Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Divergent by Veronica Roth

Divergent by Veronia Roth
Release Date:
May 3, 2011
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Source: Won

Summary

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.(courtesy of Goodreads)

Review

I won Divergent in a blog giveaway. It sat unread on my shelf for almost two years. Person after person raved about it but still I didn't pick it up. Why? Too much hype, my distaste for dystopia, too many other things to read...you name it. I finally succumbed to peer pressure and read Divergent.


Did I like it? I'll put it this way: I finished Divergent in two days. I gave it to my husband and insisted he read it immediately. Then, I gave it to my parents and made them read it.

Divergent is probably the best dystopia I've read. I think it is BETTER than The Hunger Games.

Tris is a wonderful protagonist. I loved her mix of personality traits - what made her divergent. Her bravery, her selflessness, her sheer logic. The fact that her self-preservation sometimes outweighed her selflessness or that her intelligence made her sometimes thing twice about doing the gutsiest thing just for the sake of it made her more human.

And Four...wow....Four. He's a hard shell to crack. He's built up defenses to protect himself from his fellow Dauntless but mostly from one particular person. I loved getting to know the person behind the tough persona. I loved how he trusted Tris and also pushed her to be better.

The romance between Tris and Four sets Divergent apart from The Hunger Games. It's much more passionate and squeal-worthy than anything between Katniss and Gale/Peeta ever was (at least in the first book). At the same time, it never overwhelms the mystery and adventure of the main plot.

To say that Divergent is a page-turner is an understatement. I tore through the book. The book is full of action, but there are enough lulls that we get thorough character development of both the main and side characters. Plus, Tris goes through palpable and realistic growth, which is always nice to read. The story moves quickly enough that we are exposed to many different aspects of society - from family life, to education/training, to government and politics (I'm trying to be vague here to avoid any spoilers).

Roth did a fabulous job with the world-building. The utopian dystopia is nothing new, but setting up four different societies based on personality type and turning it into a seemingly functioning society is a great twist. After reading Divergent, I had a good understanding of the four groups (five if you count the factionless) and how the society worked as a whole. There was still a lot that I didn't know, but Roth structured the book well enough that I wasn't confused. Information was provided fast enough but without creating an info dump. I finished the book looking forward to finding out more in the next book but not feeling like anything was lacking in Divergent.

I can't recommend Divergent highly enough. This from a dystopia-hater is praise indeed. You will love the characters, the plot, and the fascinating dark world.

Rating: 5 / 5

37 comments:

  1. Wow! sounds like it more than lives up to the hype. I need to read it soon!

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  2. I loved it too. I read it before I heard/read all the hype behind it. I liked it better than the Hunger Games as well.

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  3. Yayyyyy I'm so glad you loved it! I absolutely adored this book and couldn't put it down either. As for your THG statement: I'm not sure if I would say it's better, but I do think it's just as good. And you need to read Insurgent now because the ending is... let's just say I was keyboard smashing until I managed to write a decent review.

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  4. I really liked this one too. Insurgent is awesome, and I hope you enjoy it. Amazing review.

    Jenea @ Books Live Forever

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  5. I loved it too - and so agree -it lived up to the hype - although I did have a few problems with the World building explanation. I can't wait to see what you think of Insurgent - I enjoyed Divergent more, but many others thought it was better.

    Tanya Patrice
    Girlxoxo.com

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  6. So. Awesome. Love this series and Insurgent keeps up the crazy, page-turning action! Four. I love Four. He is a very tough nut but it's totally understandable, especially after you find out more about him in the next book!

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  7. I totally agree! I also think it's better than the hunger games. Tris and Four are great characters and I love the action-filled storyline. I'm so happy that you ended up loving it as much as I (and many other bloggers) did!

    Mel@thedailyprophecy.

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  8. I'm glad you loved this book! Just wait until you read the sequel . . . twice as epic as this book. Great review!

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  9. I'm so happy you loved it!! You need to get your hands on Insurgent now. It will blow your mind. These are definitely some of my favorite Dystopians.

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  10. Too much hype, I've let that keep books lying in wait on my shelves too. I love seeing new people to this series fall in love with it like I did! And your parents read it too? That is awesome! :)

    ~Sara @ Forever 17 Books

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  11. In in the minority and thought the book was ok. It just didn't move me like "Hunger Games". I also wanted more world building which was really weak in my opinion. I've yet to pick up book 2 and am going to wait until book 3 to read it. Glad you really enjoyed it!

