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Friday, November 8, 2013

Divergent by Veronica Roth

From Goodreads: In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago world, 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.

During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles alongside her fellow initiates to live out the choice they have made. Together they must undergo extreme physical tests of endurance and intense psychological simulations, some with devastating consequences. As initiation transforms them all, Tris must determine who her friends really are--and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes exasperating boy fits into the life she's chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she's kept hidden from everyone because she's been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers unrest and growing conflict that threaten to unravel her seemingly perfect society, Tris also learns that her secret might help her save the ones she loves . . . or it might destroy her.

I distinctly remember a friend of mine telling me to read Divergent, as it was the "best book everrrr" in my grade eleven politics class, however, I said "naaah, I've read enough dystopians". I also distinctly remember being at Wal-Mart a few weeks ago and picking up Divergent in the 40% off bin, reading the summary, and putting the book back in the bin. I had also seen the trailer, which looked cool, but it didn't make me want to pick up the book.  It seems like for the past 5 years, dystopians have ruled the YA book world and I'm kind of starting to miss vampires (JUST KIDDING!). They've been the it thing for a while now, and I'm kinda over it. But...

If I could stare at me from the past, I would tap her in the head reminiscing "You coulda had a V8" commercial.  In all honesty, although I loved The Hunger Games books as a tween and couldn't get enough of them, I've been ready to move on since three days after Mockingbird came out. I laid to rest all my THG feelings as people were just starting to get obsessed with it since the movie had been announced. But this time, the tables are turned. Whaddup Divergent fandom!

Divergent's story is not one we've never heard of, a futuristic north-american setting where families are divided into fractions (Dauntless, Abnegation, Amity, Erudite, and Candor) that determine their ways of life and at the tender age of sixteen, a teen must chose whether they want to remain in the same fraction with their family or transfer into a new one, starting a whole new life. (This vaguely resembles figuring out your post-secondary studies).  Without giving away any spoilers, I wondered how Divergence was going to come into play all 400+ pages of the book and once it was finally a factor, near the end of those 400+ pages, we finally got to the actual meat of the story. There were a lot of predictable paths that the book chose to follow but  enough surprises to make up for it and to keep me reading.  A lot of the book is spent preparing for the actual story and in that time we learn more about how the society works, Beatrice, and those who surround her. Although many have said that the society is just so unrealistic and simplified (I agree), I've chosen to overlook that because its dystopian. Its a twisted futuristic world, and I chose to put aside my own ideas of how the world works ant to just let the book take over for me. But there's something about the book, maybe it's Roth's writing, her characters, or the idea of being Dauntless that gives it that little twinkle for me.

Divergent and all of its character, is the book I've been waiting for, for a very long time.  Beatrice is my favourite heroine in years. She is strong and sometimes vulnerable, smart, quick, and inspiring. I don't think I've ever loved a character as much as I love her, a strong female character with flaws, though none of them are due to her gender. Thank you Veronica Roth!

Divergent is not only well written, but inspiring. In the back of the novel, there were fraction manifestos, a breakdown of what each fraction stands for. It was easy to pick touching points from each fraction's manifesto, though I have to say that Dauntless had my favourite lines. 

We believe that cowardice is to blame for the world’s injustices.
We believe that peace is hard-won, that sometimes it is necessary to fight for peace. But more than that: We believe that justice is more important than peace.
We believe in freedom from fear, in denying fear the power to influence our decisions. We believe in ordinary acts of bravery, in the courage that drives one person to stand up for another.
We believe in acknowledging fear and the extent to which it rules us. We believe in facing that fear no matter what the cost to our comfort, our happiness, or even our sanity.
We believe in shouting for those who can only whisper, in defending those who cannot defend themselves.
We believe, not just in bold words but in bold deeds to match them. We believe that pain and death are better than cowardice and inaction because we believe in action.
We do not believe in living comfortable lives. We do not believe that silence is useful.
We do not believe in good manners.
We do not believe in empty heads, empty mouths, or empty hands.
We do not believe that learning to master violence encourages unnecessary violence.
We do not believe that we should be allowed to stand idly by. We do not believe that any other virtue is more important than bravery.

I can very much understand why the Divergent series has such a following and why it will be a feature film in 2014. It has a star potential. Talking about the film, I think the casting is pretty good and I'm very excited to see it. However, if you'd like to stay away from spoilers, I'd stay away from any comment sections...and any of Ansel Elgort's interviews for that matter.

What are your thoughts on The Divergent world, was it too unbelievable for you to enjoy?

My answer? Well, I'm off to pick up the sequel, Insurgent, from Wal-Mart's 40% off bin.


  1. LOVE IT~ I've been waiting to know more about this novel so thank you! his review was useful! And LMBOSO @the Ansel Elgort interview part! X3


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