08 November 2011

Review: Divergent - Veronica Roth


Divergent by Veronica Roth
published May 2011
dystopian novel, #1 in the Divergent triology
bought my copy
read the first 100 pages for free

Sixteen year old Beatrice Prior lives in a dystopian Chicago in which society is divided into five factions. She belongs to the faction that is known to be selfless and soon she has to decide if that is the faction she wants to spend her live in. She feels that part of her is really selfless but other parts also crave to be brave. Will Beatrice choose another faction even though this would mean leaving her parents and her old life behind?
Beatrice will soon find out that the society she lives in is not perfect and that dangerous & deathly intrigues are threatening the life of many people. Will Beatrice find a way to fight the power-hungry people and safe many innocent people?

"Divergent" is a book most readers loved reading and that's one of the reasons why I was super excited to also read it. I'm not the biggest fans of dystopian novels and only about half of the books from this genre I read worked for me. So I was on the one hand excited to read the book, but on the other hand I feared that once again I would be disappointed. I'm happy to say that I was not disappointed, in contrast I really enjoyed reading the book and want more of the dystopian world Veronica Roth has created. 

I enjoyed reading about the dystopian society and it made me think about how people act in general and especially in situations when they think they can gain power. And it made me think about the way we try to categorize people even though that's often not possible or reasonable. I also thought about the different character traits one person can have. For the reader it was of course obvious that the society was not perfect and where the dangers were, but it's always easier for an outsider to perceive the faults in a system. And let's be honest, no society is perfect. 

I also liked reading about Beatrice and her life (before and especially after her choice). I loved that throughout the story she realized that she doesn't have to choose just one way, that maybe having more interests than one is not bad but great. Beatrice turned out to be a very strong and fascinating young woman. I loved reading about her and especially that she learned to appreciate all of her character traits. I also liked reading about her family, her friends and especially Four, the young man she met after she made her choice.

BTW, I loved that on the first page of the book was a short overview about the faction and how life looks like in dystopian Chicago. This made following the story and understanding what was going on very easy.

I'm definitely interested in going on with the series and I hope that the next book will be not too dark & sad for my taste. At the end of "Divergent" I was surprised and even a bit shocked by the way Veronica Roth let some of her characters die (not only unimportant ones) and I hope that the last chapters of the book are no indication for the tone of "Insurgent". 

final appraisal
An interesting, engagingly written dystopian novel that enthralled me through it's fascinating world and it's complex characters. 
I would recommend the book to all readers interested in reading about dystopian worlds, I think that this book would be a good entrance to this genre.

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