Saturday, August 4, 2012

Book Review: Divergent

by Veronica Roth

Date Read:  08/03/2012

Rating:  ★ ★ ★ ★

I would really give this 4.5 stars if I could. But the beginning started out a little slow for me - still entertaining - but slow. And I know that's how a new series starts, but it seemed like it took a really long time to get going.

I very much enjoyed this the entire time I read it. Even when it was slow. The world had to be built. The characters had to be introduced. It was really good, but just a little slow. It took about 200 pages to really understand where the story was going. And then another 150 pages or so to know where the big climax was going to happen and what it was going to be.

But OMG. When it happened, holy crap. Those last 100 pages were so action packed I could barely stop reading to let my dogs inside!

Ok, so the world. It starts off pretty much with the aptitude tests and choosing ceremony. Roth does a pretty good job of getting us to understand the different factions before Beatrice chooses which faction she will be in. She also does a decent job with us somewhat attaching to her family, and realizing how hard the decision she is trying to make is. Perhaps that is because I love my family too, so I know how difficult the thought of leaving them would be. But throughout the book Roth continues to build the world, and show us how this dystopian world was meant to be set up, and how much is has digressed from what it originally stood for.

I really liked Beatrice, the main character. She was strong, but she also had insecurities that came from the faction she was originally from. So she had strengths and weaknesses. I liked that we got to see both. And I liked how we saw different friendships of hers grow and how she questioned who were her real friends. She definitely grew as a character over the length of this book.

Four [SPOILER: aka Tobias. Did anyone really not expect that Four was going to be Tobias?] This was an interesting character. I didn't really latch on to his character right away. He had a detachment to him that I didn't warm up to. But eventually you start to see him warm up, or wear down, and see that he is a pretty good person, but has had to deal with a lot in his past. But he always tries to do what's right.

Beatrice and Four. Of course there has to be a relationship in a YA novel. I thought this one was done pretty well, because you didn't start reading this novel because there was a's just a side note that helps the story at the end. But this relationship grows. That's what I really liked. She got to know him. Then realized she kind of liked him. Then they realized they liked each other. And THEN they kiss. [SPOILER: And I really liked that at the end they both reflect that they think they love each other. Tris thinks about why she can't shoot Tobias and then Tobias declares his love for Tris. It was a sweet ending to an otherwise dramatic ending.]

Supporting characters. Boy there were a lot of them. There were her family members. There were the Dauntless leaders. There were the Dauntless initiates. There were the transfer initiates. And there were a couple other random characters. No wonder it was slow to start...she introduced us to soo many characters! But by the end, I was either rooting for some and crying for some outcomes, or hoping she would kill them! Which I think is impressive with the amount of characters in this book, and that it is in fact one book. There were a lot of characters in Harry Potter that I cried for, but they were introduced over several books and by the end, you were invested in them for 6 or 7 books!

I thought the idea of fear was interesting. That is what this book focused most on. And I thought it was interesting when Four mentioned that Selflessness and bravery aren't that different. When I thought about it, I realized he was right. I've never stopped to think about fear and bravery before. But this really brings it to light. And I thought it was interesting even how it brought up suicide, and how it isn't an act of bravery, it's an act of cowardice. I've always believed that, and I was pretty shocked to see it brought up in a book. It was quite interesting. And we saw how people coped with the things they had to go through. It reminded me of watching the characters in the Hunger Games cope. They really weren't in THAT much different of scenarios.

The climax I thought kind of came on a bit fast. We finally figured out what was going to happen, and then BANG. It happened. That is my only real complaint on this book. But once that action started, I couldn't stop reading. It was constant action. Constant shock. And constant hope.

This book was really good, and I will be recommending it to my friends. I cannot wait to get my hands on Insurgent, the sequel, to find out what happens to these characters next.


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