I never did get into Dystopian until reading the Hunger Games trilogy. But then again, I'm not alone with that one. I'd heard some pretty positive things about DIVERGENT, but was hesitant to pick it up because of all the comparisons to the Hunger Games. But then I remembered how off those comparisons can be. Every book with some sort of love triangle is immediately compared to Twilight. Thankfully, Peggy Eddleman settled my battle when I won a copy of DIVERGENT through a contest she was running.
Here's the description from Goodreads:
Beatrice "Tris" Prior has reached the fateful age of sixteen, the stage at which teenagers in Veronica Roth's dystopian Chicago must select which of five factions to join for life. Each faction represents a virtue: Candor, Abnegation, Dauntless, Amity, and Erudite. To the surprise of herself and her selfless Abnegation family, she chooses Dauntless, the path of courage. Her choice exposes her to the demanding, violent initiation rites of this group, but it also threatens to expose a personal secret that could place her in mortal danger. Veronica Roth's young adult Divergent trilogy launches with a captivating adventure about love and loyalty playing out under most extreme circumstances.
The main similarity I noticed between The Hunger Games and Divergent was the brutality. Both the MCs are put through the ringer. But where Katniss was forced into her situation because she wanted to protect her sister, Tris chose her path of difficulty. Also the romance is more forefront in Divergent. It took a back seat in the Hunger Games trilogy. Okay, I'm done comparing the two, I just wanted to talk about specific differences.
I did enjoy the 'after' world Veronica Roth created. The whole five factions thing was pretty cleverly put together, and I found myself debating over which one I would join if I were ever put in such a position.
When I first started Divergent, I wasn't so sure of Tris, the MC. She seemed a little...weak. But she later proved me wrong, and I was glad for it. I'm not a fan of the 'weak and helpless' female MC, especially one that CHOSE to be put through what she was. And Tris was able to stand up for herself, which is always nice.
Tris is not spared when it comes to the initiation part of joining Dauntless (you have to complete certain tasks before you can join, and if you fail, you get thrown out and are 'factionless' which is apparently very bad). I definitely cringed during certain scenes, because it did seem somewhat extreme.
Then there's the romance. Four is a trainer for the Dauntless, and he's VERY GOOD at what he does. A lot of people complain when the MC immediately gets the attention of the guy, but really, there would be no romance plot if there wasn't an attraction. I was attracted to my husband when I first met him, is that wrong? NO. It's NORMAL. The way that Ms. Roth handled the romance aspect was also well done. I didn't feel like things were going way too fast between Four and Tris. It would have been pretty unrealistic given the circumstances they were put in. As I have said before, I like romance in my story, but I'm not a fan of the "I've only known you for less than twenty four hours, and I know we've only made some grunting sounds at each other, but I love you" kind of romance.
All in all I went through this book pretty quickly. It took me less than a day to finish. Which is pretty impressive considering how long it is (over 400 pages). I guess that would be my only gripe with the story, it never felt urgent until the last hundred pages or so. But when it did pick up, I was pretty far into it to care about the pace. And I would have liked to know more of how the whole world came to an end. But since this is going to be part of a trilogy, I guess there's still time to get answers to my burning questions. All in all I would give it a four and a half out of five stars. And I would definitely recommend it to my friends and family (actually, I already told my sis that she NEEDS to read it). If you enjoy the dystopian genre, you'll enjoy DIVERGENT. It had all the elements I look for in a good book- action, adventure, romance. I'm looking forward to the next installment