5 member(s) found this review helpful.
In a future dystopian Chicago, Tris’ society is divided up into five factions: Abnegation (selflessness, and where Tris grew up), Candor (honesty), Erudite (wisdom), Amity (friendliness), and Dauntless (courage). All people in her society must choose which faction they wish to join at the age of 16, and Tris makes a choice that startles everyone, including herself, when she decides to join Dauntless.
But truly being a part of Dauntless is not so easy, as Tris and other initiates must first pass a long and difficult trial that tests their physical, mental, and emotional strength. As Tris makes friends and maybe even falls in love, she also uncovers a burgeoning plot to upset the order of their society, and learns what it truly means to be Dauntless.
Everyone, listen up. The hype for this book? It’s legit. At long last I do think I may have found the book that I will truly encourage fans in Hunger Games deprivation to pick up. DIVERGENT is fast-paced, with a thoroughly developed dystopian world, engaging plot, and an admirable protagonist. In a word, it is excellent.
As soon as Tris chooses to join the Dauntless faction, DIVERGENT becomes an unputdownable read as Tris navigates the often dangerous trials of her initiation period that keep both her and readers on their toes. It’s a classic enough plot structure—the trials that the protagonist must face in order to meet his or her goal—but one that always holds my attention, and Veronica Roth plots the story exceptionally well. When Tris is not learning how to handle weapons that she may have never seen before in her life, she is cautiously navigating her emotional connections with her new friends or nemeses. Physical action blends seamlessly with relationship intrigue to appeal to readers who generally prefer one over the other.
In the midst of all this action, Tris emerges as perhaps the strongest dystopian heroine I have read about since Katniss. All doubts that I may have had about whether or not she truly belongs in Dauntless disappeared only a few chapters in, and from then on I was firmly rooting for her the whole way. While not resourceful, per se (she is in a new faction, after all), Tris has unmatched mental strength, and just a bit too much determination to prove herself, that help carry her triumphantly through obstacles. In short, I like her. I like her I like her I like her. She is just the sort of girl I hope I could be like if, God forbid, I were ever in her situation.
Supporting characters, while nice and attractive, I wish were developed some more, in particularly Cristina, Tris’ closest female friends through the Dauntless initiation. Tris’ love interest is pretty good as far as love interests in YA speculative fiction usually go: he has no need for silly, enigmatic broodfests, and actually likes Tris for her strength and not because of some impenetrable vague reason like insta-luv (this is my interpretation of it, anyway). The ending, unfortunately, felt rushed, and while I don’t disagree with it being a good way for the book to end, it lacked the forceful punch I was looking for, and to which I felt like the rest of the book had been building up.
My minor quibbles with supporting character development and the ending aside, I found DIVERGENT to be an entrancing read throughout. Dystopian? Strong female protagonist? Fast pace? Subtle critiques on our society’s incessant need to label and categorize everything? Read DIVERGENT for all of them. In the meantime, I will be camping outside the nearest bookstore for the next book in this series, thank you very much.
4 member(s) found this review helpful.
I have questions. Once my questions are answered, maybe I'll move my overall ratings up from 2.5 stars to 3.5 stars. Here is the thing, If the world doesn't make sense to me, I'm not going to enjoy the book as much as I could enjoy it.
So, here are my questions- (there are no spoilers here that will ruin the book)
Why, at the beginning, can Beatrice look in the mirror ONLY when her mom cuts her hair? What does her mom cutting her hair have to do with anything?
When Tris (aka Beatrice) goes down the zipline from the 100 story building, she has to fall in the arms of her fellow Dauntless from 20 feet up. Who caught the first girl down the zipline?
So, is the food synthetic, artificial (from the beginning of the book) or is it fresh (from later in the book)?
Why is the marsh dried up, but they have a river, waterfall and of all things, a drinking fountain?
Why do you need a backup generator to run the elevator up but you clearly have electricity to run other things?
Isn't carbon dioxide a problem if you are really deep underground?
How is it the scientists can make microscopic transmitters but there is not enough material to finish paving the roads?
Who runs the trains?
Why is tattooing and piercings a sign of being brave? It said somewhere that the dauntless were not the artistic ones?
1 member(s) found this review helpful.
Whether I should rate this one at 4 stars or 5 is a tough call. Perhaps 4.5 stars would be better. I quite liked the book. It did remind me a bit of The Hunger Games series but this heroine is outstanding in terms of bravery. The only attribute that bothered me was the need to be subservient to her lover, Tobias or Four as he is known to the Dauntless (brave) faction. Chicago is divided into five factions: Dauntless, Candor (honest), Amity (peaceful), Erudite (intelligent), and Abnegation (selfless) each of which supposedly follows a lifestyle devoted to the core value. Beatrice or Tris as she becomes known grew up in Abnegation but has always felt that she did not belong. She questions, she has strong opinions and values herself for who she is. When she turns 16 she must take a test to determine where she would best fit. Once she decides there is no turning back. The trouble is that she shows strong tendencies for both Abnegation and Dauntless. She is Divergent, a dangerous classification and she doesn't know why it is so. Nevertheless, she is determined to pass through the Dauntless initiation. Those who don't become factionless and lead a dreary life of toil and near starvation performing the lowest level of work in the city. As she struggles to pass all the tests she discovers that she is drawn to one of the teachers, Four. His nearness unsettles her but she gradually learns to trust him and follow his advice to pass through initiation without revealing that she is Divergent. Discovered Divergents are killed as they are viewed as a threat to the factions. Tris must also develop friendships as only friends can really protect her through initiation. As the story uncoils one jumps off running trains, jumps off high buildings, runs through the streets and finally fights in a war between factions with Tris. I am looking forward to the sequel.