Author: Veronica Roth
Genre: Fiction, Dystopian, Romance, Adventure
“Becoming fearless isn’t the point. That’s impossible. It’s learning how to control your fear, and how to be free from it.”
I was so excited about reading Divergent as it had been on my TBR for a couple of years. My only problem was that it took me the entire month to read it. It wasn’t an issue with the book itself, I think the difficulty lay in the fact that as I had watched the film recently, it was still so fresh in my mind. As a result, there was hardly any fun or challenge in reading, as there wasn’t much room for me to use my own imagination to build the characters and settings. This might come from the fact that I rarely reread books, and if I do, there has to be a substantial number of years between each sitting so that reading the book feels like new again. In retrospect, choosing it for the book club was probably a bad move!
The plot, however, is fantastic; it is its one redeeming factor. Tris is a very honest protagonist, and I found her moral conflicts really engaging. I did disagree with her on a number of her decisions though, and actually found her to be rather mean at times, for example when she turns her nose up at Al’s crying. I don’t know what this lack of sensitivity was meant to display exactly, and she did go down a bit in my estimations at that point (maybe there is something in her behaviour to reinforce to the reader the fact she is Divergent, and therefore can be both kind and cruel?). Nevertheless, it was interesting as a reader to disagree with her choices, and overall she was easy to relate to. We’ve all felt ‘Divergent’ before, confused and alone among our peers – it is the perfect metaphor for the turmoil of teenagehood.
So, really I am in conflict about rating this book. I didn’t enjoy the reading experience of the book per se – the writing style was a little too straight-forward and simple for my liking – yet I found the story original and unpredictable. Am I just rating the enjoyment I gained from watching the film? Who knows!
Star Rating: ☆☆☆☆ (4/5)
Of course, no reading is complete without choosing a faction. I feel I would be well suited to Amity, and actually really like the idea of the Aptitude Test. Which faction would you choose for yourself?