Day 23: Divergent by Veronica Roth
Summary From Goodreads:
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.
Now this is everything you can want in a dystopian. By the way, as I write this I may or may not be ordering Insurgent. >.>
I haven’t read that much dystopian yet though I have enjoyed what little I have for the most part so I’ll probably delve further into the genre in the near future. Divergent, at least for now, is going to be the model for what I want a dystopian book to be, it was wonderful. Part of what I like so much about it is that it is after war had happened and changed the world as we know it but at the same time there was potential for even more damage to be done despite the adjustments made. It focuses on how there are those of us that truly would never be happy with how society is functioning even if we could live in the type that we chose. Nothing would be enough. There are also the struggles between loyalty to those who are like-minded and your family, despite their potentially conflicting views. Which is stronger, blood or similarities, views?
I love the development of the main character Beatrice, or Tris as she renames herself. She figures out who she really is for the first time and because she really didn’t know what her true beliefs were because of her upbringing it feels real. She is finding out along with us which makes the connection between reader and MC easier and deeper. Tris discovers what values are important and also how people with different viewpoints can see themselves as having those same values but in a different way, focusing on different elements of them. The bravery of a Dauntless and the selflessness of an Abnegation are not always so different when closely examined. Also, the relationship between Tris and the guy she falls for (I won’t say who for the few people who haven’t read this) is done perfectly. Seriously this is how you do romance people, no insta-lovey stuff, slow buildup, friends before and what not, yes please may I have some more?!
I’ve already touched on the world that is created but just to reiterate it is terrific. The separation of people by their views/characteristics/beliefs isn’t necessarily a new one, but Divergent executes that possible world beautifully and let’s the reader see what problems might arise but also what potential good it might bring if done right. Of course, like with Divergent there are certainly issues that will repeat themselves because of how some people are, but there are great things to take from it. The world as we know it is divided and seemingly only holding back from mass chaos because it would mean mutual destruction at some level, maybe this kind of divide could work, it’s hard to know.
One issue I have seen some of my fellow bookish bloggers have is the length and pacing of Divergent, though it tends to be more pronounced with Insurgent. I obviously have only read Divergent at this point, but as far as that one goes I thought the pacing was excellent. If Roth hadn’t provided us with as much detail as she did the struggles and triumphs of the characters wouldn’t have meant as much, it fleshed out the world and to me at least it was done wonderfully. I loved Divergent and I can’t wait to read Insurgent as soon as I can get my grabby hands on it! Thanks as always for reading and come back tomorrow for Day 24!