I remember the first time I found out about „Divergent” was just as I was exiting the cinema and this big, bad-ass poster caught my attention and I was immediately interested so I looked up for the book. I am a sucker for Dystopian novels and I looked forward to get home and get my hand on the book.
The story had an interesting premise: in this futuristic world, sometime after “a Great War”, the people were separated into factions, according to their personalities, with strict rules: Abnegation, Erudites, Candor, Dauntless and Amity. They have to choose who they shall be according to their personality and fall in one of the categories. The world as they know it (which is just a city, really!) is enclosed in a high security fence guarded by the Dauntless to keep them safe (and of course they don’t wander of what they have to be kept safe of).
But 16 old Beatrice, born in an Abnegation faction discovers she is different, that she is what they call a Divergent, someone different that has to be eliminated by the system, a threat. She transfers to Dauntless where she reborn as Tris… or she should do so if not for her constant whining and lack of action.
Tris is so boring, that most of the times I wanted to shove her over the railing and be done with! She is now a Dauntless, but besides having that super cool self-control, cannot act in any direction and she’s quite dumb. She is supposed to question the system, find what’s happening and become a fighter and a leader, instead of waiting for things to happen. She disappointed me immensely.
When I bought Veronica’s Roth book I was looking for something gripping, enticing and new. I've read The hunger games and it’s impossible not to compare them, but I must say, that even if The hunger games wasn't great, at least I was gripped into a story filled with action, not bored to death by a girl whose only interest is jump off trains and moan that she misses abnegation and proves herself by getting another tattoo. Plus that, Katniss had a kick-ass skill with that bow that even I find it hot!
The side characters are doomed from the beginning and there is no real evil character in this setting. We cannot count Eric just because he looks weirdly tattooed and pierced and has a smart, evil mouth. The other competitors in the “arena” are so boring and predictable that makes me poke my eyes out with a fork.
I really tried to like Divergent, but I was halfway through the book and she was still wondering why she felt so weirdly hot around Four (Ha!), their mentor and awesomely hot and rarely talking leader.
Four, is her love interest, but there’s little love and even less interest as far as I was concerned. I’ve been shown more kissing and pillow talking in “The hunger games” than here. And of course that he is hot and drolly and if I wouldn't know better, I’d say British too, but he’s not, because using too many clichés would make any reader puke their guts out. Instead, Veronica made him aloof, mysterious and he also does the Stare Game, just like in Twilight. I swear to God, these people are falling in love only by staring at each other?!
The story took way too much to develop into something that would hold my interest and finish reading the book, instead of abandoning it at 80% and watching the movie instead. It’s a pity because it could've been great, but it failed miserably. I know it’s YA, but that’s not an excuse for poor writing and miserable characters.
**** You can follow my other book reviews on: http://janekelsey.wordpress.com/
I absolutely loved the idea of factions! It seems like something likely to happen after a major event to put everyone in nice little boxes, and keep order. However, I felt like the factions were just over-exaggerated stereotypes. I had a hard time believing that people would behave that way without brainwashing. For example what does having 37 piercings and jumping out of a speeding train have to do with bravery? Nothing, it’s just reckless. If they’re the ones who are suppose to protect the people, why are they behaving in a way that’s likely to get them maimed and killed? Also, how is self defensive and eating hamburgers self indulgent or selfish? It just doesn’t make any sense to me. And I’m pretty sure you don’t need hipster glasses to pursue knowledge, especially if you have perfect vision.
Sure bravery and selflessness are great qualities to value, but the level of exaggeration of their actions (or inaction) bothered me. This one-mindedness was briefly acknowledged towards the end, but the explanation just wasn’t good enough. I never was able to accept this world and it hindered my enjoyment of the novel.
I did like Tris though. She had her own thoughts and opinions, and didn’t follow the one-track mindedness of the factions. But I suppose there wouldn’t be a story if she was just another faction member. She was something known as “divergent” but what that means, no one knows, but it might get her killed if anyone finds out. It’s a super interesting concept, but we don’t get many answers about what exactly divergence is or why it happens. Perhaps in future books?
Divergent does end on a cliffhanger, which is the only reason why I’ll probably read the second book. Maybe there will be some more world building that can explain more of why things are the way they are. Plus I’d like to see more of the Amity faction, which seems like it will be a bigger part of the next book.