Friday, March 22, 2013

Book review: Divergent 5 stars

Review of the second book (Insurgent) coming soon ;-)

Divergent (Divergent, #1)

5 stars for Divergent, the first Veronica Roth book I've read. I'd heard good stuff about this book from my fellow Twitter book worms and I LOVED the cover art so when I was flying out this weekend I grabbed it for the plane.

Inevitably it seems all other YA Dystopian books are compared to The Hunger Games. I've read both and the only comparison I will make is the ending of The Hunger Games made me almost physically ill and I generally do not enjoy the feeling of bile rumbling in my stomach at the end of a book. While Divergent is Dystopian it never made me feel physically ill and I just bought the second book whereas I won't touch the rest of The Hunger Games trilogy. Take that as you will ;-)

I don't want to get too spoilery so I'll try not to really get into detail on the characters. I will say that Beatrice/Tris really seems the exemplify the inner struggles most 16 year old girls go through in trying to decide what they really want out of life. Granted, most 16 year olds these days aren't going to have to make the same decisions Tris did, but she shows many characteristics of teens in today's world.

Other characters that made good impacts on me: Four (really loved him), Tori, Tris' mom (whose name I don't think was ever mentioned), & Will. I never really connected with Christina or Caleb for some reason. They were just kind of...THERE in the story for me. There are some characters who are very easy to dislike and others who are more complex. The characters were quite diverse and overall I enjoyed reading them.

One last may never feel comfortable looking at a butter knife again.

Can't wait to read the next book ;-)

(This section comes from my recent second reading of Divergent.)  When I first read this book I was in quite a bit of physical pain from a nerve injury and interestingly enough it influenced the first reading. Everything I put into my first review still holds true, but I would like to add that both Tris and Four seemed older than their ages of 16 and 18 (respectively) in the book. In fact I would go so far as to say both displayed a level of maturity that would put them in their early 20's. Tris did strike me as a 16 year old when it came to interpreting relationships and I loved the slow and tentative way Tris and Four became more than just student and instructor.

Also, there have been criticisms that because of events that happened at the end of the book Tris didn't have appropriate emotional reactions. In light of those events I would posit to say that Tris acted just as any person would with the same type of training in a combat situation. You act first and react later. And that usually leads to PTSD symptoms and guilt (it's a natural progression into the 2nd book.) Getting reading to dive back into Insurgent after I go back over some of my fave Tris/Four moments.          

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