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Divergent by Veronica Roth book review

Updated on September 21, 2012

I can’t believe I nearly put this book down after the first few pages. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t find anything wrong with the writing or the premise, I just thought that maybe it wasn’t for me. Although the story flowed fine, I wasn’t sure I wanted to explore it any further or get to know anymore about the main character. The story is told from first person point of view, from the character Beatrice Prior, therefore it was Beatrice’s story. But I continued. And I’m so happy I did. The more I read, the more I was drawn in. Little by little, page by page, chapter by chapter. A lot of the reason I contemplated putting the book down was because I didn’t feel an immediate connection to the narrator of the story. It felt more like the slow reveal of a time, a place, a person--pealing back the layers piece by piece. I didn’t actually start to feel a connection with Beatrice/Tris until midway through when I felt I was finally get to know a little bit more of who she was.

Veronica Roth offered us this character in the same way we get to know some of our closest friends--little by little. We don’t know everything about them all at once, not a lot of the deep stuff, we have to wait and work a little harder for that stuff, and that’s what she did with Beatrice/Tris. She was not emotionally “slutty” with this character. She didn’t put this girl’s heart on her sleeve and she didn’t give everything that this story was all in the first few chapters. Even though we got a bit of knowledge about what was going on in this society, there was so much more mystery shrouding this dystopian Chicago.

I loved this novel because it was different. It’s a different kind of female hero, a different kind of story, a different kind of love shared between the main characters (at least that’s how I see it). If you’re looking for a soft story, one with pretty things, shiny things, cupcakes and fashion, this isn’t that kind of story. This book is daring, and it features a daring character that pushes her life to the limit. She’s an adrenaline junkie, but this is one experience I’m glad I took. She maybe small, she maybe a girl, but she’s not a delicate little flower either.

The ironic thing about this story is that when I finished it, I didn’t immediately reach for its sequel. I was sure I was going to read more about what happened eventually, especially since I had both books sitting right there, but I also had other books I wanted to read. This wasn’t one of those first books that left me salivating for more, dying to know what was going to happen next. So I chose to pick up Matched by Ally Condie which turned out to be a terrible book, that review is here, and I was happy to pick up the second book in this series by Roth, Insurgent, which I’ve also written a review for. After reading Matched I wanted to read a story to wash my brain out, reset it with something that made sense, that was going to make me think and wonder and imagine. And boy, did Insurgent do that.

I would advise you to pick up this book not only because it’s a good story, but because you may learn something about yourself in the process. We all have a little daredevil in us, a little force of fire that makes us who we are, it just stands out more in some people. Not only that, but this book sets you up for a heart wrenching second novel that will make you fall in love with these characters even if you didn’t the first time around.

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