Thursday, December 29, 2011

Review: Divergent


Author: Veronica Roth


In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago, 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 to determine who her friends really are—and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes infuriating 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 a growing conflict that threatens to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves… or it might destroy her.

Published 3 May 2011


Another digress from the Fairytale Campaign!


Initially, after all the hype buzzing around Divergent, I thought it might be another disappointment.

But, I was totally wrong! This is one of the rare books that I finish in one sitting.

Divergent does not kick off with a promising first chapter. The explanation for each of the five factions seem lacking and slightly illogical.

However, I have to point out that Divergent's success and popularity lies in Veronica Roth's wonderful characterization and stunning storyline.

Beatrice is a real character who is really selfish and mean at times, and she knows it. She is constantly thinking about where she really belongs. She grew up in Abnegation which values selflessness above all, but she has never found it easy to be selfless like those around her. During her aptitude test, Beatrice is classified as Divergent, a dangerous category that her examiner helps to hide.

What is Divergent? Simply a term to describe those who belong to more than one faction, a mind that cannot be as easily controlled as others who tend to lean towards one of the values.

In the Choosing Ceremony, Beatrice chooses Dauntless to the disbelief and anger of her father. Her brother, Caleb, chooses Erudite for intelligence and pursuit of knowledge. Abnegation youths are not inclined to change factions, with only one-- son of Marcus (leader of  Abnegation), Tobias, who went to the Dauntless.

This is the turning point of the story, the part which propells Divergent from one of those faceless dystopian novels to a first-class action-packed tale. As the story unfolds into the trials and challenges of initiation, the novel takes no effort to read at all, as one scene smoothly transits into the next. Most importantly, Tris (she changes her name for a new start) really grows. The character growth is spectacular! She becomes really bodacious (badass *coughs*) but not those type of brazen and arrogant ones who keeps making mistakes.

And here comes the best part of the whole book-- Four who must be one of the best boy-character-in-a-book ever! I absolutely loved him! A big THANK YOU to Veronica Roth for having no love triangles. Even then, the love between them is striking! Four has a sense of stillness to him plus a quirky sense of humour; he is good-looking though his looks are not mentioned much in the book. The best thing about him is how treats Tris: not tortured, pained or anything, but straightforward, like they are equals, though initially wary. There's a sense of mystery around him until it is revealed at the end that he is Tobias, from Abnegation as well, and he is Divergent like Tris.

Divergent ends as war breaks out. (not revealing anything yet, go read it yourself, save you the pleasure!)

And it's a good ending because we know that Insurgent (Book #2) will start head-on with the action and the climax, can't wait!

Divergent is an action-packed read that also exploits some of human's most vulnerable sins and shortcomings. And as we see the people with power live in fear of losing it, as we see Tris slowly understand that real bravery is ordinary-- the courage that drives one person to stand up for another-- and not that different from selflessness, Divergent becomes more than just an entertaining dystopian story, but one that really highlight and illustrate to you the human weaknesses.

Then we see Tris grow up and it's like a beautiful coming-of-age tale.

Sometimes, it's the characters and what the story really teaches you that is important, not that much of the world-building. Because after all, quoting Stephen King, Fiction is just the truth inside the lie.

Simply stunning. That's all I can say for one of my favourite books of 2011.

Source: Purchased

Sel :)

Coming Soon:
1. Top 10s for 2011 and 2012


  1. a good review, i will try to find this book to read ^_^

  2. Okay, sure thing, come find me!

  3. If humanity could be divided by personality traits (a la Myers-Briggs or ISBN 9780471371021, could there be peaceful coexistence? In a futuristic Chicago we see young people trying to decide which faction was for them. How would you cope?How are "factionless" treated or seen?
    This book must have a sequel! This is very interesting and those who enjoyed Hunger Games will enjoy this too.

  4. This was such a great book and so was its sequel and I agree with you on the point you made about Love Triangles!
    Great review and awesome blog! :)

    Alex @ Possession of Books

  5. Hey sel, I found your Blog Via Alex's review. Props too you Alex. On another note xD I liked you're review, sadly when I was reading I thought that a few spoilers were comming up so I just skipepd a few parts. Anyways I have.. uehh maybe 3 books or so then I'm reading Divergent Asap. Oh and if you want to look at my own blog feel free to do so,
    You don't have to follow me or anything, I just really want to know what to improve and what should I do better as a reviewer, and as a blogger. Thanks :)

    1. Sure, I'll drop by your blog soon! Uhh, sorry for the spoilers, couldn't resist.
      Enjoy reading Divergent, would love to hear what you think!

  6. I am seriously dying to read this book! Can't wait till I get my own copy, glad you liked it!

    1. Oh yes, you have to read this mind-blowing YA classic! You will definitely love it, I promise :)

  7. I don't read a lot of YA novels but I love Divergent! Can't wait for the final installment which would be released next year!


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