Wednesday, May 14, 2014

{Review} Divergent by Veronica Roth

Divergent
by Veronica Roth
Series: Divergent #1
Pages: 487
Release Date: April 25, 2011
by Katherine Tegen Books (an imprint of Harper)

Goodreads / Purchase
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.

Debut author Veronica Roth bursts onto the literary scene with the first book in the Divergent series--dystopian thrillers filled with electrifying decisions, heartbreaking betrayals, stunning consequences, and unexpected romance.


**MAJOR SPOILERS THROUGHOUT!**

Even though I started re-reading this book with the specific goal to love it as much as everyone else on this planet, I just couldn't.  I'm sorry, but I just couldn't.  I liked it better on the second read than on the first read, but still.

Mostly my problem is Fourtris.  But I'll get to that later.  I liked the writing, and I liked the idea.  It was the execution that was lacking.  A long initiation into a faction and oh yeah there's going to be a war that will be sneaked in during the last 50 pages or so.  Sounds good.  There was no build, no complex staging of any kind for the attack.  It was mostly Tris getting her ass kicked, acting like a child, and Four prancing around with Tris following him.  Plus the staging was really poor.  I thoroughly enjoyed the first half of this book when I thought the story line was very good and fast paced.  A lot happened.  It was during the second half that everything went to shit.  I think that it would also be nice to have the action scenes described a little better.  They were very hard to follow and imagine in my head and that really bugged me.
 
Just so many things didn't add up in the ending.  Why on earth would Tris shoot Eric in the foot and leg but not kill him? I'm sorry but what was she thinking?  And it was never explained how Four snapped out of it when he was about to shoot Tris because of the serum.  He “just heard her voice”?  Bullshit.  She had been talking to him for like 5 minutes before it got to the “I'm gonna shoot you” part.
 
But I was impressed with how courageous Veronica Roth was when it came to killing characters.  She doesn't care about your feels, she'll kill who she wants.  She killed off Will, Tris' mom and dad.  I couldn't believe it, so I definitely have to give her credit for that.

The characters were a problem.  I knew I hated Tris when I read this book for the first time so I tried REALLY HARD to love her this time round.  I'm sorry but I just can't.  She's so freaking annoying!  She's weak, no she's strong, actually she's emotional, nope she's a rock.  Back and forth.  I've figured it out.  Veronica Roth over-developed Tris.  She stuffed so many different personalities into one character that it just didn't work.  In the beginning I liked Tris...up until the first night after transferring when Al is crying and Tris is angry about it even though she was crying a second ago and she calls him weak.  From then on, I hated her.

Now I enjoyed Four's character a LOT more this time round.  Not because I suddenly felt a connection to his character, but because I imaged him as Theo James.  It made the experience of reading this book again much more pleasurable.  But if I wasn't imagining Four as Theo I would hate him because I just feel like we don't get a description of him.  We don't know what he looks like.  Okay, he has blue eyes and long fingers.  That's it!  So I didn't feel like I couldn't connect with him that way.  Plus his character is extremely underdeveloped and just like a piece of wood.  Also, that one scene where Tris says she's not pretty...HELL TO THE NO!  Here's a direct quote:

*looks for 20 minutes for the page because for some reason I didn't think to mark it when I read it I am an idiot*

“I just don't get it.  I'm younger.  I'm not pretty. I--”
He laughs, yadayadayada
“Don't pretend,” I say breathily.  “You know I'm not.  I'm not ugly, but I'm certainly not pretty.”
“Fine.  You're not pretty. So?”

 Acca-scuse me.  What did I just read?!  Okay yes I realize that saying “You're perfect just the way you are” or “You're beautiful to me” is cheesy, but you DO NOT tell a girl she isn't pretty and then make out with her.  What kind of sick man are you, Four?!  That's just not okay!!

Rant over.  Off to read Insurgent then Allegiant before I get spoiled.

I increased my rating by a half star because I liked the first part of the book.  You're welcome ;P


2 stars


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