Laura de Leon's Reviews > Divergent

Divergent by Veronica Roth
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Jul 29, 12

bookshelves: lm-book-club, ya, sf-fantasy, nook, audiobook
Recommended to Laura by: everyone
Read from January 17 to 20, 2012

4.5 stars

First and foremost, this is a darn good story! While reading it, I wasn't aware of any weaknesses, I just wanted to keep going to see what happened next.

Divergent features a future society with a very rigorous structure. It's an intriguing world, one that kept me thinking long after finishing the book.

Beatrice was a convincing character. It is time for her to move from childhood to adulthood, a transition marked with a choice which cannot be undone. Beatrice chooses to break from her family to join another faction, one that demands courage above all else.

Relationships are key in Divergent, existing relationships and relationships that are formed in her new life. The characters (friends and otherwise) are an interesting bunch, each with their own approach to the Dauntless life.

The story shifts partway through the book, and Beatrice's story becomes part of a much larger one, where her decisions will affect more than her own life. I'll be interested to see where this goes in the next book.

I have two small caveats to my enjoyment of this book, things that I hesitate to label as flaws, at least at this time.

First, Divergent is unabashedly a YA book, written for that audience. Although it clearly made sense for the main character to be a teen, I'm not sure that's true for some of the supporting characters, particularly those in leadership roles. More than that, as a not-so-young adult, I would have liked to see life from a different perspective, to see what it looked like from a more adult point of view. There were many aspects of the society, particularly of the logistics, that were invisible to the teen characters, where I would have liked to know more.

Related to that, there were clearly some holes in the world-building. As I said, the world is a highly intriguing one, and I'm not even sure I should mention this in a negative way. The gaps didn't bother me at all while I was reading. It was only once I was done, and thinking over the book, that I started wondering more about why the society was structured the way it was. I actually came up with some very intriguing possibilities. If the author takes some of the clues she left and builds on them in future books, I'll be more than satisfied with this aspect of the story.
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