Saturday, June 8, 2013

A Second Opinion: My Reread of DIVERGENT by Veronica Roth

Release date: May 3, 2011
Author info: Website | Twitter | Facebook
Publisher: Katherine Tegen books
Format: Audiobook
Source: Library
Buy the book: Barnes & Noble | Amazon | The Book Depository
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.
Technically, this wasn't a reread, since I listened to the audiobook, but close enough! When I originally read Divergent, sometime around its release, I liked it, but I didn't think it was terribly extraordinary. THEN everyone began to wax poetic about it and I just didn't get it. For the past couple of years, that is how I've thought. But, with the movie coming out in the next year or so, I decided it was time to re-evaluate the book. Here we go!

I had very little recollection of Divergent going in. I didn't remember who most of the characters were or details of the plot. As I listened, certain things came back, but it was almost a new experience, which was good. I absolutely did not remember how fast-paced and action-packed it was. I also didn't remember enjoying the interplay between the initiates so much, and I didn't remember liking Four and Tris together as much as I did.

When I originally read the book, I was not reviewing books like I do now, nor did I read as much as I do. I hadn't read the slew of dystopians that I have now either. I can now identify the problems I had previously. They're the same I have now, and, really, the same others have. The world-building is lacking and there are holes everywhere. I'm not one to complain about either on the regular, but they're noticeable even to me.

To keep this short, Divergent absolutely exceeded my expectations. It is heart-poundingly fun to listen to (and, I expect, read) and I am now excessively excited for the movie (and Allegiant!) I'll be rereading Insurgent next. :)

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