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Review: Divergent

June 2, 2011

Title: Divergent
Author: Veronica Roth
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books (HarperCollins)
Pages: 487
Release Date: May 3, 2011

In Beatrice Prior’s dystopian Chicago, 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 to determine who her friends really are—and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes infuriating 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 a growing conflict that threatens to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves . . . or it might destroy her. —Goodreads

Divergent is one of those books that I find hard to review. The prose are clean and simple, the story is perfectly plotted and well-paced, the characters are well-developed, and, well, it’s a great read. Despite the fact that it’s almost 500 pages, I almost read the entire damn thing on a plane. At 6 AM. When I should have been sleeping on the plane so I wasn’t exhausted when I got off the plane. But I made the mistake of reading while waiting for take-off, and then, all of a sudden, I realized we were landing. 

It’s that kind of book. 

Okay, let’s see. Other than being well-plotted and cleanly written/well-edited, I think what I liked most about the book was, well, Four, the main male character in the book. He’s strong and confident and masculine and smart in the way that only guys who are the kind of guys you want to be a better woman for are. In fact, he might be the most mature male I’ve ever met in a YA novel. He’s steady and sure of himself and, just, a rock. He may not be the most charming or warm or happy, but he is steadfast. That just might be the sexiest quality ever. Anyway, the development of the relationship between Four and Tris, the actual main character, is just the best. It’s slow and a little bit unsettling, but a lotta bit satisfying.  

But outside of the one character, y’all, this book is solid. I know I’ve already said it, but it really is one of the best plotted books I’ve ever read. At no point does it feel like it’s lagging or repeating information or using words just to take up space. Every sentence propels the story forward and every detail is purposeful. And the story is pretty good too. 😉 

Oh. Another thing. I haven’t really mentioned the AUTHOR yet have I? Well, her name is Veronica Roth, and she is a twenty-two-year-old wunderkind. She’s the kind of person who makes me look at my life and think “I have a Master’s degree in Journalism and a half written novel saved to my computer. WHAT AM I DOING WITH MY LIFE?!” Not that I dislike my life. I really like my life. But. Yeah. The girl is good at writing books. 

Okay, time to wrap up!

Overall, this is a book that, despite it’s lengthier-than-normal page count, is a quick read due to its brilliant writing, plotting, and solid characters. I enthusiastically encourage you to read it. But only when you have a day to devote to it, because, I promise, you won’t be able to tear yourself away. 

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