I bring you the first read in the United States of YA read-through!
#5 – Divergent by Veronica Roth
Page Numbers: The book itself is 487 pages, but I read the bonus
materials pages, which was another 48, so it was really 535 pages.
Truthfully, it would have been more excerpt I did not want to read the
first few pages of the second book without the book actually in my
Dates Read: 1/9/14-1/13/14
Plot in three lines or less: Beatrice (Tris) Prior lives with her family in one of five factions in a dystopian world, with Chicago as her home. At the age of 16, all children must choose which faction they will be a part of for the rest of their lives. Tris’s choice stuns everyone, and once in Dauntless, she must fight to survive, both her initiation, and what she realizes is happening to the world around her.
New read or re-read? Another new read!
Would you read it again? Would you recommend it to others? Yes, of course I would read it again, and I would definitely recommend it to others!
Why did I pick it up? I picked it up because my best friend recommended the series to me, claiming it would be as enjoyable as reading The Hunger Games. She also told me that I needed to make sure I read the book before the movie came out in March because she wanted to go see it with me. She gave it to me to borrow sometime back in the fall, and between the planned re-read of LotR, all the DWJ books I read, and committing to read my friend Kate’s book, this was my first opportunity to pick it up. I can only hope it’s far enough removed from the movie release that I won’t have it fresh in my memory. Another remedy for that will be to breeze through several quick reads (which I intend to).
Favorite Line? “Human beings as a whole cannot be good for long before the bad creeps back in and poisons us again.” This is a line that Tris’s mother tells her towards the end of the book. I won’t say more about that because of spoilers, but I will say that when I read that line, I had to stop and process it. It holds true even in as normal a society as the one we currently live in (and let’s not even go in that direction, because there is a lot going on right now that is NOT normal in our society). No matter how hard we try, our sinful human nature will continuously let us down. The point is to not let it hinder us from doing our best to BE good, or for the times when evil does creep back in, to recognize it, call it by name, refute it and say, “No, I do not stand for this, I stand for something better.” And that is what Tris did.
What did you like about the book? I really loved that I was able to be surprised by certain aspects of the book. As I started it, I was slightly afraid that I was reading yet another piece of dystopian literature, and of course that means it’s going to follow specific patterns. Some small things I picked up on right away, such as Tris’s mother’s history and who Four actually was. But then there were other things that completely hit me from left field. And when they do that, I know I’ve got a good book on my hands.
Other Notes? I couldn’t put it down. Or more accurately, when I had the opportunity to read, I couldn’t put it down. (There was one day in there where I had very little time to actually read.) I was even up until almost 3 a.m. one night reading. I only put it down because I knew I would be paying for it the following day (trust me, I could have kept going).
This particular book had nice section of Bonus Materials in the back. There was a Q&A with Veronica Roth (who incidentally can be found here), questions that inspired the book, a list of the music she listened to while writing, writing tips, discussion questions, how she came up with the faction names, a faction quiz, the manifestos of each faction, and a sneak peek at the next book. I didn’t read the sneak peek, as I’m hoping to get to the next two very soon. I found the manifestos extremely enlightening, and loved the music list (Yay! New music to listen to!).
For the record, the results of my faction quiz were a toss up between Abnegation and Amity (with one question being a Candor result). If I had to choose, it might be Amity, though I would actually hope that when I turned 16 I too would choose Dauntless, if only because I know what it’s like to live in fear, and want to become fearless, or rather to learn what Tris is learning in that there is a difference between becoming fearless, and recognizing your fear and conquering/overcoming it anyway.
Grand Total: 62