Monday, August 20, 2012
Book Review: DIVERGENT
Publisher: Katherine Tegen
Pub Date: April 28, 2011
In a future Chicago, 16-year-old Beatrice Prior must choose among five predetermined factions to define her identity for the rest of her life, a decision made more difficult when she discovers that she is an anomaly who does not fit into any one group, and that the society she lives in is not perfect after all. (Synopsis from Goodreads)
This book is much like The Hunger Games, but I enjoyed it more. Tris is a tough, likeable character with enough spunk to go against everyone she knows and loves. She is selfish at times, makes mistakes, and is just so very human. She is a believable character, and I enjoyed reading from her perspective.
I also enjoyed reading about dystopian Chicago. I've been to Chicago once, so I actually recognized some of the landmarks mentioned, and it is always cool to see a place in writing and be able to say "Hey, I've been there!". The five factions are a fascinating idea. Each one was created to uphold a particular ideal: courage, selflessness, intelligence, honesty, and peace. It kind of reminded me of Hogwarts, how everyone gets to choose their faction and gets divided into them.
I find dystopian fiction interesting because it explores how humans strive for perfection, but never achieve it because we are imperfect. Divergent quite obviously states that, and is fabulously written. There are also a few point where you can see the author's belief in God coming through, which I appreciated.
I love a good action story, and there was plenty of action to keep me happy here, plus some good twists and turns in the plot. I am impressed that the author was only 22 when she wrote this; I am about the same age as she is now, so it gives me hope that I can get a book published too, even though I am young! Her writing style is fabulous, and immerses you completely in the thoughts of Tris. I am looking forward to the next in the series.