Sunday, November 17, 2013

Divergent: Book 1

Summary via Good Reads:
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, Tris also learns that her secret might help her save the ones she loves . . . or it might destroy her.

Review after the jump

Divergent has been one of my favorite reads. I thought the pacing was good, the story had plenty of action, and the fight scenes had real impact. The first person, present tense POV took a minute to adjust to but in the end I liked reading it. It was different than most other things I have read and I enjoyed that.

The world building in Divergent is fantastic. I loved the idea of factions and the concept of having to choose where you belong. What a difficult decision! As I read about the different ones, even I had a hard time deciding which faction I would belong to (Mia: I'm Amity!). Veronica Roth did an excellent job of explaining this post-apocalyptic world with enough mystery to keep you guessing: What was beyond the wall?

I like that most of the book is focused on Dauntless. I get the sense that the faction is twisting the word "bravery" and altering its meaning. Beating someone up does not mean you are brave though the initiation training would have you think so. The training scenes were some of the best and worst parts of the book. The knife throwing scene is a popular favorite but I didn't really care for the parts when people were just throwing punches to hurt each other. It seemed like a strange training protocol.

My least favorite concept in the book was the serums. From the moment of Tris's first experience with them I didn't understand them. I've read the whole series at this point and I still don't understand them. 

Maybe I am too well versed in science to reconcile the fantasy with the facts but I don't know how you can inject someone with anything and having it completely control their mind like that. I feel like it was an easy "fix all" and not explained well enough for my liking. It seemed a little lazy on the author's part which is why I'm only assigning 4 stars.

Overall, I enjoyed Divergent. I would recommend anyone who enjoys YA novels to pick this one up. It has action, a little romance, and a comprehensive world that most readers of this genre will like.


Ok, so, the romance is this book is good. I liked it. There is a lot of build up and tension that isn't resolved until the end. That's good! I don't like when they start sucking face right away. I don't like when they just see each other and are like "Ooo I love your sexy face!" I want to believe in the people. I want to believe in their like for each other just as much as their love. And Divergent does that for me. Yey! I see what Tris likes in Four (besides his hotness). I see what he likes in her beyond the physical attraction. It's a romance I can get behind. I like that.

Tris in Divergent would so be my best friend IRL. I like her so much! She's kind of quiet and unsure but she knows right from wrong and ends up being able to stand up against the bullies. I hate the bullies! Her character shows growth in the first book on a smaller scale which is good. Baby steps. She can't go from meek to superhuman awesome in one book when it is meant to be a trilogy.

Four makes me melt. He gives me that ooy-gooy feeling. But not right away! I had to warm up to him. By the end of the book I was drooling all over my Kindle. He is strong and protective but not in a psycho or overbearing way. He has his moments where he shows he's broken and you just want to pet him and hug him and make him feel all better but he doesn't get all wussy. He's all manly in Divergent. And I like it.

Oh yes! And there are characters that I love to hate. Hate, hate, hate. The bad guys are jerks, you know who they are and you dislike them instantly. I love when an author can make me feel something about all characters, even the bad ones. 

My number one, totally, absolute favorite scene in the book was near the very end with the gun. Come on. You know the one. It's very well written, I was swept up in the action and the emotions; I could see and feel everything in that moment. It was really what made me love Tris and Four and love Divergent.

I would recommend this book to YA readers who like dystopian action books. I don't know if I would call this a romance book. There is a love story in here, and I totally dig the love story, but it's very low key. That's why I'm only giving it 4 out 5 hearts; there's romance that I enjoy but nothing that sizzles.

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