Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Book Review: Divergent by Veronica Roth

BASIC FACTS:
Author: Veronica Roth
Published by Harper Collins on May 3, 2011
Pages: 496
Genre: young adult, dystopia

SUMMARY: Beatrice lives in a dystopian society where people are divided into five factions: Abnegation (selfless), Amity (peaceful), Candor (honest), Dauntless (brave) and Erudite (intelligent). At the age of sixteen, every person has to absolve an aptitude test which should help you decide which faction to choose.
When Beatrice takes the test, something unusual happens: Her results are inconclusive, she is a so called Divergent. Now she has to decide whether to stick with her parents’ faction, Abnegation, or to pick another one and to turn her back on her family for the rest of her life.

QUOTES:
“Mom used to say that politeness is deception in pretty packaging.” (p. 81)
“Would I even be strong enough to hold on to her? Would it be worth my effort to try to help her if I know I’m too weak to do any good? I know what those questions are: excuses. Human reason can excuse any evil; that is why it’s so important that we don’t rely on it.” (p. 102)
“I believe in ordinary acts of bravery, in the courage that drives one person to stand up for another.” (p. 207)
“‘But becoming fearless isn’t the point. That’s impossible. It’s learning how to control your fear, and how to be free from it, that’s the point.’” (p. 239)
MY OPINION:
I love this book!
It’s not a big spoiler to say that Beatrice chooses Dauntless as her new faction—it happens right at the beginning. So the book basically just follows her through the initiation process of becoming a full member of her faction. The actual conflict doesn’t start to evolve until the last 70 pages, although you can guess that certain conditions will definitely lead to a clash. Normally, that would cause a huge lack of interest, especially considering the fact that the book has nearly 500 pages. BUT this book provides non-stop action! I read it in a rush without even noticing how time had flown away.

In order to become a Dauntless member, the characters have to go through multiple fear simulations and other difficult situations. I thought that part was really compelling, because the writer manages to discuss on how people cope with troubling circumstances, whether or not they would prize their self-preservative instinct above helping a friend in danger and the like.

I like the main character Beatrice; how she always appears so tough and at the same time manages to stay down-to-earth and to help her friends, although they are her competitors too. There is a scene in the book, though, where she behaves in a cruel way towards her competitor Al—I won’t say more, otherwise it would be kinda spoiler-ish. She lost some of her charm to me at that point. 

And of course there had to be a love interest in this YA novel as well—Four. Yeah, he is a babe! I liked the way that their romance didn’t become the main part of the story, but was used to support the plot and develop it further.
Throughout the book, the reader gets to know more about the qualities and the function of the different factions, about how the separation of the citizens into five factions was originally meant to improve the daily life, but turned out to gradually cause more and more negative effects and a real dissociation from the other factions. I hope we’ll get to know more about that fact in the following books.

I also liked the ending of the book and I’m really curious to learn more about the effects of the dystopian society and to see how the conflict heats up. I guess I’m going to preorder Insurgent very soon and I definitely recommend you to read Divergent, if you haven’t done so already.

RATING:


2 comments:

  1. Ah, I heard so many good things about this book and your review makes me want to read it even more! I am slightly into dystopian novels at the moment, so this would be the perfect choice.

    Oh, and btw, I can totally understand your comment on the cover. I still don't like these with ridiculously beautiful girls on it, too, even though I have to say that there are also cover that are a lot worse! ;)

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  2. And here I am again! :D There is something on my blog for you. If you want, you can take a look at it over here.

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