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  12. I put this one off for a really long time too Alison, I was so nervous I'd be the only person who didn't like it after I saw 5 star review after 5 star review. Luckily for both of us, that was not the case! I agree the romance between Tris and Four was far superior to that of Katniss and Peeta (though I adore them), I loved all the tension and the stolen moments. I still need to read Insurgent. *sigh* I'm so far behind on so many series!

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  13. Awesome review. I too went into Divergent with some apprehension and ended up loving it. I made my daughter read it and now have pushed on my niece. The hype is worth it here, I think.

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  14. I bought this book two years ago, and still haven't read it. I just haven't had the desire to, I guess. But maybe now I will, since you were in the same predicament and loved it so much!

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  15. yeah you liked it alot. Yeah hype can be double edged sword with books. Yes to Four too :) I gave this book to my dd to read

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  16. So glad you enjoyed this! I remember being nervous about the hype, because so often that makes it impossible for a book to live up to my expectations, but Divergent totally delivered. I agree, it's better than The Hunger Games, and the romance is far more passionate and intense. I also like that there's no love triangle! Fantastic review!

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  17. I loved divergent. I have heard not as good things about the second book though, so I'm nervous to pick that one up.

    but this one blew me away. Glad you liked it. :)

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  18. You're not the only one who had this type of reaction to Divergent with putting off till recently. It's a weird thing about this books but a lot of people were resistant to it at first...In any event, I'm glad you loved it! The elements you brought out were pretty much mine as well when I read it. Great review Alison - you're making me want to re-read :)

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  19. What do you mean it sat on your shelf for 2 years! GIRL!!!! This book is so awesome. Glad you liked it!

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  20. Don't worry, I have been meaning to read this since it came out! I also have a copy I bought in a sale that is yet unread. Perhaps I need to pick this up too :)

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  21. YEEES!!!! It IS the best Dystopia also for me! I still have to read Insurgent. But.. it's sooo damn epic! So happy you loved it as much as I did!!

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  22. This is one that I've been debating on reading for awhile, but I'm getting to it ASAP. I can't ignore how much reviewers seem to love it!

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  23. I was surprised to see this pop up on your blog, I always assume every book blogger has read it! I am so glad you loved it, I was hooked from the moment I started it and it is a fantastic example of a YA dystopian book!

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  24. Great review! I recently read it myself, after letting it sit unread on my shelf for months. As much as I love dystopians, the hype about it is probably what made me buy it, but also not want to read it right away. I was afraid I'd hate it. But like you, I loved it, too! I completely agree with your review!
    Megan @ Love, Literature, Art, and Reason

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  25. How funny that you would review this today...I just reviewed it as well! And I loved it as much as you did.

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  26. Glad you liked Divergent! I felt the same as you in that I kind of liked it better than the first book in The Hunger Games series. I read it so long ago, I've forgotten most of the story, but it was really exciting.

    Book 2, however, is a different story....

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  27. I'm in the same boat! It's been sitting on my shelf, but I'm planning on reading it VERY SOON! So excited. Awesome review :)

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  28. So nervous after your intro, feeling like it could go either way and you either loathed or loved it. Glad to see it panned out the second way!

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  29. I'm so glad you enjoyed it! I think Divergent is so worth the hype!

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  30. I LOVED Divergent too! It's been so long since I've read it I think I'm going to re-read it soon. Plus, I have Insurgent on my TBR bookcase so it'll make more sense to read them together ;) MORE time with Four!

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    http://peppyreads.blogspot.com/2013/01/first-book-review-of-year-how-to-save.html?spref=fb

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  32. I liked Divergent better than The Hunger Games too. It's fantastic, isn't it? :)

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  33. I'm glad you ended up loving it! Hype can be a horrible thing lol

    It think I like The Hunger Games (1st book) better but the the Divergent series is developing better overall than THG series IMO.

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  34. haven't read it yet, but really excited to read it!(:

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  35. Wow! I'm glad that you liked it so much. I read it, but unlike you, I really didn't like it. It wasn't the story so much as it was Tris. I just didn't like her. She is my top unlikable character so far. I found her selfish and boring.

    Even so, I glad that others can enjoy the book. It just wasn't for me.

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  36. I read this one a month on two, and felt like I was the last one to discover it, so I'm happy to see I'm not! I do have Insurgent, but haven't picked it up yet. Although tell myself the longer I wait to read that one, the less time I have to wait for the third.

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  37. It took me a long time to read this one too, but after I did I had to share it with everyone in my office. We now all wait in anticipation for the next one to be released. (and if you liked Divergent--I personally think Insurgent may be better).

    Shanan
    http://thebookaddictnet.blogspot.com/2011/12/book-addict-reviews-divergent-by_06.html

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