Monday, February 11, 2013

Divergent

By Veronica Roth

I’ve wanted to read this book for a while. Once I finally got it and cracked open the cover, I absolutely could not put it down. Roth does not lollygag around setting up the storyline, but plunges readers right into it, and once you’re in it, hang on because you are in for a wild ride!

For 16 year old Beatrice “Tris” Prior, selecting a faction will be the most important decision of her life. After her aptitude test comes back inconclusive—thereby secretly labeling her a “divergent”—she now must choose to stay with her family in the Abnegation (the selfless) faction or completely turn her back on them by choosing another faction: Erudite (the intelligent) or Dauntless (the courageous). Her decision pushes her to her physical and mental limits, and will have readers questioning whether she will make it through the faction’s initiation process.

I love that the ending of Divergent was not what I was expecting. I expected it to end right after we see if Tris passes initiation or becomes factionless. Both would position the character to make interesting decisions affecting the leaders of the dystopian society—fight them from the outside or fight them from the inside. Instead, Roth completely threw me off guard by setting up events that will resonate throughout the second and third book in the series. I didn’t see it coming and that was a thrilling surprise.

Because this is Roth’s debut novel, she initially struggles with explaining the setup of her dystopian society and doesn’t provide a detailed history of how we moved from the society we are in present day, to her faction system. I think that information would have really helped to flesh out the beginning of the story. However, Roth soon gets into a writing groove that keeps readers eager to find out what comes next.

Divergent isn’t a rainbows and butterflies type of story, but a raw, smack-you-in-the-face mix of fighting, strategizing, plotting, and backstabbing. Tris gets knocked down and has to get back up again and face her fears in order to try and make it through initiation. This is a combination of Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games that meets Ally Condie’s Matched. It is a book where even though I checked it out from the library, I have gone out and bought it and the second book, Insurgent, just so I can pass it to family and friends so they can read. Needless to day, I highly recommend it and am not surprised that Summit Entertainment is in the process of producing the movie!

Want more? Here is the book trailer.