I’ve been hearing great things about this book for a while now, and I love me some dystopian/magic/new world young adult novels so I decided to give it ago. I got this book for Christmas. Ever since University, I’ve had a difficult time starting books, so it took me a couple weeks to get around to it. I ended up having a day where I would have to sit around and wait for something, so I thought it was the perfect time to get a start on this book.
Let me start by saying I did enjoy it. I know that’s a pretty short and vague statement about a book that is nearly 500 pages. It didn’t grip me like the Hunger Games did. The Hunger Games I couldn’t put down. This book I probably could have if I didn’t have anything else to do, and if I wasn’t so hell-bent on finishing it that day.
The story is about a 16-year-old girl living in a future society, set in modern day Chicago. In her world, the city is broken up into 5 different factions, or areas, where people who value a certain set of morals and ethics live in a faction with people who share those beliefs. Beatrice lives in the Abnegation faction with her parents and slightly older brother, Caleb. In this faction, selflessness is valued above all else. At school, they are put through tests in order to determine what faction they belong in preparation for the Choosing Ceremony. Beatrice’s results come in as inconclusive, which means she is Divergent. She is told not to tell this information to anyone including her family.
Up until the choosing ceremony, Beatrice is unsure of what faction she will choose. It isn’t until her brother chooses to switch factions that she decides that she is meant to be in another faction as well. She chooses Dauntless, who value bravery above all else. Beatrice must pass a number of tests before she can be accepted as a member of the faction. If she fails, she will end up factionless, a life of which many are afraid of. Beatrice, now going by Tris must face a number of obstacles both inside and outside of her training throughout the book. You’ll have to read the book to find out the rest, because I don’t want to spoil it for you.
When on the 4th page of the book, there was a mention of Beatrice ‘never being too graceful’, I was ready to close the book, but I persevered because I still had 6 hours of sitting around to do and nothing else to distract me. I think Twilight completely ruined this characteristic for me. Like, I would love to see more lead characters that are able to walk without tripping over their own feet. Luckily, this characteristic never made another appearance that I can remember.
The book definitely had an interesting story, which I appreciated, but I felt like some parts definitely dragged or were a little unnecessary. I understand the whole training part was showing Beatrice coming into her own, and her building a relationship with Four, but it just went on and on. When her training was over I was definitely glad, but there was not much time between the end of training and the end of the book. I liked most of the characters, including Beatrice. Her internal struggle at the beginning where she was trying to decide what faction she would go to was interesting, as was when she was trying to gather more information about being Divergent, but she was a little bit on the bland side.
One thing I loved about the book was the setting descriptions. I thought Veronica Roth created a very cool world with a place a majority of people recognized. I visited Chicago in the summer, so I had a really good grasp of where everything was taking place, and where things were in relation to other places.
I was told by many people that I should stop reading the series after this book, because the other two were not nearly as good. I listened to this advice, but I still wanted to know what was going to happen, so I cheated and read the Wikipedia pages. I’m glad I didn’t read the other books, because I think I would have been disappointed with the ending.
Like, I said before I did enjoy the book. It wasn’t the best thing I’ve ever read, but it wasn’t the worst. It wasn’t a difficult read either, and it’s very possible to get through the book pretty quickly. If you’re considering reading it, but you’re unsure, I would definitely recommend going for it. A lot of people have compared it to the Hunger Games, but I think that is totally off and would look at it as a completely different entity. So, don’t go into expecting something like that. I’ll probably go see the movie when it comes out if I can convince someone to go with me, and I thought the trailer was pretty good. Anyone want to go with me?