Book Review: Divergent by Veronica Roth

Divergent is the first in Roth’s Divergent Trilogy, and I have read all three and loved them. I would describe them as dystopian science fiction. I read this years ago and re-read it more recently.

I love Tris, she bursts from the page, so real. I think writing in the first person helps, but it’s the way Roth writes that made me really feel like I was experiencing everything with Tris. She is a brilliant writer – the kind that makes you forget you’re actually reading. The other things about Tris I like is that she is a strong female lead, and she is brave – truly brave, as in terrified but going ahead and acting brave anyway. I read this book in one day, couldn’t put it down.

The concept of the story and the world in which Tris lives is different to other dystopian stories I’ve read and I like the idea that they live in factions. The society has tried really hard to create a system that works, rather than allow things to grow organically. Perhaps that, as well, is why it is probably doomed to fail. Roth portrays Tris’s life in these factions really well – I find it utterly believable. I think it is an interesting idea too, and made me think about what is wrong with human beings – is bravery the answer, or truth, selflessness, happiness or intelligence? The problem with factions based around these ideas I suppose, is that inevitably the idea becomes warped or more extreme, until the characteristics that made it hopeful and healing and workable disappear. I like the hope that Tris could be the bridge between these ideas.

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