Divergent by Veronica Roth

Summary: In a future Chicago, sixteen-year-old Beatrice Prior must choose among five predetermined factions to define her identity for the rest of her life, a decision made more difficult when she discovers that she is an anomoly who does not fit into any one group, and that the society she lives in is not perfect after all.

Katherine Tegen Books

Find it at WCPL

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2 Comments

  1. I love this book! The dystopian world was put together seamlessly – I completely understood what I needed to know about how Tris’s world worked when I needed to understand it, but I wasn’t bored with excessive description. The characters were fantastic. With each of the significant ones I got a strong sense of exactly who they were, and how they were distinct from everyone else. But what I thought was best about it’s book was its sense of harsh reality.

    *Spoiler Alert*

    Four wasn’t the stereotypical love interest – he was harsher, more real. Even better, Tris never had some sudden, life-changing experience and then suddenly became sure that she was in the right place making the right choices. She had terrible doubts through to the end, and her success throughout the book was to keep ploughing on through her uncertainty. However, my favorite part of the book was Al. I loved the contradictions as he cried himself to sleep every night and then beat his opponent senseless in his first fight. I loved the way that he soon became the epitome of weakness, refusing to hurt anyone, and then cracked and nearly killed his best friend. Above all, I loved that even when he killed himself, Tris did not forgive him. She should have, and she knew that she should have, but she couldn’t bring herself to. Throughout the entire book, the characters were never distorted from their true, realistic selves in order to make them fit the ideas and emotions deemed “right” by the typical reader, and this is what made the book fantastic.

    This book just narrowly missed being one of my all-time favorites. It fell short of that highest honor because the characters don’t really live past the end of the book. Perhaps it’s that they weren’t fleshed out quite enough, or maybe it’s just because the ending was somewhat abrupt but, for whatever reason, I can’t quite imagine Tris and Tobias continuing to live past the last page. They existed fully throughout the entire story, but they didn’t manage to make that last hurdle into immortality in the readers’ mind.

    All in all, great book, can’t wait for the sequels, but doesn’t quite reach the immortality of, say, Hunger Games.

  2. Yet again, I agree with pretty much all of what Rachel said. But that doesn’t mean I don’t have anything to add.

    The love interest is usually Mr. Perfect, and if he has flaws, they’re flaws that make him perfect. Four’s flaws don’t make him perfect. They’re REAL flaws. And that, funnily enough, is what made him my favorite fictional love interest in a long while. Certain aspects of their relationship (mainly particular bits of conversation) reminded me very strongly of things I have experienced. So: Realistic? Yes.

    This book has many, many strengths, but Rachel outlined them pretty well, so I’m going to skip to the one flaw.

    Divergent was very fair to four of the factions, acknowledging both strengths and weaknesses. The nobility of the premise, and the failures in execution. But Erudite was constantly portrayed as arrogant, corrupt, belligerent and generally immoral. Its members were all made out to be insufferable know-it-alls, while it’s perfectly possible to be a humble intellectual.
    I think I speak for everyone when I say that I tried (and failed) to sort myself into one of the factions, and Erudite is probably the one that fits me best. But I don’t want to choose it, because I disagree with so much of how it/its members are displayed. (Of course, the whole message of the book is that people are too complex to be boxed into one dominating personality trait, but that’s beside the point.)

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