Saturday, January 21, 2012

Review: Divergent by Veronica Roth (10/10)


Title: Divergent
Author: Veronica Roth
Publisher: HarperCollins (2011)

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. (From Amazon.com)
 I just had to reread this book to review it for the blog. Divergent was easily one of the top books I had read last year. It is terrible that it has taken me so long to compile a proper review for it!

Unlike some YA, Divergent does not make the adult reader feel put off by simplified language or descriptions. Some scenes are brutal and heartbreaking, while others utterly touching. It has been too long that a book has moved me and gripped me in so many different ways.

I am a big fan of dystopian fiction and films. While this seems to be the current trend in YA, unlike Eve, Divergent stands head and shoulders above most other books vying for attention. There is not a single apsect of this world that I questioned. Tris had to fight and be tough. Nothing was every simple for her.

And the romance... sigh. The romance! It wasn't WHAMBAMOMG! Tris actually shared some poignant moments with her love interest before anything developed. By the way, this is a far better message to be sending out to your teenaged readers, authors. If you are out there reading this, I hate YA romance that just happens and the characters seem more concerned about their beauty and perfection than any real attraction/kinship/common ground.

I mean, let's face it. Edward Cullen is an asshole. But he is just sooooo perfect that his assholish personality and somewhat obsessive and controlling nature falls to the wayside. And Daniel Grigori? You know, the pretty boy in the Fallen series by Lauren Kate? Total asshole too.

YA is teaching girls to be attracted to boys based primarily on their looks. In fact, that looks overshadow anything else, even abusive natures.

I apologise for my rant. This will h\appen often in my reviews. I could run a traditional blog here, but where is the fun in that?

Four is awesome. He is complicated but human. He has morals. He is everything I would want my own daughter to model her boyfriend choices on.

And the writing is fantastic. Roth does not waste her time with floral descriptions. She gets to the point and her style is sharp and precise, reminding me of my other favourite dystiopian series, The Hunger Games. The mere fact that I didnt skim over single paragraph during my reread speaks volumes.

The sequel, Insurgent, will be out later this year. I am so excited, I am bouncing around like a bunny with ADHD.

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