Friday, July 1, 2011

Review: Divergent by Veronica Roth

Title: Divergent
Author: Veronica Roth
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Published: May 3, 2011
Pages: 487
My Rating: 5/5
Misc.: Hardcover, first in trilogy

In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago, 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 to determine who her friends really are—and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes infuriating 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 a growing conflict that threatens to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves . . . or it might destroy her. 

Debut author Veronica Roth bursts onto the literary scene with the first book in the Divergent series—dystopian thrillers filled with electrifying decisions, heartbreaking betrayals, stunning consequences, and unexpected romance.

Synopsis taken from GoodReads.  
My Review:
First off, I would like to say that this was probably one of my favorite reads of 2011, if not my favorite. That being said, lets get into the review.

Divergent has everything I look for in a book: strong characters, well developed setting, a good plot, and nice pacing. There was plenty of action, mystery, and even some romance. The first thing the grabbed my attention about this book was the world, and how it was divided into five different factions. I thought that there was no way a government like that would work, and for that reason I decided to continue reading to see how Veronica Roth would play this out. And I am so glad I did. Once the world is introduced to the readers, the story is propelled forward and we are thrust into Beatrice's thoughts, worries, and life. 

Which leads me to the characters. Each character in the book was so well developed that they all had their own distinct personalities. I felt that each character mentioned was important to the story, even if they are only briefly mentioned. Now, if I love the minor characters this much, let me express how much I love the main characters. I thought that Tris and her love interest (not gonna mention who because that would be kind of spoilery) were PERFECT. Nothing was rushed and everything developed naturally between them. One thing I loved the most was that her love interest had flaws, just as a normal person would. He was not a fairy-tale prince. He had his own problems to deal with and a past that came along with them. He was real. Not something I come across very often in books lately. And Tris, the main character, was such a strong female lead. I felt as if her problems were my own, and I wanted her to succeed. I found myself caring about what happened to these fictional characters. I love it when an author can make the reader connect with the characters like that.

Along with the characters, the plot was also very well-developed. I felt as if the book were a puzzle, and with every new twist, a piece fell into place as something new was discovered. The mystery of why Tris was in danger pushed the curious part of me to read on while the action pushed the anxious-to-know-what-will-happen part of me to do the same. I felt as if there was a balance between the mystery, action, and romance in this book that allowed it to fall together so nicely. It allowed for an amazing read, and I cannot wait until the sequel comes out.

I also wanted to mention how this book has been compared to The Hunger Games a lot. However, I don't think that the two really can be compared. They're completely different stories. The one similarity between them, in my opinion, is that they are both set in a dystopian world. Other than that, the stories are two completely different works. Both books were amazing, but I don't see how they can be compared.

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