Veronica Roth; Paperback, 487 pages
Published May 3rd 2011 by HarperCollins Children’s Books
Source: my own copy
Beatrice “Tris” Prior has reached the fateful age of sixteen, the stage at which teenagers in Veronica Roth’s dystopian Chicago must select which of five factions to join for life. Each faction represents a virtue: Candor, Abnegation, Dauntless, Amity, and Erudite. To the surprise of herself and her selfless Abnegation family, she chooses Dauntless, the path of courage. Her choice exposes her to the demanding, violent initiation rites of this group, but it also threatens to expose a personal secret that could place in mortal danger. Veronica Roth’s young adult Divergent trilogy launches with a captivating adventure about love and loyalty playing out under most extreme circumstances.– Goodreads blurb
Yes, it took me this long to read it 😛 Deal with it, lol.
What I really liked about the book was the world-building. I found it a very nifty world view, the factions and the dynamic between them was what really got me into reading it in fact – I read somewhere an interview with the author and that factions concept was the hook. Would I have read the book if it hadn’t been for that concept that got me so intrigued? Probably not. I live in a dystopian enough place myself to want to find others of the sort, lol. But I’m a sucker for new ideas of social order, probably has a lot to do with being a sociologist.
I will not make this into a social order thesis or something, but Veronica Roth came up with a really smart concept; I loved it, in fact. It was a lot of fun reading about the factions and especially the tensions between them. I felt there was also a lot to be considered after reading, it leaves you with something to really think about – there’s nothing better or more a book can do for you. Aside the momentary pleasure, the thrill ride, the fun & entertaining, a good book has spirit, it has an idea, it has a message. I felt there was plenty of that in Divergent, I felt it provokes introspection and it calls for assessing or reassessing your values, your goals perhaps, your inner workings. This was by far my favorite part of this novel.
The characters were interesting, but I wouldn’t say I was totally into one of them; more like I liked peeking in on their reactions and behaviors, something like a social experiment. I think the plot appealed so much to my scientific mind that it also brought on a distinctive reaction: detachment from the subjects of my study. Did I find Tris and Four to be a cute couple? Perhaps; but watching the Dauntless initiates react to the simulations forcing them to face their fears and how they each reacted to it? Priceless.
The writing was clear and very accessible, it gave good perspective on not only Tris but everyone around, and I find in this a great plus; it takes real talent to give a world view through a character’s eye, as human beings we tend to focus on what interests us directly, and that’s not always a wide horizon, if you catch my drift. Perhaps because Tris had been educated to be oriented outward because of the Abnegation culture the outward focus makes so much sense and feels so natural – this as well is a great success.
I will admit to having found a couple of quotes that I had a total crush on, one of them being a scene between Four and Tris, the one with the fear thing and how it wakes her up? You know what I’m talking about, I’m absolutely sure xDDD Perhaps it makes me a bit of a twisted reader, but hey, it takes all kinds to make the world keep going, right?
Was I totally hooked? I was; I staid up all night and read it in one go, yes. Was I fangirling when I was done reading and during? No. I was entertained, amused and intrigued, but I wasn’t fangirling. I blame it on my scientific mind being too alert, lol. I can’t be scientifically curious and fangirling at the same time, I just don’t have it in me. Plus, it’s the YA syndrome again – had Tris been a more mature character, and had her relationship to Four been on the grown-up-ish side, I would have been fangirling most likely. Sorry, it’s just how I feel.
So if you haven’t read the book yet, I say you totally should, if you’re a total YA dystopia fan it’s a must read with bells on, and if you’re not, it’s going to be a fun ride. Have your read it already? How did you feel about it? Tell me, let’s chat and share notes 😀