Divergent by Veronica Roth

Finished reading Divergent by Veronica Roth and I must say this book definitely deserves all the amazing reviews it’s receiving.

At first, I was a little hesitant to read this.  Not because of all the furore surrounding the book and the potential for huge disappointment on the back of all that but because I seem to have read a lot of ‘dystopian’ novels just recently and so I guess I was a bit worried about whether this book could bring anything new to the scene.  But, there was no need to worry.  This book is excellent.  I like the concept, the world building is really smooth, the characters are really easy to read and the writing style is lovely.  There is plenty of action and also romance.

I’m not going to particularly go into the plot.  In Divergent the world has been separated into different factions based on people’s own character traits.  The idea of this is to try and find a more peaceful way of living and also to stop corruption.  For example, one of the factions is known as Abnegation.  Abnegation is based on selflessness.  There is no vanity, no mirrors, no wealth, no comforts.  The people who belong in Abnegation help others and in fact put others before themselves, therefore, they are ideally suited to positions where their decisions are based on the benefit and good to all and not themselves, such as positions in Government.  There are four other factions, Candor (truthfulness), Dauntless (bravery), Amity (peace) and Erudite (knowledge).  At the age of 16 a test reveals which characteristic is most prevalent in each person and they then choose which faction they wish to be part of.  Of course, most children change the same faction as their parents although this is not always the case and choosing a different path has consequences.

The story is told by Beatrice (or Tris has she becomes known).  I really liked Tris.  She’s a great character.  She’s flawed and she knows it, in fact she worries about her decisions and traits all the time.  But I really liked the fact that she wasn’t perfect and she has such a tough time once initiation starts.  Then there’s Four, one of the trainers, he’s a really pretty hot guy.  I don’t normally like the good guys in these books, I usually go for the baddies as they tend to have a bit more character.  Not with this book.  I really didn’t like the bad guy this time and Four definitelyhas character.  So basically we have two very likable characters plus a really solid supporting cast.

On top of this there is no shortage of action.  Despite the fact that people are grouped in factions where their own character traits are prevalent it doesn’t unfortunately stop other less negative traits from surfacing jealousy, envy, pride, etc, and frankly some of the initiates are very ambitious which makes for lots of back stabbing.  Similarly, if you are brave it doesn’t necessarily mean that you don’t seek knowledge or that you can’t be selfless.  Certainly a book that makes you think. At the end of the day people are people and they will act according to their nature.  Nature will out!

The ending is gripping, exciting and emotional. I can’t wait for the next book.  There are so many unanswered questions – like the wall?? Factionless??

Do I recommend this book.  Absolutely.

Rating: A



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