Author: Veronica Roth
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Published: April 25, 2011
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 actually put of reading this book for a very long time. It was up and coming, the new biggest hit. Then it was going to be made into a movie and I couldn't help but think by how it was going to be the next The Hunger Games, or worse, the next Beautiful Creatures. Don't get me wrong, The Hunger Games was an excellent novel to film adaptation that not only satisfied the movie critiques but also the loyal "tributes" (the name The Hunger Games fans call themselves). Whereas the same couldn't be said for Beautiful Creatures. The point I'm trying, and failing, to make is that I didn't want to read another popular book. I didn't want to read another book one of four in a series.
But there are even times when a college students finds themselves with nothing to do (or avoiding actual work) and roommate's book. And then in a flash, five hours of your life are gone and you're in front of your laptop having feels moments and shipping.
I'm not going to lie, Veronica Roth's Divergent wasn't totally new and exciting. I found myself being able to predict upcoming plot points. Whether I've finally fulfilled my dream of being an oracle, or I'm getting better at picking up on the clues the author leaves, the fact remains that I did find myself skimming over a section and having to force myself to go back and read it. But Roth has excellent writing skills because I did find myself viewing the plot like a movie. So much so that when I got up to do quick things, I had a moment where I would wonder what TV show I had just been watching before returning to the book.
There is a beautiful moment in the book when the protagonist, Tris, and Four are having an intimate moment. It goes back to how I love it when writers make their characters real rather than perfect.
Tris: "Don't pretend," I say breathily. "You know I'm not. I'm not ugly, but I am certainly not pretty." (page 103 of my ebook version)
I won't spoil the rest of it for you, but I really find this one line very truthful. Everyone has this expectation to be pretty, to have pretty features. Yet, some people just don't. Their prettiness comes from the personality, their mind, not their facial structure. And Tris understands that. She's not trying to get compliments by shooting herself down. And I love it! These are the kind of female literary heroines we need to see more of.
Long story short, I really like this book. The idea is intriguing and it captivates the reader. It's not too complicated but it's not just a simple read. Reading it closely, you can see the mirror struggles we face in society now as they face in the book. It's relatable and the characters have a slow development that will no doubt keep occurring through out the rest of the novels.
Oh wait, there's more!
As mentioned above, Divergent is being made into a movie, set to release March 21, 2014. Here's the teaser trailer if you haven't seen it yet.
Can I just say that I don't like it? These are definitely not the characters I imagined in my head. Shailene Woodley just isn't the Tris I envision. From the short parts we did see her act, she just didn't give that Tris-esque vibe I got from reading the book. She seemed more, complacent.
What are your thoughts on the movie? What are your thought on the book? What fraction do you think you belong to ? (I personally see myself living as an Amity or an Erudite in a different time.)