Vernoica Roth's 'Divergent': A Review
I was very lucky to find 'Divergent'. If you read my review on 'The Scorch Trials' by James Dashner, then you'll recall the list that I received. I figured that since I found gold on that list, I would press my luck with another title from that list. To my surprise, I found a real diamond hidden amongst the rubble. As I started checking more into 'Divergent', I found that Veronica Roth had consistently high ratings, and that sealed the deal for me. Following in the post apocalyptic survival trend (The Hunger Games, Maze Runner), I was afraid of being sucked into a slew of pathetic knock offs. However, 'Divergent' proves to be a powerhouse all on it's own.
Beatrice and her brother Caleb have just turned sixteen. According to local traditions, at sixteen years old, each young adult must go through a choosing ceremony. In a broken city made up of different 'factions', the ceremony represents the path in life that each young adult will take. Abnegation - The Selfless, Erudite - The Intelligent, Candor - The Honest, Amity - The Peaceful, or Dauntless - The Brave all have special places within the community. Choose the faction that your family raised you in, and life stays the same. However, switch factions and you're forced to forsake your family and forget all that you've ever known. Beatrice and Caleb now stand ready to make their decisions. Fearing the repercussions of her decision, Beatrice bravely decides that she would fit in better in another faction. Just as her family realizes the decision she's made, she is whisked off to begin a grueling initiation process. Beatrice must work hard, if she can't pass her initiation, she'll be condemned to live among the factionless. A group of homeless, hungry and broke humans who weren't able to thrive as faction members. To Beatrice, this is a fate worse than death. Does she have what it takes to make it in her new world? And what is the big secret that her new faction seems to be hiding?
I loved this book. I can't express that enough. From the first page, which throws your right into the action, until the cliffhanger on the very last page. Roth has your complete attention. Fast paced, exciting and suspenseful, I finished the book in just under three days. Intriguing and interesting, the story is very cleverly written. The characters are endearing. Beatrice plays the role of the underdog who blossoms into a real bad ass. Her personality is undeniably believable. Not only do you experience every single failure and triumph, but you also share her joys and sorrows that follow. Beatrice could be anyone's little sister, and you can't help but want her to succeed. What's great is even as Beatrice comes out of her shell, opening her eyes to the world around her, she still remains likable. As she begins to act more like her new faction members, you as the reader grow with her. To me, that is a skillfully written character. It seems that this story is aimed at young readers, and I would deem that appropriate. The violence level gets a little high toward the end of the story. The language is pretty tame. I think the worst curse you'll find is ass, and even then it only appears once or twice. I don't see any reason why a twelve year old couldn't handle the story. In addition, the book even comes with bonus features! Writing tips, an author Q & A and even a quiz to determine what faction you belong in (I'm an Erudite by the way), are just a few of the included extra goodies. Overall, Roth has done well to write such an engrossing story and characters that really stand out. Roth is definitely a writer that we should all watch for. I'm eagerly looking forward to the next novel. This outstanding story has more than earned it's five stars.
Don't miss this great story from Veronica Roth!