Sunday, May 6, 2012

Review: Divergent (Divergent, #1) by Veronica Roth

Rating (Out of 5): ~4
Publisher: HarperCollins (Katherine Tegen Books)
Spoilers?: Very, purposely, Minor

Goodreads Synopsis:

In a future Chicago, 16-year-old Beatrice Prior must choose among five predetermined factions to define her identity for the rest of her life, a decision made more difficult when she discovers that she is an anomaly who does not fit into any one group, and that the society she lives in is not perfect after all.


I was really surprised by this book.
I was expecting to like it; because of all of the good reviews that I read, mostly (I would also say because of the good reactions of the people in my book club, but they were also big fans of The City of Bones, and I wasn’t, so…). I just wasn’t expecting to like it as much as I did, or to be as impressed with it as I was. Because I really was.
My edition of the book had almost no description (less than the one up above), and so I had no idea what I was going into; which, I guess, gave me a lot of room to be impressed. Anyway, Divergent is about Beatrice, later known as Tris, who lives in a dystopian time. Where she lives, there are five factions, and when you turn 16, you take a test and then get to choose which one you want to go into. Usually, when you take the test, you get the faction that you are best suited for, and a lot of the time, it’s the one that you were born into. But then there are people who don’t get one result, who have a little bit of everything inside them, and they are the divergent. They’re stronger, and the faction leaders don’t like them. I’m not going to go too into the different factions, because, you know, go read the book for that (no, really, go read the book). And so, of course, Tris ends up being divergent, and choosing the more violent faction. I wasn't sure which faction she was going to choose, and was actually kind of hoping she would choose the one that her brother chose (I won't name them, though, because I don't want to give too much away!), but it makes sense for her to have chosen the one she did.
I liked how the factions worked, what with getting to choose the one you want, and how they all have their own rules and ways of doing things, but they are all in the same area; they aren’t not allowed to see each other or anything, as they’re all in the same town. Some might not like others, but they still have to be around each other.
Okay, so Tris is awesome. I kind of love her. At first, I didn’t really feel much for her; I was thinking she might just be another faceless character that I am in the head of, as I tend to think of other main characters, but when I realized that I wasn’t paying too much attention to her, I think I started to try harder, and so I did. She was strong, and smart, and protective, and conflicted. She is badass, guys. She takes charge when she needs to, she knows not to reveal too much about herself, she’s worried about her family and Four, and she’s just generally awesome. (As a sidenote, one thing that did bother me was that I thought one of her fears, during at least one of the simulations, would be someone finding out that she was divergent. But it wasn’t. I really want to know if there’s a reason behind that, aside from the fact that other people weren’t supposed to find out so early on.)
Her parents were pretty awesome. Her mom, in particular. Her dad was alright, but got a little better at the end. I’m hoping to get to know her brother more in the next one. Next, her friends. Uriah and the faction-born-initiates were pretty cool, and seemed to genuinely like her, whereas the transfer-initiates kind of sucked. Will, for the most part, seemed alright. But all of them turned their backs on her really easily, and only seemed to like her when she was weak, which was completely jerk-ish of them. (Like, in the next volume, when Christina finds out about Will, I doubt she’s going to forgive Tris.)
I kind of love Four. He’s tough, and strong, and smart, but he’s also so sweet, and vulnerable, and I want to hug him and kiss him and make it all better, but he doesn’t really need it (maybe he would accept it from Tris, though). I am really looking forward to Tris getting closer to him in the next book. The romance between them was really good, and went at a really good pace; their personalities, I think, go together really well. Also, they are both inexperienced, but their falling for each other wasn’t done in an immature way, it seemed more innocent and sweet, which was definitely nice.
The pace of the book was actually really good. A lot of the time I’m wary of bigger books, just for the fact that they can drag on really easily, but this one went along really well, and I found that I didn’t want to stop reading it, quite a few times (as in, I would want to go do something else, and maybe I would, but once I picked the book back up, I kept going “Just one more chapter… Oh, one more, than I will go do (insert activity here)…” and then I would be several more chapters into it, because I could not help myself). It started out with her with her parents, and then a lot of the book was spent with her competing during her initiation into the faction she chose, which took a lot of time but was still really exciting (there was always something going on!), and then, when there was about a quarter of the book left, bam!, something big happened that took up the rest of the book. I was expecting it to happen, but I wasn’t expecting it to occur so soon. I figured it would take more time, but no, it came rather fast.
And it was exciting. I could not put it down when it happened, and I really enjoyed that part of the book (I enjoyed all of it, but still). I kind of hate the faction leaders that were in charge of it, and I’m looking forward to finding out what happens next, to seeing what Tris and Four and her brother and everyone is doing. I’m thinking that Marcus is up to something, and I hate Peter, and hope that Tris does something about him soon. Again, I love how tough Tris is. She isn’t weak or afraid to hurt someone if it’s necessary to do so, which is awesome.
She’s just so awesome, and I’m so impressed. I should be reading the next book soon, since I’ll be getting it within the next week, I think. I am a bit upset that, once I finish the next one, I will have to wait about a year for the third one, but that’s alright.

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