Divergent (Divergent #1) by Veronica Roth

Firstly, feel free to correct me if I have categorised the trilogy name incorrectly 🙂

I just finished the second book of the series Insurgent at the airport on Monday and when I came to review it I remembered that I had not reviewed Divergent here. So, I will start with Divergent and then post my review of Insurgent in the next day or two.

Before I go any further, I have NOT read Allegiant yet, so please no spoilers!

Divergent by Veronica Roth is the first in a trilogy about a dystopian Chicago broken into factions. To make it easier, I have listed the five factions below:

. Dauntless (the brave)

. Amity (the peaceful)

. Erudite (the intelligent)

. Abnegation (the selfless), and

. Candor (the honest).

There is a site you can visit to explore these factions and the many worlds of Divergent: http://www.divergentlife.com/p/factions.html.

Our heroine Beatrice Prior belongs to the Abnegation Faction and she lives with her mother, father and brother. She has just turned 16 years old and is now asked to attend a choosing ceremony to decide which faction she would like to belong to.

And so begins a fish out of water story that is a fun, accessible and strong story. Veronica Roth has created an amazing world in the Divergent series and I thoroughly enjoyed exploring it with our main characters. I was also pleasantly surprised by how easy it was to picture the landscape in my mind.

It has drawn parallels with the Hunger Games and, in part, the Maze Runner. However, I think that these three books in themselves take a very popular genre and make it their own.

I was keen to begin Insurgent as soon as I finished Divergent. I found all of the heroes/heroines and many of the villains layered and complex. A few of the darker characters seemed to be a little ‘cardboard cut out’ however this may be due to their impending demise in later books or the necessity to not focus on them in relation to the story.

I liked Beatrice. She was a real character and, in my opinion, believable. She wasn’t acting above her age or below it. And I think that is a testament to Roth’s writing. Her counterpart, Four, is intriguing and broody (which all male heroes in YA novels should be!). His back story (as it slowly unfolds) is interesting and I hope he continues on a growth arc and doesn’t become ‘just the main character’s squeeze’.

I would recommend this novel to anyone interested in YA dystopian novels. A quick comment on the movie – I liked it, I thought it remained as true to the book as it could be under the time constraints. Didn’t picture Eric with blonde hair though 🙂

4/5

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