Book Review : Divergent by Veronica Roth
Divergent is set in an post-apocalyptic society in Chicago. There are five factions each emmulating a virtue; Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful) and Erudite (the intelligent). These factions were formed after a war by people believing that these characteristics would prevent future wars. Beatrice Prior is facing the dilemna of which faction she should choose now that she is sixteen. Beatrice has never felt that she fit into Abnegation and chooses to join the Dauntless even though she will have to leave her family. Renaming herself Tris, she finds Dauntless is not what she expected, but she has flashes of insight to what it might really mean to be Dauntless. Tris is also holding a secret that she has been warned could be deadly. This seemingly perfect society has the seeds of corruption. Tris is faced with the problem of trying to save her family and friends, and it doesn’t seem she can do both.
Adult Point of View
Divergent is an interesting debut novel. It felt a bit like reading The Hunger Games and Matched as a combined book. Overall, I could identify with the characters and enjoyed that they were not perfect. Tris and Tobias were the most complex characters and some of the others, like Eric felt more one dimensional. The writing feels simplistic and the world development incomplete. There was a brief mention of a huge conflict that brought this society to the separation by factions, however, I was left with unanswered questions. I wonder if it is only Chicago in this mess, or is it the United States or the entire world? Why would the Factionless remain benign? What is outside the doors that the Dauntless protect? Why do some factions claim they don’t have enough luxuries as controlled by the Abnegation who live so austerely? Why are there so few Divergents? Why didn’t the observers know Tris was a Divergent?
Perhaps the next novel, Insurgence, will answer some of these problems. There was a brief discussion of sex in Divergent and some harsh language that parents should be aware of when deciding if their child has the maturity to read this novel. There are also several brutal scenes and a suicide. There was a strange rhythm to the book, with the beginning being a bit stilted and the last 70 pages were a complete whirlwind of action. Divergent was compelling enough that I will read the next installment, though I wish it did diverge more from other current dystopias.
4 out of 5 stars
– the Mother
Teen Point of View
I enjoyed this book, it was a bit like other popular books, but still enjoyable. It was very interesting as the plot came out and how the characters grew. I think teens would enjoy this book. I enjoyed all the action and how things played out by the end. I liked how the main character, Tris, had to struggle so much to get to the top in her new community and how every one demeaned her from the beginning.
3 out of 5 stars