Thursday, June 2, 2011

Divergent by Veronica Roth

Sorry it's been so long since I've done any reviews!  I've been terribly busy with it being vacation times and new arrivals in the house.

But today I finished a book.  This one, Divergent, by Veronica Roth.  Before I get into how cool and how much I loved this story, here's the summary from

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. 

Debut author Veronica Roth bursts onto the literary scene with the first book in the Divergent series—dystopian thrillers filled with electrifying decisions, heartbreaking betrayals, stunning consequences, and unexpected romance.

First off, one of my favorite things about this story is that it's set in Chicago and pretty much I have been there enough now to know where most of the locations are in this story so it made it more real to me.  The setting is pretty easy to understand even if you haven't been to Chicago.  

Next, characters.  The development is astonishing!  You can tell that Veronica studied creative writing and possibly had mounds of homework to do on character development.  I love the development of Beatrice (or as of now I will just say Tris) and even Four.  Even the minor characters that you don't see enough like her parents--especially Mom--have great development and it's not to be missed.

Tris is on my top ten list of favorite heroines.  She is strong, she is selfless, she is relentless and determined.  She doesn't want to let anything get to her.  She doesn't want to be seen as weak because of her physical build.  But she's not weak.  Her personality isn't weak at all.  If anything she is a smart, courageous girl that knows what she wants out of what she is doing.  Pretty much, I believe, all the characteristics of being Divergent.

The way this dystopian is set up is fantastic with the five factions, Amity, Abnegation, Erudite, Dauntless and Candor.  And when you're sixteen you go through the aptitude test--reminds me of how the military works in the US--and get told an option of which faction you would fit best with.  While I was reading the story, I kept thinking of which faction I could handle being in if they were about.  Even though our heroine was raised Abnegation, I couldn't go there.  Being a mother though, I can understand selflessness, but I'm not that selfless--I do have selfish moments.  I wouldn't last a day in Candor since pure honesty can get you into trouble sometimes, Dauntless is for the brave but I'm not crazy brave like this faction, Erudite for the smart and knowledgeable which would be one of my choices and Amity--another since it is about peace and tranquility.

At one point though in the story, I kind of got bored reading because it seemed to never end in one section of the book.  I then reviewed the story and what I had read to that point in my mind and realized that even if I'm getting remotely bored with a section, it has great set up to understanding mostly the faction that Tris is in and what it has to do with her character development.  This is a plot and character driven story that mesh so well together that you can't see the difference.

Give this story a read.  Find out what faction you would belong with while you're reading it.  Enjoy the adventure and the adrenaline rushes with Tris.  But remember that the one choice made is the one that could change the future.