Release Date: May 3rd 2011
Publisher: Harper Collins Australia
One choice decides your friends, defines your beliefs, and determines your loyalties . . . forever.
Or, one choice can transform you.
In Veronica Roth's debut novel, Divergent, a perfect society unfolds into a dystopian world of electrifying decisions, stunning consequences, heartbreaking betrayals, and unexpected romance.
Thanks to Eliza from Harper Collins Aus for sending me an ARC of this. Thank you SO much! I have hereby decided to commit the rest of my life to Abnegation, to dote on her every need.
Honestly, I don't know where to begin. I am speechless. And trust me when I say, that doesn't happen very often.
Divergent is officially one of the best books I have ever had the fortune of reading. IT IS SO FREAKING GOOD!!!! I can understand why there are a lot of comparisons with The Hunger Games in many reviews for this book. If you've read The Hunger Games, you'll know that it's a mind-blowing dystopian trilogy. And I can say the EXACT same thing for Divergent! A thoughtful, compelling, edge-of-your-seat, gasp-worthy dystopian novel that every single person will be talking about this year.
Beatrice Prior is 16 years old and about to take her aptitutude test. With her result, she will then decide which faction she will spend the rest of her life in. Her world is divided into five factions: Abnegation (the selfless), Amity (the peaceful), Dauntless (the brave), Erudite (the intelligent) and Candor (the honest). There is also another, one few know about and far too dangerous to even contemplate: Divergent.
It's hard for me to write this review without giving away which faction she chooses, because it's basically the setting for near on the entire novel. But I really don't want to ruin the experience for you. Beatrice makes her choice, which is not the same faction as her family. She's then thrust into a whole new world with vastly different rules to her old one and a completely different way of living. She adopts the nickname "Tris" and launches head first into this shocking new way of life.
Her new faction - wow. The atmosphere is incredible, it's crazy, it's confronting and so very addictive. These traits the factions are moulded around, they're things we see in our every day lives. We value them, we strive to become more honest or brave or kind. But when you make a person construct their entire life around one particular value and not allow a healthy balance, these values can turn deadly. Intelligence can be an extraordinarily dangerous weapon when used the wrong way, selflessness leaves no room for self-preservation, bravery can become skewed and toes the line of cruelty and sadism.
Tris quickly learns to toughen up physically, if you don't learn how to throw a punch you're a goner. Veronica Roth doesn't shy away from violence or death or moral and ethical issues - she brings them right to the forefront. As Tris was completing some tasks during her initiation into her new faction, I totally shared in that exhilaration along with her. The fear, the thrills, the hatred, the appreciation. We see the good parts of her faction and the way the members can draw together, but other times you see the startling evidence of what corrupt leaders can result in.
FOUR!!! Have I mentioned four is now my favourite number? He has totally made the list as one of my favourite fictional guys. The relationship that develops between Tris and Four is so brilliant. It's real and honest and filled with so much respect. They are both incredibly well suited for one another. They know when lend a hand to support the other and when to back off. They're strong characters and they understand that about the other. They don't treat the other like fragile little flowers, they recognise strength. I just loved the way they work.
For those of you who have read the book, you'll know what I'm talking about here - I loved the chapter where Four takes Tris into his simulation. He allows her to see that part of himself, his fears, where he is most vulnerable and the way she handles it is amazing. It just showed how well they work together, the way she guided him and stood up for him. They're not afraid to lean on the other for help. Man, I could gush all day! Four! Four! Four! Tris! Tris! Tris! Four-Triss.... Fortress.... this powerhouse duo is exactly like a fortress. Strong, protective. I am so clever.
There is not a single thing I dislike about this novel. Veronica holds no punches - I cannot tell you how many times my jaw dropped. Especially during the last 60 or so pages, I could not turn the pages fast enough, my heart was pounding, I was so nervous with anticipation to see what would happen next. OMG damn the ending was spectacular. When all hell breaks loose, for lack of better words, it's just bam-bam-bam, so fast-paced and holding no mercy. You better keep up, because if you fall behind, you stay behind.
I am blow away by Divergent and fail to understand how this is only Veronica's first novel. This is surely the work of a much older, much more seasoned writer! Roth, I freaking love you. This review does not even begin to show your book the love it deserves. I can't wait to see what she has planned next for us!
I really need to reconsider my 5 star rating. Because this is the second book to have made those 5 stars void. Divergent is too good for a rating. It's too good to be held in sweaty, human palms. Please wear gloves when turning the pages, else it'll be tainted. I know a lot of people say this about books, but mark my words when I say THIS IS THE NEXT BIG THING!!