Sunday, February 26, 2012

Divergent by Veronica Roth (CBR-IV #7)

Cannonball Read IV: Book #7/52
Published: 2008
Pages: 388 
Genre: Young Adult/Dystopian

Divergent is yet another dystopian YA novel. In this one, society is divided up into five factions which correspond with that factions core values: Candor (honesty), Abnegation (selflessness), Dauntless (bravery), Amity (peace), and Erudite (intelligence). Beatrice was born into the Abnegation sector, but on their 16th birthday, everyone gets to choose either to stay in their present faction or join a different one. It's rare to switch factions, but Beatrice decides to leave Abnegation and join Dauntless. She also finds out during her placement test (which tells them what faction they'd be best suited to, although can choose whichever they want) that she is actually Divergent. Divergent is a rare person who exhibits strong traits from more than one faction. It's also dangerous, so Beatrice is told to keep quiet about it.

I'm a little mixed on this novel though. I think it was well written and had strong characters. It also might be one of the few YA novels I've read lately that doesn't involve a love triangle. There is a romance subplot, but it's well done and doesn't replace an actual plot. It also wasn't very predictable, which is hard to come by in YA too. I was definitely caught off guard thinking that certain things were going to happen and was totally wrong. 

The reason I'm mixed though is that I didn't really get into this book as much as I wanted to. I can't think of anything glaringly horrible to write about, but after I finished I just had zero interest in reading the next book in the series. I think it suffered from mediocrity. It had good characters - but not great. It had an interesting dystopian society - but it was never explained enough to quite make it plausible. It wasn't bad, but it wasn't good enough to make me want more either.

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