The Le Teen Café Review Corner: Divergent by Veronica Roth

Title: Divergent
Author: Veronica Roth
Publisher: Books/HarperCollins

Synopsis (via Goodreads):

In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago world, 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 alongside her fellow initiates to live out the choice they have made. Together they must undergo extreme physical tests of endurance and intense psychological simulations, some with devastating consequences. As initiation transforms them all, Tris must determine who her friends really are--and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes exasperating 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 unrest and growing conflict that threaten to unravel her seemingly perfect society, Tris also learns that her secret might help her save the ones she loves . . . or it might destroy her.


(spoilers ahead)

Because the movie will be released very soon, I thought it might be a good time to release my review of the book-version of Divergent. I had heard about it a lot, but I didn't have an opportunity to read it until about a month ago. It was a bit late, but I'm not sad that I was late to pick this book up. Why? It wasn't as good as everybody claimed it to be.

People around me kept telling me how awesome this book was. Well, it isn't. The entire book is a prolonged initiation process. The initiation process could have been shortened to, maybe, a third or, even better, a quarter of the book and the rest of the two books could fit in the remaining 350-400 or so pages and voila. A complete series in a single 500 page book. Yay! But no. Sigh. It was REALLY disappointing to see that this entire book revolved around this single test that doesn't seem to matter for the rest of the series. (But I could be wrong. I can't be bothered to read the rest of the series. It's just a guess.) Yikes. The only good thing about the plot is the last few chapters. The action finally picks up at the very end. Ms. Roth, don't you see how much better Divergent might have been if you had cut the initiation process by, like, A LOT and fit more actual action into the book? As the book is right now, it's depth-less and absolutely POINTLESS until the last few chapters. Sorry.

Some things in this book just didn't make any logical sense:
* I mean, what's with the train jumping? What is that supposed to prove?
* Aren't adults supposed to be leading wars and such? What are stupid teens doing leading other stupid teens?
* From my experience of encountering people, it makes more sense that EVERYONE IN THIS FREAKIN' BOOK be Divergent!
* The reason the factions came to be makes absolutely no sense. The leaders were just plain stupid. Yay for segregation, eh? Did we learn NOTHING from the Civil War?

As for the characters... I guess they were a little more bearable than the plot. One thing that bugged me is the whole overdone "I found my one true love" card. -________________- And what's more? Her one true love has a tragic, hurt past and only Tris can help him. Oh my. And Tris. Well, Tris. Hm. She was self-centered, annoying, stupid, and judgmental. Need I say any more?


Okay. I'm done with the criticism now. On to the good parts.

It's pretty hook-y in that it kept me reading. Also, well, I hate to admit it, but it's mindless fun. So if you want to read a book that you can read without thinking much, I would suggest you pick up this book at the library.

It's FUN. Pointless, but fun.

I guess I would have given this book a 4/5 if I had read this book when I wasn't in the mood for thinking, but Divergent caught me on a wrong day, so...


Now on to trying to find a book that I actually like. (I've been having bad luck recently.) Any suggestions?

-Barista Mia-

Image: Divergent (Harper Collins)