened too after that confession but I can’t anymore. You’ll know why.
PROBLEMATIC AREA NO. 5: The concept “You have to beat ’em up to show them you’re strong” is so funny llike there are other ways to show people you are but ok.
PROBLEMATIC AREA NO.6: The concept of divided society in this book is so not going to happen. People are so diverse and you can’t make them settle and fight for only one virtue they care about for the rest of their dear life.
PROBLEMATIC AREA NO.7: I mentioned The Hunger Games a while ago. For me, Katniss Everdeen’s thoughts are more realistic than Tris’s and the world in that book is far, far horrifying than Divergent.
PROBLEMATIC AREA NO.8: I didn’t feel the Dystopian thing in this book. In my mind, I’m reading a book with manipulative leaders and their constant desire to watch their minions punch each other.
PROBLEMATIC AREA NO.9: This book is 99% challenge and 1% war. Veronica didn’t even let Tris spend one whole day as a Dauntless member. WHY?!
Despite all these, Divergent is a compelling book that is quite hard to put down. It didn’t keep me up at night, didn’t have the desire to turn the pages fast but the fact that I enjoyed reading this entire novel despite all of my problems with it, the fact I stayed and empathized with Tris until the very end, are the main reasons why this book is one of my favorite books ever. The connection is there and I love it!
AND THE ENDING…Ugh, can’t wait to read Insurgent!
Have you read Divergent? Watched the movie? Who is your favorite character?
If you were Tris, which will you choose among the five factions– Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), or Erudite (the intelligent)?
I personally will choose Amity hehehe, how about you?
In my next post, I will be talking about Divergent #1 first edition and the Divergent #1 Collector’s Edition. I will spill
all the teas all the differences I can find and whether it is worth it to have both or not. This is going to be so exciting, you guys, so stay tuned!
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MEET VERONICA ROTH
Veronica Roth is from a Chicago suburb. She studied creative writing at Northwestern University, and wrote DIVERGENT (Katherine Tegen Books, May 2011) and INSURGENT (May 2012). The third and final book in The Divergent Trilogy, ALLEGIANT, came out on October 22, 2013. She spends endless hours browsing Wikipedia in her pajamas as she eats corn flakes. (Or some other kind of bland breakfast cereal.)