Divergent by Veronica Roth

Amazon Synopsis: She turns to the future in a world that’s falling apart.
For sixteen-year-old Tris, the world changes in a heartbeat when she is forced to make a terrible choice. Turning her back on her family, Tris ventures out, alone, determined to find out where she truly belongs.
Shocked by the brutality of her new life, Tris can trust no one. And yet she is drawn to a boy who seems to both threaten and protect her. The hardest choices may yet lie ahead….
A debut novel that will leave you breathless.

This book is another one my mother practically threw at my head for me to read. It has sat on my shelf for months and after reading my first 'proper' dystopian novel (The Hunger Games) I was really excited to finally get to the book everyone seems to love. On friday night I finally picked it up to read.

The story follows narrator Beatrice Prior as she is about to take the test that determines which faction she should belong to. There are 5 factions and everyone gets put into one at the age of 16 based on personal traits. If you pick a faction outside of the one you grew up in then you leave everything behind, including parents, friends and school, so it is a pretty big deal. The idea that good traits are used to create a peaceful society is an intriguing and unique idea. Roth creates a realistic dystopian world by incorperating simplistic customs and convincing systems that make it easy to understand and immerse yourself in.

Unfortunately for our heroine, when she takes the test her results are inconclusive meaning she is Divergent. Basically she failed the unfailable test by not fitting into a faction. Having the pick of the lot, Beatrice still chooses to leave her life in Abnegation (the selfless faction) where she never felt she belonged to join Dauntless (the brave faction). She has to survive initiantion though and rank in the top ten out of both tranfers from other factions and Dauntless born. Whilst the newly named Tris is trianing to join this faction that she still does not believe she is part of the fellow intiates make it a bit hard for her. There has been conflict between the factions so some people bully her. This really helped in character development as the girl who grew up in a faction where is was wrong to even think about being mean was forced to deal with some meaness. At first I was on Tris's side and agreed with her hatred of them espesially a little later in the book. Soon enough though Tris learning to think a little bit more about herself rather than just other people all the time turned into her thinking about herself and lover boy all the time. By the end of the book I was shouting at her. Literally. In the later parts of the book she turned blood thirsty and seemed to lack a sense of loyalty to anyone but Four. It was kind of like, "just because you don't live in the selfless faction anymore doesnt mean you can turn all American Psycho and make everything about you, Tris". To anyone who has read the book, Tris's 'forgetting' of her emotions when it comes to Will was not a normal thing to do. Crazy people who turn into serial killers do that. For that reason by about 3/4's of the way through the book I began to dislike the main character and therefore the narrative.

The romance with Four is not a spoiler since it is in every YA book ever published. He is a dark and mysterious character who was spoiled for me by every single person who could not keep his real name under wraps. The love story between them was not the best though. They talk maybe twice and both times are hostile. He does some heroing and then they seem to magically be drawn to each other. I am not denying there were traces of a crush but it did go a bit fast. Maybe if it had spread over to the next book I would have been a bit more accepting of it. I do like them together though despite the cheesy lovey dovey stuff. Four is a really intriguing character and I cannot wait to read more about him and his life in the next book because it does not get closure in the end of this one for me (not a spoiler).

The action at the end was good and it really opened up a deeper plot line for the other books. Hopefully Tris stops believing she is the Messiah long enough to get me through the trilogy. To everyone who said this book was better than The Hunger Games, you are wrong but it was still an enjoyable and surprisingly short read. I look forward to the movie in 2014.

Rating: 3.8/5


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