Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Review: Divergent by Veronica Roth

Summary: 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, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves . . . or it might destroy her.

Kim's Review: THIS BOOK IS AMAZING. I'm not even sure I'm capable of writing a coherent review of it right now, but here goes nothing.

Divergent is set in a dystopian Chicago. Everyone is separated into five factions, which they choose when they turn sixteen. It is told from the point of view of a girl named Beatrice, who, before the Choosing Ceremony, is Abnegation - a faction known for its people's selflessness. She takes an aptitude test to see which faction she would fit in best, and is surprised when she learns she is Divergent, sharing qualities of all five factions and therefore not quite fitting in anywhere. At the ceremony she has to choose a faction or live the rest of her life factionless. Along the way of trying to find out where she truly belongs, she meets Four and is intrigued by him.

I can't say much more without getting into spoiler territory, but I loved this book so much. Ther are a lot of resemblances to The Hunger Games, but there are certainly things that set them apart as well. The future universe and government Veronica Roth has set up is really interesting and I truly enjoyed reading about it. Divergent is action-packed and fast paced; there is hardly ever a dull moment. Some aspects of it is even a bit terrifying.

Also, Four and Tris are so damn cute! I could not get over them. They've got to be one of my favorite book couples, right next to Anna and St. Clair. :) Their scenes gave me butterflies in my stomach more than once. Seriously, where can I get my own Four?

Another reason I loved this book is because it is set in Chicago, where I live. Since I frequent downtown, I loved being able to have a clear vision of all the locations in my head and not having to depend on just the descriptions to set up the mental image. It is sort of strange to think of Chicago being like it is in Divergent in the future - Lake Michigan as more of a marsh, Navy Pier's ferris wheel rusting...this was also a good setting to incorporate the Dauntless's train-jumping, since you can basically always hear a train no matter the time or place. But I'm rambling, so all I'm going to say is that you definitely need to read this book and be sucked in with Tris's adventures!

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