First things first: Apologies! I’m sending personal apologies through the interwebs to all of you lovely people who read this blog for being TWO days late for this week’s Sunday Review. With Thanksgiving travel Sunday and a long day yesterday, I just didn’t have the time or energy. But! Now I’m back and (maybe?) better than ever!
So, I hope you all have recovered from your Turkey Day comas and are ready to talk Divergent!
REVIEW: Divergent, Veronica Roth
Brief Summary: Beatrice Prior lives in a dystopian, future Chicago where people are split into 5 “factions.” Hers is abnegation, where everyone believes in selflessness above all else. The others include Erudite, which believes in knowledge; Dauntless, which believes in bravery; Amity, which believes in peace; and Candor, which believes in honesty. Each year, 16-year-olds go to a choosing ceremony, where they must choose to stay in their birth faction, or leave behind their family for one of the other four. It is this choice that transforms Beatrice Prior into Tris and starts her journey to battle her own demons while protecting her family (new and old).
Most Memorable Line(s): “…I am NOT going to sleep with you in a hallucination. Okay?” — So I chose this line for one main reason. In a book that gets pretty deep with conspiracy and betrayal and hard stuff, this is a line that literally made me laugh out loud when I first read it. The situation is NOT funny, what’s happening is NOT a laughing matter, but it’s such a simple declaration that I remember it and randomly laugh about it all the time.
I’ve already talked about how much I love YA books. I had heard of this for a while before I read it, and finally started after my best friend told me she tore threw it in a few days. I picked it up during the busy season of work, and during a late night read the entire thing in about 6 hours. It was a great read. Veronica Roth creates a really believable dystopian world. Set in future Chicago, after the rest of the United States has been sealed out and perished from war, this self sufficient city has risen. Each of the factions believes that their one defining trait is what people must follow to have peace. Selflessness, Bravery, Peace, Honesty, and Knowledge are what drives people now. What makes this such a fun book is its action. Narrated by a 16 year old girl, we get to experience her desires, strengths, and weaknesses throughout. While Tris is believable, she falls a little short for me, as do most of the characters in Divergent. Everyone feels like a shell. They each have a purpose, and while some go deeper than others, none go quite deep enough. Tris’ thoughts seem a little…idyllic to me. She’s just a bit too”right” in situations. She’s certainly got her flaws, but she knows that. The world Tris lives in, however, does not fall short for me. I think it’s the strongest part of the book. While every character seems to be a basic archetype, they are the basic archetype OF each faction. The factions, what they mean, and why people follow them make sense to me. They’re deep, they’re powerful, and they’re enticing. I enjoyed this book because I wanted to know what happened to this city and the factions that guide it. This is the first book in a trilogy, and unfortunately the other two books, as I’ll probably review next year at some point (I’m a re-reader!) don’t really live up to the original. If you’re looking for an action-packed world, this is what you ought to read.