Divergent – Veronica Roth
I have been wanting to read Divergent for what feels like an eternity. Everyone had told me how good it was and I have a bit of a soft spot for dystopia so when I finally managed to pick it up for the absolute bargin prince of £1.50 I couldn’t wait to read it.
So, Divergent, what’s it all about….?
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.
I’ll be honest, I was ever so slightly disappointed when I started reading it. I think I’d heard so much about it and built it up so much that I was expecting every shade of wonderful, and to begin with I had no idea where it was going. None of it seemed all that interesting to me at the start, and I was meandering along with it thinking it was alright but a bit dull up until the last 200 pages or so. That’s when it started to get really good. I just think too long was spent on Tris’s Dauntless training and not enough time talking about the war plans, also there’s this huge plot hole with the idea of the factionless – there appears to me anyway, to be way more people living without a faction at all than there is people living in a faction and if this is the case, why haven’t the factionless all joined forces and taken down the others? Just a thought. I may have missed something, or perhaps this is further talked about in the rest of the trilogy. But anyway, that is a minor gripe
I kind of loved it once it started getting exciting, I thought Tris was ace, and I really loved her and Four’s burgeoning relationship. Their little exchange *spoiler alert* near the end was unbelievably cute I may have internally squealed.
I know I wrote this whole post the other day about strong female characters and how I didn’t like romances as such because I hate it when a girl then decides her whole raison d’etra is the guy she’s crushing on. But, I kind of liked Tris in this, she didn’t let Four intimidate her or walk all over her. She pulled him up on his “ooh I’ll kiss you today Tris but tomorrow I’m gonna yell at you in front of all the other initiates.” Stuff which I really liked about her.
FOUR FOR YOU TRIS COCO YOU GO TRIS COCO.
Also, as a side note, I loved how one of her fears was intimacy, like, that proper made me smile, not because I’m sadistic, but because the rest of the story really does call for a suspension of reality and then that bit was added in and it just made Tris a much more real protagonist with real fears as well as this whole ass kicking dystopian government rebelling stuff that she was getting up to. Another thing I really liked was that unlike other dystopians I’ve read recently (cough matched cough) the moments of horror and terror were actually genuinely scary. Tris’s fear is written in such a way that it actually struck a bit of a chord for me.
Another great thing about this book is its set in Chicago.
That might not mean a lot to anyone else, but I have this intense love of books that are set in places that I’ve either been or know well, I think it’s because I’m a bit lazy and its easier to visualise if I’ve seen the place before. There are moments in Divergent when they mention Navy Pier and the Ferris wheel contained on it, there is a moment when they jump from the Hancock building and go for a walk through Millennium Park and beneath the Bean which was a particular highlight of my Chicago trip so all of that gave it major points in my view. (A bit like Neil Gaimon’s Graveyard Book because there were bits of that set in the Dragon Den under Wawel Castle in Krakow which is where I spent my 23rd birthday.)
Anyway, that’s enough about my past holidays.
This left me wanting more and I am kind of clawing at the walls at the fact that the library doesn’t have Insurgent in stock currently, I mean WHAT ARE YOU PEOPLE DOING I NEED IT?!
But at the same time, it didn’t end on a cliffhanger so I feel like once I get over the initial ERMERGERD WHATS GOING TO HAPPEN that I’ll be fine to pick it up whenever.
I think this will get a Nick Fury seal of approval.
But only for the last half of the book. Because the first half was kind of dull and the whole building of this dystopian Chicago was just a bit…