Review: Divergent by Veronica Roth

Title: Divergent
Author: Veronica Roth
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books (Harper Teen)
ISBN: 978-0062024039
Publication date: May 3rd 2011
Paperback: 576 pages 
Source: I purchased this title

In a future Chicago, 16-year-old Beatrice Prior must choose among five predetermined factions to define her identity for the rest of her life, a decision made more difficult when she discovers that she is an anomaly who does not fit into any one group, and that the society she lives in is not perfect after all.

I was initially hesitant to begin Divergent. As always, I was put off by all the hype. I tend to worry about books living up to my expectations when I've heard too much about them before. I downloaded it onto my Kindle anyway, because I figured I'd need to read it at some point, and promptly forgot about it. By the time I came to read it I'd forgotten everything I knew, I couldn't even remember what it said in the blurb. I went in blind. 

The first scene didn't entirely capture my attention, although looking back I can see its purpose. I quickly became absorbed as they reached their school and the first conflict was presented. I loved that it was her choice that was the catalyst for the story, and that even though she was being true to herself she ended up taking the hardest path. The actual choice she had to make intrigued me too, and I could see myself making the same decision in her place.

I found the inter-faction relationships interesting, as well as the actual inner workings of the Dauntless themselves. I loved Tris' determination and willingness to do what she needs to to make sure she succeeds. 

What got me was how unassuming Tris was about everyone else. Both her mother and Four have secrets, which I was able to guess well before we were actually shared with us. I don't like knowing more than the characters, it makes me grumpy at them. If I can figure it out, why can't they? I was also a little disappointed with the science. I dislike being told 'this is what happens.' I don't expect a huge amount of detail, but I want to know the basics about how it actually works. 

Although Divergent was a sizeable book by the time it was over I felt like the story was only just beginning. I'm definitely not against cliffhangers, but only when a few threads of the overall story aren't tied up. This time it felt like I only got half the story.

Overall I loved this book. It made me think about the choices I'd make in Tris' position. What faction would I choose, and would they choose me? I can't wait to get my hands on Insurgent, it's definitely on my to-read list.

Rating: 4 stars
Who I would recommend this for: Anyone who likes The Hunger Games, Dark Angel and strong heroines.
Other reviews: Paperback DollsThe GuardianThe Book Smugglers, Between The Covers
Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, The Book Depository
Goodreads review: Here

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