Veronica Roth
Divergent Cover



As for Divergent... In this version of Chicago, everyone has been split into five factions, based on the belief that the world went to hell because people lacked one specific virtue – and that virtue is what each faction now strives to embody utterly. Thus Abnegation strives for total selflessness, Erudite for intelligence, Amity for peace, Candor for honesty, and Dauntless for bravery. The various factions control different elements of society (Abnegation mostly takes care of government, the Erudites are scientists, Dauntless obviously covers security, etc.) and none of them get along very well. Beatrice grew up in Abnegation, but when it comes time to choose the faction she will spend her adult life in, she discovers that she is Divergent – she displays a tendency toward more than one virtue. Egads! She joins Dauntless and begins training as a fighter, and almost immediately finds herself embroiled in all that is not well beneath the surface of the faction system.

The world building here is quite interesting, and a few tough ideas are toyed with. I liked Tris right off (she's tiny, like me!) and even though I found her to be a bit dense at times, overall I was rooting for her. She was imperfect and uncomfortable and no savior – just a pretty regular girl trying to do the right thing in a rough situation – and therefore touched by the extraordinary. I read this book in an afternoon, and I found it to be compelling and creative. Therefore the rather glaring use of the 'super mysterious male character' ploy was especially disappointing. I'm getting really tired of one-dimensional male love interests – and no, (as Adam points out in his recent post) making them slightly brooding, giving them past traumas they're still coping with, tattoos and glorious abs, does not make a real boy. It's just lazy writing!

One of my first thoughts after finishing Divergent was, "Why the heck can't anyone be bothered to write characters like Corlath (from Robin McKinley's The Blue Sword) anymore?" *heavy sigh* That literary crush will be with me until I die...!

For the larger essay (of sorts) that this review was pulled from, visit: http://tuulenhaiven.com/2013/05/26/great-expectations/