The best thing you can do as a reader is dive into a book you have zero expectations for. If you do this, you’ll do yourself and the author a favor by actually enjoying the book and fulfilling the author’s goal to entertain the masses.
Divergent was dubbed “The Favorite Book” of Goodreads in 2011. I remember voting for it just because it was popular and not because I’ve actually read it. At that time, I wondered why the book was such a success. I wondered why it was so appealing to the young and old. I was actually pretty shocked that some of my friends didn’t find the book impressive at all. And that’s probably why I held no expectations for Divergent and it’s now one of the best books I’ve read all year, of course, it’ll be beside Feed by Mira Grant.
The first chapter began and the alternative universe Roth paints for us reminded me so much of many other Dystopian books out there. It was like Suzanne Collins, Ally Condie, Beth Revis and Veronica Roth were in the same writing group when they first started their debut novels. I complained so much at the beginning about its similarities to other books but then fifty pages in and I began to eat my own words, the book got really good, really fast.
The main reason why I loved the book so much was because of how human and me, Trice, the main character, was. She is one of the best protagonists I’ve read all year and I realized one thing: the best protagonists are the kind who sees themselves not as victims but as humans, who can overcome any obstacle they face. Trice faces any obstacle head on and that kind of determination you see in a character will inspire you to take life by it’s hands, so you can lead your own way through it instead of the other way around.
The book had a gloomy and colorful world. In this alternative universe, the world is divided into factions wherein people are sorted by their personalities. The Abnegation Faction are the Selfless, Amity are the people of peace and arts, Candor are the honest, Dauntless are the brave, and Erudite are the intelligent. Life in this world is a lot simpler and people stuck with their factions and wars rarely broke out.
Now, for Divergent, what does it really mean? I actually went through 250 pages and I still couldn’t figure out what it was. I might have been a little slow when I read this book so I couldn’t process the obvious. Haha. I realized what Divergent was when I understood that Trice was flawed and truly human, and not selfless like the people of Abnegation. She wasn’t wholly truthful like the honest of Candor, she wasn’t peaceful and free like the Amity and not completely smart like the Erudite or fearless like the Dauntless. She was Divergent, rare and yet, she seems to meet a lot of people who are or used to know a Divergent.
I really loved following Trice and her adjustment to her new faction. I enjoyed laughing when she did, fighting and being angry along with her. I cried when she did and hurt when she did. Trice is incredibly realistic and the true heroine to follow in any Young Adult book.
I was surprised to find that the book held more character developments and growth rather than big leaps of plots and twists. It’s refreshing and impressive; especially when Roth manages to write the most enthralling character developments I’ve ever read. She’s a poet in her own little way and I absolutely love her writing style.
Divergent is a brilliant book of friendship, betrayal, family and the true meaning of selflessness. Roth has written a wonderful book that will leave you a month later still thinking about her book. I can’t wait to pick up the next book and the movie isn’t far off.