Divergent by Veronica Roth
Posted by Caitie F on April 2, 2012
Author: Veronica Roth
Hardcover: 487 pages
Pub Date: May 3, 2011
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books (HarperTeen)
Summary from goodreads:
In a future Chicago, 16-year-old Beatrice Prior must choose among five predetermined factions to define her identity for the rest of her life, a decision made more difficult when she discovers that she is an anomaly who does not fit into any one group, and that the society she lives in is not perfect after all.
I finally got a chance to read this book and…I am divided. Most reviews I have seen have been raves, so it surprised. Me. Let me start with what I didn’t like, so I can end on a happy and excited note.
I thought that some of the world-building seemed strange. I get that “Chicago” is all they have ever known…but what about the rest of the country? Do they all think they are the only ones out there? Why is no one curious about what is outside of the walls, especially since we know they are locked in? I am hoping it will be addressed in other books, but everyone’ lack of curiosity really irked me.
Also, the writing isn’t always very good. Tris describes herself by looking in a mirror. Really? That is probably my biggest pet peeve, and it happens in YA way more than I like. There was also some dialogue that made me roll my eyes, especially when it was trying to be romantic.
My final complaint is that it felt preachy. I noticed it a little when reading the book, but when I made the mistake of reading the acknowledgments, I saw it a lot more. So the selfless ones who run things and are presented as “good” people are the only ones that believe in God. They are self-sacrificing and that is equated with religion and faith. Those who value intelligent end up being the ones who are more associated with “evil” so those that are more aligned with atheists are equated with being bad. I know that there are exceptions in every faction but when you look at it in that perspective, it really REALLY bothered me.
But there were things that I liked. That I loved in fact. I loved the rest of the plot. It was exciting and hard to put the book down. The romance felt genuine and fun (that he liked her for her strength totally made it for me). The idea of a Divergent being bad made me think about any society and how difference is bad. It was just a really fun book to read.
I also adored Tris. Her struggles broke my heart, her strength made me cheer, and her ideas of what each group could be gave me hope. She was smart, yet innocent and doesn’t really get things right away. . Since she saw things differently, I saw her in a new way. While I don’t think the book really compares to The HUnger Games, I think she can be compared to Katniss in many ways…and you know how much I love Katniss. She was by far my favorite part of the book.
I liked most of the side characters, but Four was my favorite. He was much more complex than any other side characters which made him more likable. He sees things differently. I wish he was the leader of the Dauntless. But then the book would be much. much different.
A lot of the other side characters weren’t as well flushed out and I wish they had been. I really loved Tris’ first friend in Dauntless, Christina. She was feisty and caring and could bring out the best in Tris…but she just wasn’t ass round as she could have been. The same could be said for all of the other initiates and many of the other characters.
So I am torn about it and don’t think it is as great as many other have.
But I am still picking up Insurgent today and will be announcing how you can win my ARC of the new book later this week.