Monday, 11 June 2012

Review: Divergent by Veronica Roth

Divergent by Veronica Roth

Author: Veronica Roth. Website, Twitter
Published: 3 May 2011 (Harper Collins Children's Books)
Pages: 496
Buy: Amazon, Kindle, Waterstone's

Plot Summary: (from Goodreads)
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.

My Review:
I first started to seek out more dystopian young adult fiction after reading The Hunger Games (like many others I suspect) and this was a title I kept seeing crop up, so I decided to check it out. The book tells the story of Beatrice (known later as Tris) who is approaching the time of her life in which she will have to choose which "faction" (sections of society based on specific traits) she will choose to live with, and whether or not to isolate herself from her family.

These teen dystopian books can start to feel a little formulaic once you've read a few, but I still found this story/concept to be gripping and exciting which says a lot when taking into account the huge competition. The book focuses on a great group of characters which helps keep the story interesting, and the undercurrent of suspense and knowing that something has to give makes you keep reading.

The idea of factions was something I loved. They're sort of extreme Hogwarts Houses (based on personal characteristics and strengths) but with added choice, and a much more difficult initiation!

I thought the descriptions of Tris' world really brought it to life and there's some intense action, and enough romantic subplot to keep you really invested in the characters (no teen novel is complete without one!) A must read if you loved THG.

Rating: 5*
What to read next: Insurgent by Veronica Roth, the sequel to Divergent.
Books like this: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins.

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