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Review: Divergent

By Veronica Roth

“You’re a little scary, Four.”

“Do me a favour and don’t call me that [name].”
“What should I call you then?”
“Nothing. Yet.” – page 287

Title: Divergent
Author: Veronica Roth
Book: 1 of Divergent
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopian
Found: Goodreads
Rating: 5 Voodoos 

I bought this book for my kindle several years ago, but it just sat there. As the hype grew I opened it a few times but never got around to reading any of the words. Last year I bought hardback copies of both this and the second one, my excuse for not reading them however, was that I was waiting for 3. I like to have sets and matching sets at that so I spent far too much money getting my hands on a matching cover from America in late November of last year, only for it to join the other two on my shelf. Recently I decided however, with the film due out soon now was the time to read them. I fully expected to like whichever I experienced first the most and with books two and three lazing about I realised it had better be the book!

I try not to read reviews before I read books as I feel it influences my own views on the matter, but I did accidentally note that there were several 1 star reviews. I have since glanced through them and they seem to be by people who like to be mean, which is a kind way to put what I really want to say. As far as I can see, the main problems they had were with the cover and sometimes the actual story fitting with their dystopian definition.

The world of Divergent is split into 5 fractions, Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). Their society decided it would focus on the virtue they felt best prevented war, but they couldn’t agree on one. Once a year all those of age are given an aptitude test which will tell them where their best future lies. They are given a day, then they must chose the fraction they wish to support.
Beatrice Prior must choose between staying with her family and being who she really is. Her choice surprises even herself.
Renamed Tris, she struggles along with others through the competitive initiation into the fraction she has chosen. Initiation changes everyone and Tris must determine who around her is a friend or a threat and who will help or hinder her. Then there’s the guy helping to train them whom she can’t keep her eyes off. He’s distant and yet he watches her and she feels funny every time he’s near. But there is no time to find out why as growing unrest across the fractions is stirring up conflict that will unravel what should have been a perfect society and Tris’ secret could be the only thing that can save the ones she loves.

To me a seeming idyllic society with hidden agenda’s is dystopian. Any story with limited freedom , certainly less freedom  than we have now, is definitely dystopian, but whatever. I really didn’t intend to include this kind of thing in my review, but people who hate for the sake of hating perplex me.

I was pretty glad of the fact I had a kindle edition of this book too, since I couldn’t walk around with a pretty hardback in my hands all the time, I could read bits on the kindle app on my phone!  Which pretty much means I couldn’t put it down.
I liked Tris. She was small and not pretty and completely average. She wasn’t the actually-pretty-just-thinks-she-isn’t type that can be remarkably annoying, nor was she the naturally-talented-completely-oblivious sort and while Four was self-contained and intense he wasn’t brooding and devastated. The fractions were well mapped out and the world seemed pretty whole, even if I did spent my time wondering how the heck the trains are running.
Though upon reflection, after a rushed read of the end, I did decide I felt that perhaps all the deaths were a little forced, there are questions that can’t be answered now that perhaps should have been and the main characters didn’t need that kind of fall out to push through their development.

My absolute favourite thing is there is no love triangle! Not really and that’s a relief to me, I hate them with a passion. However, I can see the possibility for one in book two, is that not where they often crop up? So I’m crossing my fingers and holding my breath as I pick up book two. It will lose points for daring one, I tell you.

And this ‘quick review before I read two and get muddled with what happened in which book’ has actually become rather long…

Well, now I can go and watch the film trailer and complain about cast and messed up moments!

Review of book two: Insurgent
Review of book three: Allegiant



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