Review: Divergent by Veronica Roth
Author: Veronica Roth
Series: Divergent #1
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books, an imprint of HarperCollins
Publication Date: May 3, 2011
Age Group/Genre: Young Adult/Science Fiction, Dystopian
In a future Chicago, 16-year-old Beatrice Prior must choose among five predetermined factions to define her identity for the rest of her life, a decision made more difficult when she discovers that she is an anomaly who does not fit into any one group, and that the society she lives in is not perfect after all. (From Goodreads)
A Great Re-Read…
I read Divergent late last year, but I decided to re-read it so that I could refresh my memory before diving into Insurgent, and also so that I could write a review for my blog. Plus, any of my re-reads count toward the Read Me Baby, One More Time reading challenge hosted by Kate at Midnight Book Girl.
I’ve mentioned before (in my review of Across the Universe by Beth Revis) that I often get songs or even words stuck in my head, especially when a book has the same title as a song (like Across the Universe). And the first time I read Divergent, somehow I got Madonna’s “Like a Virgin” stuck in my head, only I was singing “Divergent” in place of “Like a Virgin.” My dorkiness took hold and I came up with some new words for the Madonna song, and soon I was singing “Di-i-vergent (Oooh!), Brave for the very first time! Di-i-ver-er-er-er-gent, Let’s be Dauntless, You and I.” And now you’ve got that in your head, too, don’t you? You’re welcome.
Lots of Book Love…
Anyway, dorkiness aside, I really loved Divergent. I think I enjoyed it just as much the second time around, even though a lot of the suspense was lost, because I knew what was going to happen. And in my re-read I noticed a lot of foreshadowing, which is always fun to see!
After reading Divergent the first time, Four became one of my book boyfriends. And while I still love him in this book, I had forgotten just how much of a jerk he was to Tris in the beginning. I mean, I know he explains that later, and I’m really glad that they don’t have an insta-love relationship, but it’s still not cool.
And I love the pacing in this novel. It isn’t constant action, but there isn’t ever a dull moment, even when the waters are somewhat calm. And there’s that great ending, which is full of action and suspense, and it really leaves you aching for more.
I also love this world that Roth has created. Everyone is sorted into these factions, and each faction holds one virtue higher than the others. The whole society is made up of black and whites, with no gray, and even the scenery feels like that at times, with high contrast. Yet over time, Roth reveals more and more of the grays, the middle grounds, the complexities of the system and all of the characters. It’s really just a completely well-written book, one that can be read again and again and each time a new layer can be found.
My favorite quote: