Thursday, 26 January 2012

Book review: Divergent by Veronica Roth

Oh jeez, I do not know about the existence of this book till I saw on Goodreads that Divergent was chosen as 2011's favourite book.

Then I Googled and found out that this is the first book written by Veronica Roth (she is a new author) while she is still studying at university, and it was reported that the movie right was sold even before the book was released.

Wow, not bad for a 22-year old eh?

Ok, so I started reading the reviews and got hooked.

First and foremost, let me warn you, this book is not for the people who love happy ending, adore fairies and gypsies. This book is for people who love robots, science fiction and really do not mind about  fighting.

And I learned that dystopia is the opposite of utopia. The book painted a depressed and bleak environment, which I am really sure I could not live in a dystopian world.

A short summary of Divergent:

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.

Debut author Veronica Roth bursts onto the literary scene with the first book in the Divergent series—dystopian thrillers filled with electrifying decisions, heartbreaking betrayals, stunning consequences, and unexpected romance.
 I had a love hate relationship with this book. At one point of time, I wanted to scream and ditch it. But I could not possibly do it since I was reading it on the Kindle application in my iPhone.

The start of the book was so promising. Beatrice is as tough as nail, she had her own mind and the perfect family. She must choose between staying loyal to her own faction (Abnegation) or leave her family and join another faction for life. It was interesting when she had to do the simulation test in determining which faction she should be in. And the result was unexpected. She is a 'Divergent' and cannot be classified in any of the factions.

On the choosing ceremony, she decided to join another faction, and leave her family forever. Now, that is when the book just went downhill. I could not understand how the first half of the book can be devoted to more simulation tests (and Ms. Roth has the gut to describe every simulation test as detail as possible, which makes me think she had no plot) and more training. Ahh, the training. It was brutal, you learned how to punch people till they hurt, you have to learn how to hold a gun and knife. It is just I wished Ms. Roth, at some point, stopped detailing every training that Beatrice had to endure, because there is no point telling the readers about the training since we will never learn how to hold a gun.

But then, when her mother came during visiting day, then it turned out interesting. Her mother, obviously, had secrets of her own. And I do mind if Ms. Roth had taken the time to explore more about Beatrice's family.

It is just when the factions started plotting and fighting that I found the book moved at break neck speed. And I wish Ms. Roth had started writing this part sooner than later. This book is seriously not for the faint hearts, since there seems to be lots of killings involved, and it consist of best friends and family. And of course, betrayals between family members and factions.

The ending is inconclusive, since there will be 2 more books in the Divergent series.

But, would I pick up this book again? It makes me feel depressed in a sort of dystopian way.

Will I be waiting for the second book? Yes, if and only if the second book elaborate more about Beatrice's family. Now, that would be worth waiting for.

4 musings:

Ummu Auni said...

Worth it untuk dibaca?

tinidewi said...

soalan cepu emas. i dun think i'll like guilty simple mind.

tinidewi said...

eh tersilap delete eh? i meant, i dun think i'll like the book. am guilty of being simple minded.

aida said...

aini, worth it.. baca permulaan sampai faction ceremony.. lepas tu flip through sampai dia jumpa mak dia balik.. hehehe

kak tini, yup, kalau untuk peminat movie like terminator, shutter island, robocop.. sesuai ler baca buku ni. depress ok

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