Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Review of Divergent by Veronica Roth

Katherine Tegen Books
by Veronica Roth

5 Scribbles!
Most of us look forward to turning sixteen so that we can get a driver’s license. Not so in Beatrice’s world—the world of the future. In this world, sixteen-year-olds choose one of five factions to pledge to. Beatrice’s family is a part of the Abnegation, or a selfless faction of people. The other factions include the "Erudite" scholars, the "Dauntless" warriors, the "Amity" peacemakers, and the "Candor," or brutally honest people. After a rigorous "hazing" of sorts, these freshly pledged teens will be accepted into their chosen faction and forever turn their backs on the past. Will Beatrice choose to be a part of her family’s faction, or will she risk breaking the hearts of her parents by "de-pledging" from Abnigation? Worse, will she be accepted by the faction she chooses or be rejected and end up homeless, poor, starving and factionless? Not only is Divergent a fresh spin on the recently overworked dystopian novel, but the action plows forward with super-sonic speed. It is impossible not to identify with Beatrice, aka, Tris, who has the same concerns that all teens, and indeed all humans have. Beatrice often wonders how others see her, if she fits in, if she is strong enough, smart enough, and if she can measure up to the standards that others set for her. It is her character that draws the reader in—from her plain appearance to her truly believable personality. While she is often kind and generous (like when she takes the place of a friend who is in a frightening situation), she isn’t forgiving of those who wrong her just because she was brought up to be selfless. It is just those realistic qualities that make the reader fall in love with Beatrice and embrace her as a friend. Couple the strong characters with the dizzying action that plays out on every page, and you have a work of sci-fi that rivals the recent smash trilogy The Hunger Games. I have no doubt that this gem is destined to end up on the big screen. My only regret is that Insurgent, book two, is not out yet (released May 2012). Sigh—how can I possibly wait this long?
The Author
Veronica Roth is a mere 22 years old—and while I shouldn’t marvel that her first book should be such a hit because that discounts all of those young and amazing authors out there—I am marveling. Her work rivals some of my favorite sci-fi authors like Suzanne Collins, Scott Westerfeld, and James Dashner. I am so glad Ms. Roth has a long writing career ahead. I, for one, plan on following it.

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