DIVERGENT - Veronica Roth
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
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.
In my case, I’ll rank Divergent higher over The Hunger Games in my dystopian list. Divergent is one of the rare ‘valuable’ dystopian books out there that doesn’t let LOVE predict the flow of the story. It is character-centered novel that I find myself really relating to it.
In my opinion, I found Beatrice/Tris as the only round character in this novel. It makes sense because the book focuses on her life and self-being not on the others. Being an Abnegation born, Tris is used to be selfless. She should care for others before herself. When she reached 16 and undergone Choosing Ceremony, she decided to leave Abnegation and chose Dauntless (fearless). This is where we find Tris character to improve and develop from being a weakling to a stable one. This whole situation of Factions is the one that ignited the development, not Tris herself. I really like the character of Tris, I find myself like her. Despite of gender, and basing on our intelligence, we are like so much the same. I’m fond of thinking first before choosing between the options I have. Have I ever told you that I used Scientific Method to choose the color of paint I will use in my room? No? Well, now you know.
They live in the future society of Chicago (according to the book label and trailer, the city is Chicago), but the book failed to really mention that the city is Chicago. The city was described to have tall buildings, which looks like Chicago but there are a lot of cities in this world that have tall buildings. The Factions, for me, does not represent settings but instead the theme of the book. I don’t mind how the world will ever be in this kind of value-separated society because I find that the factions represent development – specially the concept of Choosing Ceremony. This is the one that drives character development here.
I like Veronica Roth’s writing style. Less fragments. I noticed that a lot of YA now fill their paragraphs with fragments and losing the value of grammar. Overuse of period and commas, well Divergent is not one of them. I like how each sentence is a sentence. Though there are still fragments, it’s like it only has 20 less in the whole book. When it comes to writing the action scenes, some are very engaging. Like I really bite my nails and keep on turning the pages, but some are lame – like the adrenaline not rushing through. One thing I also notice is the conflicting tenses. The novel is in present tense but I found paragraphs starting with: “THAT EVENING, I walk…” If you ever use “that evening” it means that the story was already done, but the sentence remains on present tense, so I find this conflicting.
I would like to say that this book is really engaging. I sometimes find myself hating other character, liking them, and answering them. The moral of this book is one of the best features it has. If you read behind the words, you’ll find a lot of lessons that can be applied to real life. The story is like just the entertaining part of realizing what humans should be. Take the story aside for a while and spend some times thinking what really changed/developed in your from the past years of your life. It also taught me to think what I really want to be? Like Tris, I’m confused of what I like to be, so maybe this book can help us answer that question.
In conclusion, even good books have flaws, Divergent is not an exception. It was made by a human, who is imperfect, so does her work. But even with the flaws Divergent have, it still manage to hook readers and stand on itself. Because Divergent is a really good, full of lessons and one of a kind dystopian book. I recommend this to all of you. :)