Thursday, May 01, 2014

Review: Divergent by Veronica Roth

Title: Divergent
Author: Veronica Roth
Publisher: Harper Collins
Year of Release: 2011
ISBN: 9780007420421
Source: Gifted 
Number of Pages: 487

In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago world, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue--Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is--she can't have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.
During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles alongside her fellow initiates to live out the choice they have made. Together they must undergo extreme physical tests of endurance and intense psychological simulations, some with devastating consequences. As initiation transforms them all, Tris must determine who her friends really are--and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes exasperating boy fits into the life she's chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she's kept hidden from everyone because she's been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers unrest and growing conflict that threaten to unravel her seemingly perfect society, Tris also learns that her secret might help her save the ones she loves . . . or it might destroy her.

I was never really interested in reading this book. I'd see it in every bookshop I entered, hear about it in the media and read book reviews on it, but for some reason I never felt compelled to read it. I was gifted with the trilogy last Christmas and only began reading it a few days ago (whoops). Unfortunately, this book is not going to receive a sparkling, positive review from me though. 

I'll start with the good things: Divergent had an excellent story line. The plot was amazing, very well thought out and interesting. I loved Roth's ideas and all this business with the factions and being Divergent was so interesting to me and I really loved it. It's a brilliant idea and fits in well with all this dystopian fiction that's really popular now, after The Hunger Games made it's debut. Unfortunately though, that's about all I really liked about this book. 

The writing was not good at all. Every sentence was short and poorly constructed. The book jumped from scene to scene really quickly and exhibited a severe lack of detail - I hate that. The characters weren't very well written either. I think that after the plot and story-line, what really makes or breaks a book is the characters. In order for a book to be truly brilliant, a writer needs to make his/her readers fall in love with their characters. 

For me, the characters in this book felt rushed and dull. Lifeless. There was no connection. That, I think, was the worst part about the book. If the characters had been written better and the book more detailed, I think Divergent would have been one of my favourite books. 

I rarely say this (actually I never say this), but I think in this case, the movie may be better than the book. I'll let you know my thoughts on that after I see the movie though! If you'd like to see another post similar to the one I wrote on the Vampire Academy: Blood Sisters movie for Divergent, which you can find here, please let me know! 

To sum up my thoughts on this book: the plot was amazing, but the actual writing wasn't. The book was definitely not detailed enough for my standards and I was severely disappointed at how badly the characters were written. Hopefully Insurgent is an improvement!