During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles alongside her fellow initiates to live out the choice they have made. Together they must undergo extreme physical tests of endurance and intense psychological simulations, some with devastating consequences. As initiation transforms them all, Tris must determine who her friends really are—and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes exasperating 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 unrest and growing conflict that threaten to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves . . . or it might destroy her.
I have a confession to make.
I read this book over a month ago and have only just got round to reviewing it. i know, shoot me. I was packaging it up to send away for a swap and then I realised something. I hadn't reviewed it! So I finally got round to it today and then I remembered the reason I didn't review it straight after reading it... I can't word my feelings for this novel...
Love... adore... worship... those words don't even come close to the feelings I have for Divergent, I will admit that it is one of the best books I have read this year and definitely the best dystopian. Yo be honest, I've been getting sick of dystopians lately, at one point they were all original but now it seems like not being able to love who you want is a common theme (Matched/Delirium) and it got a bit predictable, thats not to say I didn't adore those books, I just didn't feel as strongly towards them as I do Divergent.
What makes Divergent so fantastic is the way that Veronica Roth builds up this gritty world, with the gritty charcters and then just throws the reader into it, she doesn't spend pages upon pages describing this world, she just throws the reader into it and leaves them to discover the facts, in some books, this could be called lazy, in Divergent, it's genius. Roth creates a world that can be relatable to modern day Chicago (well I've never been there, but that is the impression I get) but has enough decay and originality for it to seem like a whole new world, the creates the four factions with such clarity and doesn't confuse the reader in the complexity of it all.
The story itself is very original, at sixteen all teens choose their faction, while some of them change factions, most stay with the one they were raised in, Tris and her brother both move from Abnegation though Tris makes the risky decision of moving to Dauntless, the brave, strong and fearless faction. But things aren't that simple, there is tension between the factions and by changing to Dauntless, Tris is letting herself in for more than she thought...
She also creates some pretty fantastic characters, we have Tris, who starts out meek and shy having come from the polite abnegation faction and ends up being preeeeetty kick-ass, Tris isn't the perfect, flawless character, at the beginning we see her dissapoint her family and at many points she makes mistakes which makes the character more real. We have some other great characters but I'm just going to mention Four, who is hot, angsty, equally kick-ass and in the end turns out to be a nice guy, i loved Four, I loved loved loved him! New book crush? I think so!
The bad guys, who I won't name for fears of spoilers, are pretty obvious bad guys and Roth doesn't sugar coat them to make them even slightly nice which I think was a very smart move on her part. In fact, Roth doesn't really sugar-coat anything, she tells a gritty story and leaves nothing out and this adds to her fantastic world building, I really can't compare her writing to anybody else but Suzanne Collins (Author of The Hunger Games). And yes, she does exactly what Collins did in 2008 - she creates a vivid dystopian world with pain, love and a strong moral and doesn't leave any stone unturned. There are no plotholes and the execution of the plot is fantastic!
Overall rating: A+
Stand alone/series: First in a series
Released: May 1st 2011 (Paperback)
Publisher: Katherine Tegan Books
Book obtained via: Bought!