Monday, 30 May 2011

Book Review: Divergent By Veronica Roth

Name: Divergent
Author: Veronice Roth
Publishers: HarperCollins Children's Books

Summary: 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.
Debut author Veronica Roth bursts onto the literary scene with the first book in the Divergent series—dystopian thrillers filled with electrifying decisions, heartbreaking betrayals, stunning consequences, and unexpected romance.

Lately, I have noticed that Dystopian reads have been hitting the young adult shelves like crazy. And after reading books like The Hunger Games Series, I had to pick up a few more novels in this genre. What does Dystopian mean? Well, below is a quick definition:
 Dystopian is a fictional society; when the conditions of life are   extremely bad due to deprivation, oppression, or terror. In most dystopian fiction, a corrupt government creates or sustains the poor quality of life, often conditioning the masses to believe the society is proper and just, even perfect.
The above is a perfect example of the society in Divergent. At the age of 16, Beatrice is made to choose one of the five factions (a group/society) that the city of Chicago is divided into. Each faction having a their own distinct rules and identity. While reading I couldn't help but wonder which faction I would belong to? On Veronica Roth's blog she explains the first 100 pages of Divergent including a definition for each faction. I put a quick summary of her blog post below:

DAUNTLESS: fearless, undaunted (courageously resolute in the face of danger/difficulty).
ABNEGATION: .to refuse or deny oneself (some rights, conveniences, etc.); reject; renounce.
ERUDITE: characterized by great knowledge; learned or scholarly
CANDOR: the state or quality of being frank, open, and sincere in speech or expression; candidness.
AMITY: friendship; peaceful harmony. mutual understanding and a peaceful relationship, especially between nations; peace; accord.

After reading Divergent I couldn't come to a conclusion of which faction I would choose; but two that I would best be fit for: Candor & Dauntless - honest & brave. Say what's on my mind & a little bit of a daredevil! lol
So, which faction would you be in?
The characters in Divergent are written incredibly well, not to mention I fell in love with a few (who can't love Beatrice & Four ;-) ) I was very impressed. Each character belongs to a different faction, and it was very easy to tell by the way the character talks to one another & their actions which faction they belonged to. Or in some cases which faction they are in but don't necessarily belong there. This isn't always easy to do, and each character had a distinct voice.

One of my favorites parts to this book is that I believe the author, Veronica takes a very relate-able topic, and makes it into this adrenaline filled novel. Beatrice has to make the ultimate choice, continue to be in a faction with her family or chose a faction that best fits her personality. We all have to develop a sense of self: who are we? who we hang around? What do we want out of life? And maybe those things aren't exactly what our parents or family would choose for us or even be a part of. All in all, the messages are clear, you just have to think a little (which I love about books- everyone can take from it what they want). I have never taken so many notes on my Nook before.

Overall, the WOW factor & excitement of Divergent is over the top! This book was a page turner no doubt and will keep you up into the wee hours of the night. I can't wait for the next book- the ending was a bit tortuous I will say- leaves the reader with a bit of a cliff hanger ;-)  ***** Five of Five Stars


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