Author: Veronica Roth
Source: Review copy from Harper Collins.
I hereby award this book 5 wings!
(though in honesty I would rather award it 10)
First of all, let me just wipe my eyes and blow my nose. Goodness knows I need a whole box of Kleenex at this point in time. I have just put down DIVERGENT about 5 minutes ago and I am still sitting here with a tear stained face.
*Takes a couple of deep breaths, pulls self together to get on with my review*
I usually start with my appreciation of the cover, so that seems as good a place to start as any.
It's not pretty in your typical way of 'beautiful woman on the cover' or whatever. Instead it is stunning in the way of 'it caught my attention in the first instance, prompting me to take a closer look'. This cover is bold and impressive. The flames of the symbol are what caught my attention, then upon taking a closer look, I saw people on the landscape below and the skyline of a city. The whole feel of this cover shouts DYSTOPIAN at me. Having only read one book in this genre before, I was unsure what to expect. But I was also intrigued, to see what lay beneath this striking cover.
Now for the story itself...
Where to begin is the question. Also, how not to give too much away whilst still expressing how I feel about it. The thing is, these are usually questions I ask myself, but this time round it is extra difficult because I don't want to spoil anyone's enjoyment of this book by just babbling on about things that happened.
I know some people may read this, having already read DIVERGENT and are just coming to see what I think of it, but I also know there will be those of you that haven't read it yet.
So here we go, a hopefully spoiler free review...
This Dystopian world is segregated into 5 factions. Each of those factions are dedicated to the upholding of a particular virtue. These are: CANDOR (the honest), ABNEGATION (the selfless), DAUNTLESS (the brave), ERUDITE (the intelligent) and AMITY (peaceful).
On an appointed day of the month, all 16 year old must choose a faction to belong to. Their motto is 'Faction Before Blood', so it is not about staying where your family are. It is about making a decision about who you really are.
Beatrice Prior is 16 years old and finds herself faced with the choice; stay with her family or be the person she really is. Unfortunately for her, she cannot have both.
Initiation for Beatrice's faction is about to begin and when she gets asked her name, she decides to tell the other initiates that her name is Tris.
What ensues from here is a constant battle for Tris. She needs to determine who her friends are and whom she can really trust. Also, she needs to figure out how she feels about a sometimes infuriating boy and where if anywhere, a romance would fit into her life.
Tris has a secret. A secret that could be explosive. If anyone were to find out, it could spell out her death. There is no-one she can really trust this secret with, so she must keep it to herself.
Tris discovers something that she would be better off not knowing. But now that she knows, she can't sit idly by and let the growing conflict tear her faction or indeed any of the other 4 factions apart. Can Tris protect the people she has come to know and care about? Can she do the right thing? Does she even know what the right thing is? These are all questions she finds herself faced with.
DIVERGENT was completely gripping and all-consuming from the moment I picked it up. Tris started off as seeming quite meek. Yet throughout the story, she evolves and becomes a force that I would never have seen coming. She transformed in front of my eyes and it was like seeing a child growing up. One day they are just a child, the next they are a woman - brave, strong and true.
For me, Tris was one of the most enjoyable heroines I have met. She battled internally with who and what she was, but in the end she came to grips and accepted herself. Throughout every step of this book, I found myself more and more endeared to her.
There were times during this story that I laughed. There were times when I get angry with certain characters. There were also times when I felt soppy about the boy she liked. I have to say, I fell totally in love with him myself. It certainly isn't your typical romance, but what they have could be really wonderful. If it weren't for the fact that there is conflict likely to tear Chicago apart.
I hope in the next book, INSURGENT we see more of them as a couple, but I know that it will not be without it's ups and downs.
I love the way that from the beginning of this book, it was easy to understand without a barrage of information just being thrown at me. It was well set up and I found it easy to get to grips with the ins and outs of the different factions.
There are some brilliant characters. There are some awful characters. I will leave it to you to decide which are which. Even the awful characters are brilliantly written though. They leave you with that 'punched in the gut' feeling.
All in all, I adored this book. I went into it with the misconception it may be hard to understand but am glad I can say I was wrong.
I love Tris. I love Four. I have so much love for this book that it brought me to tears, multiple times. Hence why I needed tissues at the beginning of this review.
There are some books that you read and forget. This is not one of those. This book made an impact on me I am not likely to forget. I love Veronica Roth's style of writing and I simply cannot wait until May when I believe INSURGENT is due.
To purchase this book for yourself if you do not already have a copy: