Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Veronica Roth

 Divergent by Veronica Roth
A Book Review

This book came to me as a highly recommended read by a good friend. I am breathless, and so grateful that he told me to read Divergent by Veronica Roth. The Novel begins in a futurist Chicago with 16 year old Beatrice Prior testing for insight into one of five factions that she will devote her life. Each faction is committed to the conviction of a specific virtue--Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). This fast paced, captivating novel will completely take the reader on a journey of self-evaluation, entertainment, and a pure adrenaline rush from start to finish.

Imagine growing up in a family where you uphold the ideals of your parents. Only allowed to look in the mirror once a year, outfitted in the simplest, dull clothing, and devote oneself to others. Beatrice, the female protagonist of the novel, has struggled to be as kind as her mother, as calm as her older brother, and as good a civil servant as her father. Yet, she knows that she is different inside. Veronica Roth has woven a complex exploring theme that can convey philosophical debate, political messages, and the human nature of becoming oneself in a world of chaos. This dystopian society is carried over into the setting and the development of characters. I thought it was very cleaver of the author because it enhances the tone and plausibility. Some may argue with this, yet it is common practice now to give aptitude tests to our children and inject them with immunizations within our trusted government framework.

Photo by By Andrew Sims (@sims) Check out his interview with Roth!

Divergent is the debut novel by Veronica Roth and is the first of a series of the trilogy. It is a young adult's novel but can be enjoyed by a much older audience. My favorite quote in the novel was, "There is power in controlling something that can do so much damage- in controlling something, period." Tobias Eaton, better known as his nickname, Four, was my favorite character. He is later revealed to be the Dauntless transfer initiates' instructor. He has several remarkable developments within his character that is discovered as the plot thickens.

Many readers will be able to relate to Four because he envelops transformation and growth. His best quote is, "I don't want to be just one thing, and I can't be. I want to be brave and I want to be selfless, intelligent and honest and kind." Readers will find the motives and actions of each character as credible. The ending is almost a tease but I have already purchased the next two books in the series. A comparison of the work by American writer Suzanne Collins, The Hunger Games. I highly recommend Divergent by Veronica Roth.


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