Book Links: Goodreads
Divergent is the first in a young adult trilogy and lays the foundations for the rest of the series. It centres around a sixteen-year-old girl named Beatrice 'Tris' Prior, and is set in a dystopian future of Chicago. The world is in ruins and Chicago has been divided into five factions, each a trait that is essential to their society. The problem is, you can only choose one faction: Dauntless - The Brave, Abnegation - The Selfless, Erudite - The Intelligent, Amity - The Peaceful and Candor - The Honest. In this society you are raised in the faction you are born in, but on your sixteenth birthday, you can choose freely between any of them. However, when you have chosen, you must adhere to that faction's rules; it becomes your life, the air you breathe, and is the only trait you can really have. It becomes your being and you cannot sway from it.
Enter Tris, a girl raised in Abnegation who we find out is a Divergent, someone who has the unquenchable ability to belong to more than one faction. And in this world, it's punishable by death.
I think the story, like other young adult dystopian novels, highlights a very real issue that affects us today. The treatment of certain minorities in our community. For example, let's take the LGBT community's fight for equal marriage rights and say they are the Divergent, the minority. Like Veronica Roth's society, it is so ingrained in their way of life that Divergents are unnatural and should be killed, that some don't think twice about it. I feel, unfortunately, that it is the same in today's world, given the consequences aren't that drastic, mostly. While I believe as a race we have taken several steps toward equality, we are still held back by that old way of life where gay men and women are penalised for something they have no control over and doesn't affect anyone but themselves. But people still stand in their way, there's more to a person than their sexuality.
I enjoy the story of the book, while some parts are tremendous, other parts feel like there's more weight on them than is actually happening.
The characters are mostly well-written. I say mostly because I feel there are too many of them. Some are perfectly developed, while others fall below the bar. Tris herself is a great protagonist, showing all sides of her great personality and real emotion during especially tense moments. Her love interest Four is equally well-developed. The book doesn't overdo the romance and moves at a steady pace, so I found myself enjoying more about the world and story rather than any constant whining over love.
The writing also gains a thumbs up. It's simple, yet rich and detailed, and allows readers of all ages to fully engage themselves in the story without any trouble. It's also a very quick read.
So, that's my opinion on Ms Roth's first novel, and I happily give it four out of five stars, not only for the great way it tackles real-life problems, but in the way it also gives the reader an engaging and thought-provoking experience. If you like this review, please like and follow me, and if you have any gripes or opinions, leave a comment ;)
Next Instalment: Insurgent
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