Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Divergent by Vernoica Roth

Alright.  I read this book because I had a few friends recommend it, telling me it was really really good.  I tackled it, and my golly I did not find it particularly fantastic.  In fact, I had a heck of a time getting into this novel, and I can't pinpoint why.

In Divergent, it's the future, and Chicago is a ruin.  There are five separate groups of people who live in Chicago:  Candor, Abnegation, Amity, Dauntless, and Erudite.  Every child reaches the age of 16, undergoes a test to determine their talent, and picks which group they will join for life.  Oftentimes they pick one that is not the group they were born in, and it means leaving their family for good  and undergoing a rigorous initiation.  If they don't make initiation, they are tossed out and doomed to live as a "factionless" outcast--people who live on the fringe, depending on the people of Abnegation to feed and clothe them.  

Beatrice is a Divergent, and that could mean her death.  Divergent means she doesn't fit neatly into any one group; she can join any one.  It makes her dangerous--no one must know--and you find out why towards the end of the book.  Beatrice chooses Dauntless, which are the fearless group.  They jump onto trains, leap off buildings, and pretty much show no fear.  Beatrice changes her name to Tris, and soon is overwhelmed by the initiation into Dauntless.  She's put through a brutal physical test which soon shows her who her enemies are and who her friends are in what is a vicious group of people.  She's drawn to Four, one of the trainers, and horrified of Eric, who's a nasty piece of work.  He's the new Dauntless.  

I found the book to be very slow moving, up until the last 50 pages.  I couldn't keep my focus, as Tris annoyed me.  I had a hard time with the pace of the book, and the ongoing dragged out initiation process.  I don't know--it just did not keep me glued to the pages.  I have read many reviews on this book, and it seems that it's a love or hate book.  I didn't hate it, just was a bit let down.  I don't know if I'll read the next in the trilogy.  I am so bummed when I'm disappointed by a book that got such buzz.  It really only showed promise towards the end, when the shit hits the fan and Tris finally shakes off her ennui and takes charge.  That part was great; the first 240 pages were not.

Rating:  3/5; had promise, but just not til the end.  People will either love it, or not.  Read it yourself and find out!

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