Saturday, July 16, 2011
Book Review: Divergent by Veronica Roth
Author: Veronica Roth
Genre: Young Adult (dystopia)
Why I read it/how I found it: Once again, just heard a lot about it, and heard a lot of good things about it.
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.
Review: Holy. Freaking. Moley. I told myself before that I needed a break from dystopian, but I heard so much buzz about this book I had to read it, and I am so glad I did! This books is an incredibly unique dystopia, without all of the stereotypes that you often find in that genre. The characters were all fresh, individual, and realistic. Not one of them were flat, and so having them interact made for an engaging story. I loved Tris' character, because she was brave and selfless, but it wasn't done in a way that said, "Hey! Bam! Look at how awesome I am!" Of course, Tris was awesome, but it wasn't in a way that overdid anything or made it out as if she's a goddess but doesn't realize how great she is. Also, this book balanced action, social issues, internal conflict, and romance all very well. With everything in the mix, with the right amount of it, there were so many factors that made me keep on reading. And, please just rejoice with me for a moment, because you see THERE WAS NO LOVE TRIANGLE. *cue hallelujah chorus* That's right folks, you can make an intriguing YA book with romance, and keep it between two people. And it was an amazing romance. It didn't overpower the book, it was sweet, but not so much you feel nauseated. The end had me in tears, and so this book is very powerful emotionally.
Other information: The next book, Insurgent, is due out around May 2012, although nothing on that date is final yet. Divergent is also going to be on the big screen some time from Summit Entertainment. Evan Daughtery will be writing the script, and Pouya Shabazian, Doug Wick, and Lucy Fisher are producing it. Veronica Roth's website is here.