Divergent by Veronica Roth (review copy) - She turns to face the future in a world that’s falling apart.
For sixteen-year-old Tris, the world changes in a heartbeat when she is forced to make a terrible choice. Turning her back on her family, Tris ventures out, alone, determined to find out where she truly belongs.
Shocked by the brutality of her new life, Tris can trust no one. And yet she is drawn to a boy who seems to both threaten and protect her. The hardest choices may yet lie ahead...
A debut novel that will leave you breathless. From Amazon UK
I've said it before, and I'll say it again; sometimes, when considering all the books there are in the world, a book falls into my hands that I feel so lucky to have read. It may sound a little over the top, but what if I chose to read something else? What if I'd never heard of it. A book I could have missed out on reading. And Divergent is one one of them. Sometimes, I just feel so blown away by a book, I feel honoured to have had the chance to read it. It makes me so, so glad that I am a book blogger, because if I wasn't I am absolutely certain I wouldn't have comes across this fantastic book.
For quite a while now, despite enjoying Delirium by Lauren Oliver and The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, I have felt that dystopian novels weren't my thing. Yes, I liked a few within the genre, but as a whole, not for me. I just assumed, wrongly, because of another dystopian I read and disliked, dystopia was full of misery and would be hard work to read. In some cases, they are like that, but that doesn't automatically mean I'm not going to like them. I've actually read a number of dystopian novels one after the other recently and enjoyed them all, and on finishing Divergent, I think I have to say this genre is now one of my favourites!
So yes, I LOVED Divergent! In my review of Under the Never Sky, I said it was missing something that stopped it from blowing me away. Divergent has that thing! Which is really odd, because considering it's a dystopia, most of the book doesn't cover the dystopian society at large, but on Tris and her life as she changes Factions.
In Divergent, there are five factions; Abnegnation (the selfless), Erudite (the intelligent), Candor (the honest), Amity (the peaceful), and Dauntless (the brave). At sixteen, teenagers undertake an Aptitude Test to work out which Faction they would be best suited, and the day after, at the Choosing Ceremony, they choose which Faction they wish to join. Tris has spent her whole life in Abnegation, with her perfect, selfless family who don't even bat an eyelid when it comes to doing things for others. Tris, on the otherhand, sometimes has selfish thoughts about what she would like. She's not sure that Abnegation is right for her, but leaving would mean leaving her whole family behind - and possibly never see them again. When she takes her Aptitude Test and her results come back inconclusive, not giving her one Faction she suits best, but several possibilities, which is so rare Tris has never heard of it, she doesn't know where she belongs or what to do. Going with her gut instinct, she takes the huge decision to leave Abnegation and move to Dauntless, where she finds her selfless, quiet life is nothing compared to what she's just signed up for.
Loooove! As I said earlier, this book focusses on the most part on Tris' new life in Dauntless and the training that is a part of her initiation. It was just so fascinating to see her reactions to the brutal life that is the norm for the brave, a life of fighting and facing your fears, but also her relationships with people. Tris hadn't had friends before Dauntless, so growing to trust those from over Factions other than Abnegation, who behave and think so differently, is strange and sometimes difficult for her. There are characters in this book you immediately warm too, and there are those that you loathe.
There are some events in this book that I found difficult to read. This wasn't just because those events were beyond what anyone should ever have to go through, but also because Veronica Roth has written a story so unlike anything else out there, I had no idea what I was going to be round the corner! I literally had no clue how things were going to pan out at any stage of this book, and it was amazing and gripping! Yet, as I said, some parts are disturbing and absolutely sickening.
Then there's the love interest! Oh, I do love Four! He is just the coolest guy, and the relationship etween him and Tris throughout the novel feels like something that could happen in our own world, it was just so real and believable, despite the dystopian society. This was another of the things I was never sure of. We're all used to the "Will they? Won't they?", but I actually wasn't sure at all. Divergent isn't a romance, it is a dystopia, and the romance in it isn't certain, which just adds to the excitement of the book!
My heart was in my mouth more times in this book than I can count, during training, during Tris' moments with Four, and during the wait for danger to pounce. Because things do take a turn for the worst, and change everything for every important character in this book. Roth doesn't shy away from putting her characters - and her readers - through hell. No-one we love or hate is left unscathed. It's just brilliant!
In case you hadn't guessed, I absolutely loved this book! There really aren't any words for me to express just how much this book blew me away. I am so, so happy that I have Insurgent I can pick up straight away. I don't know how anyone else was able to wait! An incredible, incredible book. If you haven't read this book yet, what the hell are you waiting for?!
Thank you to HarperCollins Children's Books for sending me a review copy.
Published: 2nd February 2012 (this edition)
Publisher: HarperCollins Children's Books
Buy on Amazon US
Veronica Roth's Website
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