Sunday, November 24, 2013

Divergent by Veronica Roth

I believe in ordinary acts of bravery, in the courage that drives one person to stand up for another

Why I read this book?

Once again I came upon this book because all the hype about it lately, particularly people being upset with the last instalment, so I wanted to know for myself if the book was good or not.

What's the book about?

Set in the future, in a dystopian Chicago we follow the main character Beatrice Prior (Tris) at a time when she must choose what she will be for the rest of her life. After multiple wars and extreme conditions, there is a new “regime” where people have been separated according to factions, where each one represent a major value or virtue. Tris changes faction from Abnegation (selfless) to Dauntless (courage) at the beginning of the story which will be her personal drama, but in the bigger scheme of things, the Erudite faction (intelligence) is stirring things up by basically saying that the system should be changed once again.

What about the main character?

I really liked Tris as a main character. I think Veronica Roth made her a perfect example on how we cannot be built on only one virtue. She is a strong character, determined to be self-sufficient and to show others that she can be more than what you see. She uses people’s comments, often directed at her to bring her down, to fuel her inner strength and she overcomes what she sees as her weakness slowly but surely. I also like that her bigger fears are related to being powerless, mostly because I could relate to this, and who doesn’t like a relatable character? Having a love interest didn’t change her into a helpless little ball of emotion (cough cough Bella cough cough) and instead gave her a bit more of strength. What is more, she would actually stand up to him and tell him a thing or two when necessary.

Final thoughts

I quite enjoy the first book in the Divergent trilogy. I think the political critique was well build as well as the blatant speech on how we cannot just categorize people since we are all a bit of everything. All the characters were polytonal, albeit the ones that were “easily” classifiable in factions are built in a way that this characteristic is a very big part of their personality (is almost impossible to forget that a certain character is meant to be an Erudite, from the beginning)

This part of the story finishes on a good cliff hanger and with a sad note (in my opinion, but I won’t give away any spoilers) both of them make me want to read the next book.

The book itself was a very easy read, kudos to Roth because the book had a very nice rhythm. I would criticize the fact that is a book of 487 pages but only because they used almost 2cm margins and huge font! I like big books, but not when they are big unnecessarily.

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