I’m a bit behind the times when it comes to reading Divergent by Veronica Roth. However, I’m finally starting to get caught up with all these awesome 2012 books! It’s funny that I finally got around to Divergent when I saw it on audio from the library. I hadn’t been able to find time to read the physical book I bought a year ago (one of my first book blogger inspired purchases :D), but I have been so short on audiobooks that it worked out perfectly in the form! In any case, I know that some of my opinions on this one are likely to be disagreeable with many fans, but that’s why they are opinions right, hehe.
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. – Goodreads
- I am a huge fan of slow burn romances, those relationships that you start getting an inkling about in the beginning, but the characters certainly don’t realize it. Divergent did this wonderfully from Tris’ perspective since she starts annoyed and put off, but slowly gets to know Four and finds she likes who he is when he freaking relaxes!
- The premise of five factions that focus on only one trait is quite interesting. I found myself thinking quickly about which faction I would end up in (Erudite) though it also seems likely I would have been born into it ;-). What faction do you think you’d choose? Do you think you would have been born into it based on your parents’ personalities?
- The plot twists of Divergent are delicious :D. I saw this book going in a very different direction, so it was pretty awesome to see how things developed.
- I thought the questions that Divergent brings up in terms of who should make up the government were really fun to think about and actually a good thing to consider. In the beginning there seem to be very good arguments for Abnegation, but is it really fair/good to have only one faction control government?
- The narrator did an excellent job. I highly recommend you check out the audiobook version if you are interested.
- There is only so much sadness and innocent death that I can take, and Divergent pushed up against that limit. I really didn’t think all of the bad things should have happened to some of the side characters. I understand some of it was necessary to show how cruel select candidates were, but it just went too far for my emotional health ;-).
- I’m not a fan of the “saving the world with love” conclusions and Divergent definitely felt like one.
- Just a generally word of caution that Divergent has abuse and assault situations at several occasions that might be more than unpleasant for some people.
Divergent definitely brought the grittiness of dystopias to the table in addition to a fascinating premise and strong characters. While I wish it hadn’t been nearly so dark at times, I thoroughly enjoyed the brewing romance and developing character of Tris. Now that all of that has gone down, I’m excited to see what Insurgent has in store! I’ve heard it’s just as depressing, so I’m holding off reading it until I’m filled up on happy fantasy books, but I won’t be able to resist the questions long ;-).