I finally got with the program and decided to check out Veronica Roth‘s Divergent. I know this review will be lame and WAY behind the times for some of you, so bear with me. I didn’t know what to expect from Roth’s novels and I’ve got to say, having finished the entire series, I’m less impressed than I thought I would be. But I digress…
Divergent is the story of a dystopian city set in an future Chicago where emotions and original thought have been deemed dangerous and anyone who showcases divergent thinking or behavior is singled out and made to conform. There are five different factions each sixteen year old must choose between: Abnegation (focus on selflessness), Dauntless (focus on bravery), Erudite (focus on knowledge), Amity (focus on peace), and Candor (focus on truth). Anyone else see the similarities to the Harry Potter houses? The Dauntless would be Gryffindors, the Erudite would be Ravenclaws, the Amity would be Hufflepuffs, and Candor would be Slytherins (though Candor doesn’t fit as nicely in the Slytherin box).
Beatrice Prior was born into an Abnegation household, but on her choosing day, she chooses to join Dauntless, even though her aptitude test showed her to be divergent and fit into a multitude of factions. The Dauntless training is rigorous and death defying and Beatrice, who now goes as Tris, finds herself struggling to stay in the top ten initiates group.
I would have liked if Tris’ strength was more inward, but I feel like she needed a man (the Dauntless trainer who goes by Four) to keep her head above water. I felt like the romance was a bit forced and odd, BUT despite that, I liked the twist at the end. I felt like the twist gave the plot more structure.
Overall, I’d say 4 stars for originality maybe 3 for content. It was a new and interesting story, but I wasn’t all that attached to Tris. I like to feel emotionally attached to my characters.