Saturday, August 2, 2014

Book Review | Divergent

Words can't describe my undeniable love for this book. And no, it is not because I'm jumping on the bandwagon. One day before school let out for summer, I decided to sit my butt down at the computer while there was a break in my television show. Of all the random moments, I turned around at the exact time of a brand new movie trailer, with the most beautiful man I've ever seen on screen for a split second. That split second encouraged me to look up the actor because I'm a sucker for the bad guys. After twenty minutes of staring at Jai Courtney's Wikipedia page, I stumbled upon the Wikipedia page for that new movie: Divergent.

As I was scrolling down the page, I came across a link to another. That was the moment I discovered that this Divergent movie was not just a movie. Before it had become this shimmery beacon of attractive male actors and gorgeous Hollywood leading ladies, it was a book. The first book in a trilogy to be specific. Unlike my fellow book lovers, I went against the more basic “rule”of them all: I saw the movie before I read the books. Queue daunting, dramatic music while closing in on my face dripping with guilt. Yeah. I felt like I had cheated on the loyal fans of the books. My bad y'all.

Watching this movie gave me a strange adrenaline rush I used to get when I watched really spectacular films, or even when I finished a breath taking book. Hence, the worst and best obstacle I've faced in terms of books. Right after I watched the movie, I marched myself over to Target, and bought the box set. I was on a high like no other. Two weeks later, spring break was in full swing. I stared and stared at the box set. Suddenly, I lost my patience. I ripped open the box set and took out Divergent. Shaking and anxiety ridden, I flipped to the first page. Three hours later--I had finished reading the most awe inducing book of my life. That sounds extremely melodramatic. But it felt extremely melodramatic. It was amazing.

In summation, the book is about a teenage girl named Beatrice 'Tris' Prior, living in a world with divided social groups. The intelligent, the honest, the kind, the brave, and the selfless. With the choosing ceremony right around the corner, Tris must decide who she wants to be, whether that means staying in her original faction or transferring to one of the other four. It encompasses self discovery, honesty, bravery, secrecy and a whole lot of heart.

The hook caught my attention, while the following paragraphs and chapters kept it. Then, the part I had been waiting for: introductions of the five factions, society’s new way of grouping its inhabitants. Erudite. Candor. Amity. Abnegation. Dauntless. I never imagined reading a dystopian book and calling it my favorite of ever...but my world is run by irony, and I love it!

Character development is far from lacking in this book written by Veronica Roth. I never realized how difficult it is to create characters and give them their own distinct voices. In Divergent, the voice of each character is loud and clear. From Tris to Caleb to Eric to Christina; EVERYONE pushes the plot forward and their personalities, though very different from one another, help strengthen that charisma. Veronica Roth has a way with words as well as world building. She injects liveliness and realism into not so real people. The scent of lemongrass emanating from Al. The coldness of Eric's eyes though he is truly sharp as a knife (watch out I'm getting punny). The intellect instilled within Will's words. The symbolism of Tris getting a tattoo. Each little quirk and detail of every person or place made me fall in love with this book more and more every day. I finished this book in three hours. It was extremely compelling and went above and beyond my expectations.

A love story never hurt either and this one was my cup of tea. Tris and Four were standoffish in their first few encounters but slowly, their relationship grew into a combative, hilariously dysfunctional union. Their relationship was real. Real couples have real problems. Maybe not on that scale but it was nice that they were awkward, sarcastic, and emotionally driven with one another.

Veronica Roth tackles beautifully written dystopian fiction in not one but three books, created dozens of characters, then killed off half, and even went as far as to writing out a manifesto for each faction. I commend this woman and give her my utmost respect. It's strange reading a book cover to cover, closing it, and thinking that it changed my life. I don't even know how but I can feel that I'm different now that I've read Divergent. I feel like I can be brave. Hopefully, future readers can feel the same elation I felt after reading this book/trilogy.

This book is fast paced, action packed, emotionally charged, funny, and intriguing. I look forward to future literary works of Veronica Roth's, fingers crossed, and advise everyone to read this book and follow it up with Insurgent and Allegiant!

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

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