Alright, I never thought I would jump onto the dystopian train and enjoy the ride. But I have and I do. Granted, my dystopian literature exposure consists of 4 books (The Hunger Games trilogy and now Divergent by Veronica Roth).
I am a big fan of this trilogy already and the second one isn’t even published yet.
Why did I like this book? Well, I originally downloaded the free sample on my iPad to see how I’d feel about it. I felt awesome about it. But I had to wait, there were other things on my list I needed to read first. So, I waited and finally, the time came when it was Divergent‘s turn, and it did not let me down.
I love this society. My blogger friend described the book as being a mashup of Harry Potter sorting hat and Hunger Games. You should totally check out her review here.
But I digress. Let me focus here. Why I liked the book:
- It was a quick read. I mean, it’s over thirty chapters long, but I flew through the novel. HOWEVER, and what I think a strength of Roth’s is (or seems to be from her breakout novel) is that not every chapter has to end in a cliff-hanger. That was one thing that drove me crazy with the Hunger Games series. It was like Collins never gave me a chance to breathe and digest what I’d just read. Yes, some cliff-hangers are good, even needed for great books I’d argue, but Roth has a good balance here.
- The main character. It was awesome watching her grow and make all these serious decisions. I really don’t want to go too in depth with it because then I’d have all these spoilers. But I will say this, unlike Katniss who is swept up by her handful of berries and the implications that that carries, Beatrice (the main character here – aka Tris) knows what she’s getting into.
- Also, like Hunger Games, the society is divided up. Huger Games had districts that spanned all of a country whereas Divergent has different factions of one society. This society is really limited to one city, and I really want to know what’s beyond the farms that lie just outside the city. Is the rest of the world like this? I don’t know. If this question isn’t answered later in the series then I’ll be very disappointed.
- Lastly, the thing I think that I loved the most about this book (once I finished) is that while it does leave the reader in some action, the book could stand alone. Let me try and say this a different way. Yes, I want another book in the series, BUT if the series hadn’t continued then the book would still be a satisfying read.
Thing I did not like about the book: It seemed a bit (just a teeny bit) predictable. It was like when you meet a character it’s almost like you could figure out their role in the book within a few pages. BUT, she did throw me some curve balls so that’s why I say a bit (and not totally) predictable.
Here’s how Amazon describes the book: In Beatrice Prior’s dystopian Chicago world, 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.
Oh, and the best part: In the about the author section of the book, it tells me that Divergent was what Roth did in grad school (I think, maybe college) instead of doing her homework. Rock on girl.