Guest Reviewer: Ami (@mama_roach)
Desperate to read this before the I saw the film, I frantically searched for a copy of Veronica Roth’s Divergent. The prestigious and reputable Waterstones came to the rescue and fuelled my YA book craving! It certainly wasn’t difficult to find, as Divergent finds itself in the dystopian sci-fi category (and it’s not like this category is popular or anything!) I approached the story with an open mind, having read a mixture of reviews – some quite negative and too busy comparing it to The Hunger Games (Suzanne Collins), but most were positive and highly-engaged with the main character Beatrice, as she finds herself choosing her future, torn between family and what is right.
Set in a future divided into factions, each representative of ‘the best’ human traits, Beatrice belongs to Abnegation, a community dedicated to human kindness and selflessness, but she finds herself torn when labelled ‘Divergent’. Will she leave her family to find her ‘real’ self? Can selflessness and bravery go hand-in-hand? You can read it to find out!
Beatrice, in her journey of self-discovery, comes across a whole host of characters, some stronger than others. I found Four a little bit unrealistic, but I guess there needs to be a love interest that isn’t the cliche of Edward Cullen (sparkly vampire from Twilight fame). I was glad that he had flaws and was, at times, a little rude to his ‘Tris’. However, don’t let the idea of a love interest put you off, as the main storyline is very effective. Beatrice not only has to contend with, at times, an ignorant love interest; she has to contend with her own survival! This is where the action begins and does not end. The novel is action-packed from start to finish and made breathing at a normal rate difficult!
As you read on through the novel, Beatrice becomes more confident and about as kick-ass as it gets. She jumps off buildings, climbs Ferris wheels and faces her fears. But the main plot-line of the trilogy doesn’t come into focus until the end of the novel; I felt like too much of the time was spent developing her character in this one, but this was necessary to build to the main storyline of the trilogy. It definitely left me wanting to see the film and read the next two rather urgently!