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Review: Divergent

Veronica_Roth.Divergent

I read most of divergent Divergent in one sitting, it was actually pretty good. I’ve heard so many great things about this book and I felt overwhelmingly left out when everyone was freaking out about the release of the second book in the series, Insurgent. It wasn’t as amazing as I’ve heard it is, but it wasn’t bad either.

I’ll just start off with what I didn’t like. That’s always a good way to start. What I had the hardest time getting used to was the fact that the city or state wherever they were (because it wasn’t very clear to me… somewhere in Chicago I think) was separated into 5 different “factions”. These factions each represented a different human quality, they were:

  • Dauntless (bravery)
  • Abnegation (selflessness)
  • Amity (peacefulness)
  • Candor (honesty)
  • Erudite (intelligence)
I’m not going to get too into what they each do and how people end up in them, because that would sort of ruin the story. What had me bothered was that the factions were both intriguing and disappointing at the same time. They were a good thing in that they made the story be what it was. It made it unique, it made the reader pick sides and encouraged us to engage with the book in a very personal way. For example, while I was reading Divergent I was constantly having this tiny inner battle about where I would belong and where I would want to be. This made the book even more fun to read.
However, the ideas behind each faction were also difficult to grasp. (Mini spoiler here!) We are expected to just go along with the fact that the people in each faction were completely loyal to that faction’s ideals. So if I was in Candor, I would never, ever lie. I would always tell the truth. If I was in Abnegation, I would be completely selfless and never think about myself. That was hard to get my mind around. All humans have character flaws, we aren’t always selfless or honest or even brave. That’s what makes us human. Divergent took that away from the characters and it bothered me a lot. Who the characters were was narrowed down to just one quality, when in reality we are all so much more than that. I couldn’t even think of one quality of mine that can trump all others.
Aside from how unbelievable the whole faction system was to me, the rest of the book was fantastic. I do have to say that the ending felt a little rushed to me, but it wasn’t a big deal. The characters were very well written and even though there were so many different ones mentioned, I learned their names and who they were pretty quickly. They were each given enough emphasis in the story that they didn’t see like “fillers” or just empty characters that had no substance. They were each there for a reason, from beginning to end.
I have to say that I loved Four and Tris. OMG. Amazing characters. I was so impressed with how well they were described and how much love I felt for them. They definitely grew on me. I loved their relationship right from the moment they met. It was great, there wasn’t any insta-love. I know we all hate that. It was all very believable. Divergentwould have ranked up there with my top favorite books if it weren’t for my issue with the factions. Everything else was great and I really enjoyed it!

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