Divergent – Veronica Roth

Synopsis from Goodreads.
In Beatrice Prior’s dystopian Chicago, 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 to determine who her friends really are—and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes infuriating 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 a growing conflict that threatens to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves… or it might destroy her.

“But there is something wonderful about Dauntless chaos.”

Initial Final Page Thoughts.
Duh duh duuuh.

High Points.
Tris (occasionally). Christina. Will. Uriah. Stiffs. Jumping off trains. Boys with piercings. Simulations. Ferris wheels. Zip-wires. Paintballing. Danger. The first to jump. Scoreboards. FIGHT.FIGHT.FIGHT. Blood and gore. Corrupt governments. Knife throwing. Boys with fingers so long that can span a girl’s ribcage….wait, what?

Low Points.
I’m always better reading this kind of book in one go because that way I can turn my brain off and just go with it.
But, as I mentioned earlier, my Kindle broke and it was a disaster.
And during the break I took from this book, my highly intellectual brain switched itself back on and started picking and asking questions that I couldn’t ignore.
Maybe this is because, if I were a character in this book, I would be factionless for I am neither brave, clever, truthful, caring or selfless.
And, well, we all know how shifty those factionless are.
Also, what was up with Creepy Fingers McGee as the love interest?
*shudders*

Heroine.
I went through stages of absolutely loving Tris and then wanting to throttle her. My notes are as erratic as Tris’ emotions!
I liked it when she was brutal and strong and selfish and resourceful and when she climbed Ferris Wheels.
But then as the book progressed, poor Tris stumbled blindly into the trap that so often befalls our dystopian heroines: “I’m-special-therefore-I-simper”.
Yack.
Badass Tris next time, please.

Love Interest.
Besides my suspicions that Mr Four is in fact some kind of Creature from the Black Lagoon, I didn’t actually mind him.
Although I am getting a bit tired of these love interests who scare our poor heroines.
How can you be focussed on the swoon when you’re quaking in your boots?
I think, though, that Four was more the “strong and silent” type as opposed to the “intimidating and douche” type.

I much preferred both of these characters when they weren’t in luurve though.
It says quite a bit that I was more taken the love lives of Tris’ friends, doesn’t it?

Theme Tune.
Fearless by Taylor Swift.

OK, I have LOTS of reasons why I’ve picked this song.
First-up, Ms Swift is my ultimate guilty pleasure and so, it seems, are dystopian YA novels.
Secondly, it’s called Fearless… which is a synonym for Dauntless.
BOOM.
Also, this song is saccharine to the max like the love story in this book.
And finally, it features the following line:
You put your eyes on me.


Um…. whaaa?
You put your eyes on me?
Surely that can’t be sanitary.
But it reminded me of a scene in Divergent when our intrepid hero Four reaches up to Tris from below her on a ladder and grabs onto her hips.
I tried to picture that for ten minutes until I remembered that, of course, Four is a mutant like the boy that Ms Swift is canoodling with, so it all made sense.

Also, how awesome would it be to see T-Swift jump out of a moving train?!

She’d land safely, of course!

Sadness Scale.
4/10.
This book was incredibly gruesome. High point.
A lot of people died. Again, high point.
My most beloved character died. Low point.
This, ladies and gentlemen, is what I like to call “The Mockingjay Effect”.
Why do authors feel the need to just hack at all the lovely characters and kill them in horrific brutal ways in the last chapter for NO REASON?!
OK, OK… I’m being sensitive. It’s still a sore subject.
If you’ve read this book you’ll know who I mean.
IT WAS NOT NECESSARY.
*sobs into copy of Mockingjay*
Other than that, you’ll be fine.

Recommended For.
People who are looking for a book where you can just turn off your brain and enjoy. People who are more forgiving of heroines who change from being awesome to annoying. People who think that doors on trains are overrated. People who find mutants sexy, thank you very much. People who like to jump from great heights and just cross their fingers there is a safety net there. People who want to join my own faction- “Arty Folk”… um, I’m still working on the name.

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4 thoughts on “Divergent – Veronica Roth

  1. Creepy Fingers McGee :D

    I don't get all the fuss about this one – and I hated the random deaths at the end. All the decent characters seemed to die.

    I don't think it made much sense…

    But its been a while since I read it and I seem to have forgotten most of it anyway…

  2. “Boys with fingers so long that can span a girl’s ribcage….wait, what?” < -- LOL YES. When I read that, I paused and tried to picture it but I still can't see it. “Creepy Fingers McGee” < -- lol. And yeah, Four was hard to like at first. His attempts at showing he liked Tris were plain weird--scary, as you said, but I agree with him being the 'strong but silent' type. “People who like to jump from great heights and just cross their fingers there is a safety net there.” < -- I know, right?! Crazy. I love reading your reviews :DD.

  3. Awesome review (as always) Jo! I've heard so many amazing things about Divergent and Four in particular so it's good to see a slightly different take – keeps those beastly expectations in check!

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