Thursday, April 14, 2011

Review: Divergent (Divergent #1) by Veronica Roth

Divergent (Divergent, #1)Title: Divergent
Author: Veronica Roth
Series: 1st in Divergent series
Pages: 496
Published: Available May 4, 2011 from Harper Collins
ISBN: 9780062024022
Source: Around The World Tours

Description: 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.

I Give This ...

I really wasn't sure how badly I wanted to read this.  It's seems to have a lot a hype building behind it.  But for some reason, it just didn't really catch my interest.  I decided to give it a chance.  
While, I enjoyed the world created within the novel, I didn't have a good reasoning behind it.  It's explained that certain characteristics of mankind basically brought down the human race.  Apparently, Chicago survived because there is absolutely no mention of anything outside the city (and I assume it's suburbs).  That alone was strange for me, but I let it go.  Maybe there's something more out there, and we just don't know about it yet.

To keep the peace and a functioning society, factions were created with each one cultivating desirable characteristics.  An admirable thought really, but humans have refused to be categorized for millenniums, why it would work now I have no idea.  Yet, I found them fascinating.  On their 16th birthday, the teens in the society are given a test that basically shows which characteristics they tend towards.  Then they choose their faction.  I liked the idea, but was a little confused.  Did they have to choose the faction the test showed?  Or were they allowed to choose any faction they wanted to?  And for a society that seems peaceful, there's a lot of animosity between factions.  

I really loved Beatrice.  She's been brought up as a Abnegation.  Her whole life as been devoted to others.  But, she longs for something more.  So when her test shows some abnormalities, she does the unthinkable.  She joins another faction.  And not just any faction, she joins Dauntless.  They seem to be the crazy one who have a habit of doing things like jump from moving trains and 7 story buildings.  The initiation process was intense.  I kept waiting to see how it all proved how brave the initiates were.  To me, it seemed to be just training them to keep going and that anything less than giving your life was cowardice.  But, Beatrice proves to be way more than that.  She doesn't give up even when all the odds are stacked against her.  But, in doing so she drawn unwanted attention to herself.

The truth behind what is going on behind the facade was awesome and way beyond cruel.  The way the people were used may be far fetched scientifically, but mankind has really done worse throughout history.  The ending was dramatic and fast past compared to the slow buildup.  You really have no idea that anything is really wrong until about 3/4 of the way through.  I found that I really enjoyed the entire story.  I wonder what will happen next?


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