14 January 2014

book review: divergent

divergent by veronica roth

sometimes i read books because i love the author.  sometimes i pick up books at the goodwill because the summary on the back cover sounds decent.  and sometimes i read books through peer pressure.  hello, hunger games trilogy (it was worth it)  followed by divergent.  i wasn't going to write a review about this book because, well, just like the hunger games i jumped on the bandwagon years after the height of its popularity so who hasn't read it by now or at least knows how it ends?  but in case you're like me and you like to let the pot simmer for a good long while before you finally reach in take a taste to see what everyone else is talking about, let me just say... stop.  read this book already!  and then go see the movie, it comes out at the end of march. :)

i guess divergent falls into the category of dystopian young adult literature?  the lead female, beatrice, is portrayed as slightly flawed & uncertain, not especially pretty nor strong, but through the upheaval of life as she knows it she is forced into being courageous & brave...  and she's pretty darn convincing.  or maybe those really are characteristics she carries with her all along but aren't activated until she's in the right environment. 

this occurs when beatrice turns 16 and must decide which of five factions (separated sections of society that embody a certain characteristic she must then follow for the rest of her life) she wishes to join.  as you may guess, there is a lot of tension as she struggles to make this choice, adventure once she does, and just the right amount of romance to pull at the tender part of your heart.  this creates a fast-paced, engaging, and truly satisfying novel.  beatrice is pushed beyond what she thinks she knows herself to be and what she is capable of, which is a great lesson for any reader of any age.  plus, how can you not root for the underdog?

i have yet to read the following two books in the series (so no spoiler alerts, please!), but what are your thoughts on divergent?  do you think this genre of literature will stick around or will it eventually feel trite and overdone?

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