Tuesday, 12 April 2011
Divergent by Veronica Roth
To be published: 28th April 2011 by Harper Collins Children's Books
My copy: Kindly passed to me by Keris Stainton.
There is one mirror in my house. Our faction allows me to stand in front of it on the second day of every third month, the day my mother cuts my hair. It is behind a sliding panel in the hallway upstairs. I sit on the stool and my mother stand behind me with the scissors, trimming. The strands fall on the floor in a dull, blonde ring.
For a long time, The Hunger Games reigned supreme as my favourite dystopian book ever. It was severely jostled by The Knife Of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness, but it never lost its grip. Until now! Divergent, a rather new fledgling in the dystopian genre and entered the race and knocked The Hunger Games flying! DIVERGENT IS THAT GOOD!
Divergent has probably become one of the most highly anticipated dystopian novels of this year and I can honestly say believe the hype. I was a little scared that it wouldn't live up to everything I had heard about it, but it just surpassed it.
Beatrice, the main character lives in a dystopian version of Chicago, where society has been divided into five factions, each dedicated to a different virtue. Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). When Beatrice reaches her sixteenth birthday, she has to select which faction she wants to spend the rest of life with. She can choose any one of them, but if she doesn't choose the one she grew up in, she is basically waving goodbye to her parents for the rest of her life.
Beatrice goes through a complete transformation and soon becomes known as Tris, but she has so much to hide during her trials to be accepted in her chosen faction. She then discovers that things are not as they are supposed to be within the factions. Can she stop the inevitable.
I loved the transformation of Beatrice to Tris. She becomes such a strong and courageous character as she constantly gets put in such difficult situations. She is one gutsy young girl and I can't wait to see how she progresses in the rest of the series. Four is a strong male lead and I adored him from the beginning. The relationship between them is a bit of a surprise. I really wasn't expecting it to occur, as Four is quite standoffish to begin with.
The faction trainees who are chosen alongside Tris, give off the same uneasy feeling as the contestants chosen to enter The Hunger Games did. There are instantly two groups divided by friendship and hate. You are constantly on edge, trying to work out who Tris should trust and who will cause her harm.
The drama of this book is fast paced right from the start. Tris never gets the opportunity to slow down and you feel like you are holding your breath for most of the book. I feared for her life on numerous occasions as she was put in such dangerous situations on a continual basis. The best way I can describe this book is similar to your first experience of Haribo fizzy sweets, when they put too much sugar on them. You just sit there for a while with your mouth exploding and your head shaking with shock and swirling out of control. That is how this book made me feel!
The final chapters blew my mind. I am amazed by Veronica Roth's ability to create the unexpected at every turn. This book just keeps on throwing firecrackers at your feet to keep you constantly on the move.
You have to read this book. If you loved The Hunger Games and The Knife Of Never Letting Go, then this book is definitely one you need to add to your collection. I honestly didn't think I could love another dystopian novel, yet here I am pledging allegiance to Divergent.