Wednesday, July 13, 2011

CBR III Review #82: Divergent by Veronica Roth

CBR III Review #82: Divergent by Veronica Roth

I hate to start this review off with letting you know this is the first in a planned trilogy.  Trust me I am as sick of typing it as you are of reading it. On the upside this is one of the better first novels in a trilogy that I have read in a few months.

A dystopian futuristic Chicago is divided into five factions: Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent).  Once a year every 16 year old must declare themselves to a faction.  The majority of teenagers choose the faction they were raised in, but Beatrice decides to leave Amity and join Dauntless.  A move that she know will cause her parents heartbreak and embarrassment.  Unfortunately, for Beatrice (she renames herself Tris) choosing Dauntless does not mean she automatically becomes a member.  She and all the other initiates most prove themselves by going through a grueling initiation process.  A process not everyone survives.

Divergent is a novel that I sped through and couldn't wait to find out what was going to happen next. Unfortunately, with it being a trilogy there is no closure and reading the next in the series is now a must.  It doesn't surprise me that Summit Entertainment has optioned the book for film adaptation even months before the book was released. I will warn you that at times you wonder where the plot is leading and you don't truly understand it's direction until the last few chapters, but the journey to those last few chapters is not a wasted one. 

I have a problem labeling Divergent a true young adult dystopian novel.  It has shades of dystopian because of the totalitarian ran society that was created after a large war that destroyed the majority of the United States (maybe the world?). However, Divergent is more of a coming of age story and finding out who you are despite what is expected of you.

The last few chapters set up a heart pounding conclusion that will segue nicely into the next released novel.  I hope the next novel spends more time on the dystopian aspects.  How did this society get created?  Who created the factions?  What happened to the rest of the world? I can not wait for the second novel to be released, but it looks like it'll be another year or so before that occurs.

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