Review: Divergent

◆ Divergent by Veronica Roth
◆ Read June 2013
◆ English Edition
❝ 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.❞
Divergent is not the greatest book I've read recently. It is, however, one of the few that I was unable to put down. I wanted to keep reading until the end - and let's admit it - it requires great skill for a writer to be able to captivate a reader like that. The point of view works because of Roth's writing style and above all the pacing was just spot on.

I have to admit that I'm a bit irked that this book is called a dystopian novel despite the fact that Tris' world really does not have many dystopian traits. People are more or less allowed to choose their own faction and generally speaking life isn't bad for most. There are definitely oppressive figures (Eric, Jeanine) but they do not make up the entire government and practice no control over everyone. Furthermore, in a dystopian society there is usually one leader who forces all other members to behave accordingly and exactly the same. A government made up out of five factions with different leaders and qualities seems to be the exact opposite of a dystopia.

Furthermore, some other details seemed utterly out of place and even pointless. I cannot comprehend what the point of Dauntless is and what makes them so brave. Jumping recklessly into trains and off ledges is not my definition of courage and it serves no purpose. It certainly does not assist Dauntless in doing their job; protecting the civilians from all factions against the evils(?) behind the gate. The other factions and their purposes make sense, but Dauntless seems rather pointless compared to them.
Apart from that I really enjoyed the book. The characters had my full attention and managed to keep it thoughout the book. The main character Tris isn't your typical female character who either does everything right on her first try or is a useless Mary Sue. She is different from many of the other characters but not always necessarily stonger or smarter. She makes mistakes much like the others and that makes her so much more likeable.

Four has perhaps become my favorite character because is well developed and has a realistic story. More so, he is not a part of a love triangle (because there isn't one present, thank god!). He is not only a love interest to the main character, but also a characer valuable to the plot. Even the minor characters (good and bad alike) interested me greatly and I wanted to learn more about them.

In conclusion, Divergent is one of the better YA books I've read in a long time. It's not perfect, but definitely a book you can't put down and that is worthy of your time!

3 stars because:
✓ Great pacing
✓ Interesting characters
✓ No love triangle
✗ Average plot
✗Inaccurate dystopia

Brilliant Bookshelf

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