Monday, 16 May 2011

Book Review: Divergent

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.
After anxiously awaiting the release of Divergent, and reading so many good reviews about it from those lucky enough to get an ARC copy, I was thrilled to finally get my hands on this amazing debut novel by Veronica Roth! I began reading Divergent early Saturday morning at my job, and would have literally finished the whole novel in one sitting if it hadn't been for the fact that I actually had work to do at work (who would have thought!).

One of the main things that I enjoyed most about this novel was the world which Veronica Roth created. While the separation into factions reminded me a lot of the sorting hat from Harry Potter, the focus on a dystopian Chicago made the story unique. I loved the detail and unique characteristics used to describe each faction, often leading me to wonder which one I would choose if I had been placed in Beatrice's position. 

Probably due to the fact that the novel focused mainly on the Dauntless, their faction quickly became my favourite. I loved their thrill seeking ways, and the focus they placed on overcoming their fears in order to make themselves stronger. Due to his mysterious nature and tough guy attitude, Four also quickly became my favourite character! I think Veronica Roth did an amazing job adding different levels to his personality to shape him into more than just the average player in Divergent's plot. 

Before reading Divergent, I came across many literary reviews which stated that this new trilogy was set up to rival that of The Hunger Games.  As The Hunger Games is one of my favourite YA series, I took these comments with a grain of salt. I was happy to discover, however, that Divergent lived up to its reputation as an amazing novel, and is indeed just as good (if not better) than The Hunger Games in its own way.

That isn't to say that Divergent and The Hunger Games are similar, but their position within the rising popularity of dystopian novels makes some comparison in terms of quality necessary. I have read many dystopian novels, and it seems as if many recent writers are often cranking them out to meet the current demands of the reading population. Divergent, however, is a novel which makes the dystopian genre proud, and like the The Hunger Games trilogy, is sure to become one of the main novels which other dystopian novels in the future will be compared to. 

The ending of this novel left me wanting more, and I will anxiously be awaiting the release of the second book in this series! Divergent comes with one of my highest recommendations, and I suggest you get a copy of your own ASAP!

Rating:  An easy 5 stars


Sarah Darlington said...

Wow!~ I can't wait to read this!

NoraBell said...

Nice review! I can't wait to read Divergent, I've heard so many good things about it! :D

NoraBell, The Bookery

T.B. said...

Great review! Divergent was so good, and I never thought of the different factions the way you described them. It's definitely similar to Harry Potter and the sorting hat though. I agree, the Dauntless became one of my favorite factions! I also thought that the romance between Four and Tris was done really well. I can't wait to read the sequel!

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