Author: Veronica Roth
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Dystopia, Apocalyptic, Fantasy
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Summary/Synopsis: 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. -Taken from GoodreadsReview:
Divergent is actually quite a long book for YA (usually there are only 300 or so pages, but Divergent has 487 pages), and with its massive volume, there is bound to be a lot happening in the book. However, the plot of this books is very simple, so I think the plot didn't quite live up to its volume, I expect a more complex plot for such a long book. Instead of plot developments, there are a lot of character developments in the book. There are some chapters where the whole chapter is basically an emotional monologue from Tris, I actually loved them because it makes me feel closer to the character. However, they also kind of slows down the whole pace of the book, while I do get that character developments are important, I think Veronica can maybe cut down the amount of it for a little bit.
Also another problem of the plot is that the plot twists aren't great (which is kind of what make the plot seems simple to me). Actually, there is basically no plot twists at all (it might have, I just didn't know it, that's another problem). The story kind of keeps going on and I can predict things that will happen, while it was intriguing to see Tris grow throughout the book, I don't think that is enough to keep readers reading, there is not enough surprises or even "Aha" moments when my prediction came true, the story is filled with events but overall it just kind of felt flat to me.
However, I do LOVE the romance of this book. There are no love triangles (well, there was one periodically, but it ended fast) and the chemistry between Tris and Four is so great that I am actually excited to see what will happen whenever the two are in the same room together. The kissing scene came rather late, and throughout the book I keep thinking "would you two kiss already?" and when they did I was actually smiling to myself (and I was reading on a train!).
Overall I think the plot is so-so but the romance part is really great.
The world-building of this book is great! The idea of dividing people with factions might not be completely original but Veronica did a great job putting a refreshing spin on it.
From Divergent you can get an inside look of three factions: Dauntless, Abnegation and Erudite. Each faction have a very different living environment than the other, and it represents each faction really well. I don't want to spoil anything so I won't describe each faction, but I assure you, Veronica spent an amount of time to construct her dystopian Chicago and it really paid off.
The characters of this book are all great. They each have a unique personality and Veronica actually developed Tris very thoroughly.
We get to see Tris' internal struggles and insecurities about the choice she made throughout the book. She is obviously a very strong (not physically, though), fearless heroine. But she is always insecure about it, thinking that she is a coward, which actually makes me feel bad for her. I am also sad that Tris couldn't trust her friends enough to really be open to them. That's part of the initiation's fault, but I can see Tris is reluctant to actually trust her friends too. Near the end of the book, there are about three tragic deaths that is a shock to her, I would like to see how would she react in the next book.
My favorite character has to be Four. He is emotional at times but I can see he really cared for Tris and I am totally rooting for them to be together from start to finish. He has dark pasts and we get to learn about it. We can see that he tries really hard to throw his past away, but I am pretty sure seeing Tris brought up some of the memories.
Other characters like Christina, Will, Peter are also great. I really like Tris' friendship with Christina, she needs a girl friend that she can talk to and I am pretty sure Christina can provide totally honest opinion. I just hope that after what happened towards the end wouldn't jeopardize their friendship. As for Will, he is a good friend, what happened to him was tragic. Peter, oh Peter, he is SO hateful to Tris, he teased her and bullied her, though we never know if he was born that cruel and hateful or not, you will have to admit, Peter did a pretty good job playing the Villain. Several times in the book I actually hope that Peter would die a painful death for what he did to Tris and some others. He is a villain that you will love to hate, he is not complicated, just plain evil, and that's what makes him great (in a twisted way).
Overall, I would give this book 3.5 stars. I think the plot of a book is very important, because you are using your book to tell a story, and if your story stink, then no matter how good the characters and world-building are, it can never be great. I enjoyed Divergent with its unique world and colorful characters. The story might not be epic, but at least it was simple enough that there aren't times that I have to go back and check for clues. The story is mainly about Tris' growth both emotionally and physically, which is why the story seemed dull to me, the epic storyline didn't start 'til the end. I recommend this book to those of you who love YA dystopian and love good and original world-building, it is definitely worth borrowing from the library or even buying it. I have already bought the next book and are about halfway in.
|Rating: 3.5 stars!|