Review: Divergent by Veronica Roth

I need the second book and I need it now. I know it’s not out until next April but I’d hand over my first-born child if it meant I could get my hands on a copy today. I’m not usually that bothered about reading the books of a series in a small time-frame, but I have a craving for Insurgent to rival that of a pregnant woman.

For sixteen-year-old Tris, the world changes in a heartbeat when she is forced to make a terrible choice. Turning her back on her family, Tris ventures out, alone, determined to find out where she truly belongs.

Shocked by the brutality of her new life, Tris can trust no one. And yet she is drawn to a boy who seems to both threaten and protect her. The hardest choices may yet lie ahead….

I know everybody else in the entire world has already read this, so it’s likely this review will turn into a rambling monologue about the wonders of dystopia. But God, I loved this book. I’m usually slightly awkward about books everybody raves about – Soulless, Matched, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo… I didn’t think any of them were worth the hype. Not in a ‘hey, I’m cool, I’m non-conformist, yo’ way, I just genuinely didn’t get on with them. Divergent was a nice surprise for me though as I can 100% totally understand why people are raving about it.

Basically, it’s YA but without all the generic flaws of that genre – the romance is believable and necessary, the characters are real and likeable and the dystopian society holds up to examination and is well-explained. I’m not saying I dislike YA, not at all, but books do frequently contain one of the above irritations. I wish they’d hold up Divergent as the correct way to do things.

For me, I think the main point is the believability. Obviously it’s hardly based on a true story, but I think it’s important that characters in novels act as real people would, whatever world or dimension they may live in. I liked Tris, especially how her beliefs from her old faction filter through in her actions even after she’s transferred. It’s possible to actually see her grow and change throughout the book instead of having her wake-up one day and suddenly be different. Even the other transferred teenagers had undertones reflecting their previous faction – a transfer from Erudite is surprised that they didn’t all memorise maps of the City for fun.

Right. I am the Queen of YA Romance Hatred. It usually feels like it’s been shoved in there with a trowel and goes something along the lines of ‘Hey, I just met you but I’m totally in love with you because that’s how REAL love works!!!’ The romance between Four and Tris in Divergent couldn’t be more different. Their mutual respect slowly turns to love despite the bouts of confusion and doubt that accompany most real-life relationships. I like Four – he’s completely real. We know what his fears are, his background, his family ties… I have friends I know and care less about.

During any review, I usually try to find something I do like about a book I wasn’t fond of and something less than perfect about books I adored, just for balance. I’m actually struggling to find anything to criticise about Divergent – and trust me, I’m one of life’s natural criticisers.

Visit Veronica Roth’s website here, or find her on Twitter.

Comments

  1. Great review, I am also a bit weary of YA as well, especially romances they make me cringe. But I REALLY want to read this book! I have heard lots of good things and I am glad you liked it.

    Suzanne @ Under the Covers

  2. Rebecca says:

    I'm exactly the same! I'm not often impressed by the books that are raved about all over, but this one definitely took me by surprise and I cannot wait for the next book!

    And I agree about the love part as well. Well, I guess I just agree about your whole review! An awesome one, btw!

  3. Jillian says:

    I love my YA (I read pretty much any genre) but I agree with some of your points about the genre. I am so excited to read this though because I've been hearing countless rave reviews!

  4. Belle says:

    Oh yay, so glad you liked this so much! I was worried I wouldn't like it despite all the hype, but now I feel like I probably will! I feel like I should maybe wait to read it till the next book comes out, though, coz I'm very impatient.

  5. Melliane says:

    AAh I haven't read this one yet !! I've heard so great things about it, I really need to take it ! thanks for this great review.

  6. Hanna says:

    @Belle – I'm torn between telling you rush out and read it RIGHT NOW, THIS VERY MINUTE or advising you to wait because you'll be desperate to read the sequel when you've finished!

  7. Raimy-rawr says:

    great review! I would totally do the same for the second book… there will be something missing in my life until I get that book!

  8. Johannah says:

    New follower here. Love the title of your blog! This book is sitting on my bookshelf screaming at me to read it! I can not wait!

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