Divergent [Book Review]

DivergentTitle: Divergent
Author: Veronica Roth
Genre: Young Adult; Dystopian
ISBN: 0062024027
Pages: 496
Year: 2011
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books (HarperCollins)
Source: Library
Rating: 4.5/5

Summary:

In Tris’ world, every person chooses his or her place in life – their faction – at sixteen: Abnegation (the selfless); Candor (the honest); Erudite (the intelligent); Amity (the peaceful); and Dauntless (the brave).  Tris grew up in Abnegation but feels the pull of Dauntless. Instead of knowing exactly where she belongs, like everyone else, Tris is torn. The factions are supposed to help society, but is there something darker going on?

My Thoughts:

The premise sounded a little strange to me at first, but Roth did a fantastic job building this dystopian world (set in Chicago). I totally bought into it from the beginning.

YA books are often written with first-person narration. Sometimes I find this annoying (what could be worse than being trapped in a teenagers head?) and sometimes it works for me. But usually the combination of first-person AND present tense does me in. Divergent is an exception. I barely noticed that I was trapped in Tris’ present-tense head because I just wanted more story.

While there are bigger things going on, this is really the story of Tris and how she becomes herself. She is unsure and lost when we first meet her. By the end, she is almost unrecognizable. And there is a TON of action along the way.

And then there is Four. I have a new addition to my fictional YA crush list (this just seems to grow and grow). While I don’t think romance is the most important part of this story at all, I loved his character and the way he and Tris interact. It was more realistic than a lot of those I-loved-him-the-moment-I-saw-him-and-I-never-want-to-be-with-anyone-else-ever romances. Four pushes Tris. He doesn’t patronize her and he always believes in her.

Tris is a heroine. Tris is the kind of girl a young reader can actually look up to, and the kind of girl the rest of us can cheer on. Read Divergent. The hype has been well-deserved.

Others’ Thoughts: S. Krishna’s Books; Fiction Folio; Bookshelves of Doom; Galleysmith;

Buy It Now: Amazon; IndieBound

10 thoughts on “Divergent [Book Review]

  1. I really enjoyed this book. I hate that it was compared to The Hunger Games, because I felt like it didn’t need to be compared to anything. The book stands on its own. Great review!

    I’m crushing on Four as well.

  2. I so want to read this one, and have been itching to grab a copy since I started reading all the great reviews all over the blogs. I think it’s really tough to get the voice of a teenager down pat, without coming across as too angsty or whiny, so your mention that Tris is a perfect heroine really makes me sit up and take notice. Your review was wonderful and makes me even more eager to grab this book for myself and my kids. Thanks for sharing it with us!

  3. Twitter: youvegottaread
    You aren’t kidding about the hype. Holy crap, I can barely stand it. I like a good dystopian YA, but this one felt outside my comfort zone. I’m caving though. So much pressure!

  4. Twitter: JennyTakeMeAway
    I’ve gotten away from YA lately, especially the dystopian or paranormal kinds, but I’ve been interested in this one with all the hype. I think you may have convinced me to read it. But I appreciate the first person, present tense heads up because I really don’t like present tense!

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  7. Twitter: BrandyBruce
    I’m totally with you on the Four crush. I thought their relationship was well-paced. And he was actually an interesting character with depth. This was a great book. A little more violent than I was expecting. I found all the beating each other up a little hard to take. But still, such a great, intense story.

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