Sunday, November 9, 2014

Book Review: Divergent, by Veronica Roth

Divergent (Divergent, #1)Divergent by Veronica Roth
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Divergent, by Veronica Roth

Synopsis: 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.
During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles alongside her fellow initiates to live out the choice they have made. Together they must undergo extreme physical tests of endurance and intense psychological simulations, some with devastating consequences. As initiation transforms them all, Tris must determine who her friends really are—and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes exasperating 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 unrest and growing conflict that threaten to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves . . . or it might destroy her.
In A Sentence: Fun. Your typical dystopian young adult novel

What Was Fun: This read was enjoyable. And fast. It didn't take me long to get through it, only 2 days.
I thought Tris was a fun character to read about. The other characters were fun too, nothing too extreme; good, likeable characters. Everything in the plot made a reasonable amount of sense, the flow was good, and there was enough excitement to keep you interested. The ending closed off nicely, but left a nice big opening for the sequel.
But This Is Nothing New: This book was good, but we've all read this sort of stuff before. Dystopian novels are dominating the YA sections of bookstores, because they have this ideal template for teens: young, likeable heroes or heroines, a corrupted society with oppressive expectations, young people willing to stand up and fight against the system while at the same time discovering what it's like to fall in love. Divergent is nothing new, so despite this new story, this new dystopian idea, it all seems a little repetitive.
Read It But Don't Expect It To Be Awesome: This book follows in the wake of the Hunger Games and other series like it. It fits nicely into the current trend of YA novels. It's good, and it stands out in it's own way (I would put it alongside with the Hunger Games, actually), but don't read this expecting to be wowed. If you loved the Hunger Games, this is a good book for you. Otherwise, leave this for the teens to enjoy.

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