24 maio 2011

Review: Divergent (Veronica Roth)

Publisher:  HarperCollins (2011)
Format:  Paperback | 489 pages
Genre(s): Young Adult, Science-Fiction
Description (Goodreads): "In Beatrice Prior’s dystopian Chicago world, 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 alongside her fellow initiates to live out the choice they have made. Together they must undergo extreme physical tests of endurance and intense psychological simulations, some with devastating consequences. As initiation transforms them all, Tris must determine who her friends really are—and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes exasperating 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 unrest and growing conflict that threaten to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves . . . or it might destroy her.
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Yesterday, after I finished "Divergent" by Veronica Roth, I wrote this long and detailed review on Goodreads but I wasn't able to post it. I was pretty frustrated afterwards because it had taken me a while to write it and I had focused on some important points that were fresh in my mind because I'd just read the book. So I just thought I'd leave the review space blank.

After some thinking, though, I decided this book deserved more than just one or two sentences saying that I liked it, so here I am, re-posting my thoughts on it.

I liked "Divergent". It was a pretty solid debut and definitely stood out amongst all the dystopian novels that came out this year (and that I've read). Roth cleverly mixed action, romance and some mystery and kept an amazing pace throughout the book that made me want to read more and more; so much that I had to force myself to stop because I also wanted the book to last a little longer (does that make sense?). Add to that a cliffhanger ending of sorts and I'm ready for the sequel. :)

Beatrice Prior, our protagonist, lives in a perfect society. Tired of wars and social dissent the people of her city (Chicago) divided into factions. Each faction is devoted to a positive trait of the human character (selflessness, amity, bravery, honesty and intellect) and they live by it. A person's faction is a decisive factor in where they live, work and of course, how they behave.
At sixteen everyone is required to choose a faction. Beatrice comes from Abnegation (the faction of selflessness), but she ends up choosing to belong somewhere else.

Most of the book is focused on Beatrice's (or Tris, as she calls herself) initiation as a member of her new faction: her difficulties, the shattering of illusions about what it means to be in the faction, her new friendships and love interests... typical fare for Young Adult novels. Still, I liked that the author really took the time to develop her world properly (although some aspects of it still seemed a bit unrealistic to me) as well as her characters: Beatrice, Four and Al were pretty realistic most of the time. Of course you also had your usual stylized characters (like Peter and Eric), but the ones that mattered were pretty well developed. As was the romantic part of the story (no insta-romance! YAY).

What could have been better explored was the other plot line running through the book. Since almost the beginning it is clear something is not right in the city and with the factions, but Roth doesn't really delve much into it, preferring to concentrate on Beatrice and her training. There is little foreshadowing and development about the probability of rebellion in the city and I thought that when the author finally chose to concentrate on it everything happened too fast. It felt... rushed (and it was all solved due to one "eureka moment" from Tris).

Overall, I really enjoyed the book. I thought it was a bit predictable and the premise was close to being unrealistic at times, but it was a fun read and I loved the world and character building. I really want to read more about this world Roth created. Definitely recommended to fans of dystopian fiction.

2 comentários :

cuidadocomodalmata disse...

This sounds promising :D

~jen

p7 disse...

Bad Goodreads! Thanks for taking the trouble to writing it again and posting it. ;)

I am curious about this one. Have you read Delirium by Lauren Oliver? Pretty good as well on the YA dystopian genre. :)