Sunday, 20 October 2013

Divergent by Veronica Roth

A story that takes control, and subsequent loss of freedom, to the limit.

How many times haven't we placed a "label" on someone? How many times hasn't one of us named someone as being brave or honest for instance? _okay, lets not go into our current state of politics with this one. But I think you know where I'm going...

Now imagine, having to live our whole lifes based on ONE SINGLE of those premisses. Being solely courageous or abnegated, or even solely a scholar, for instance.
That sounds a little impossible, right?
(Although this sounds a little too far fetched, when I'm reading fantasy, I follow the author's guidelines... without going into apoplectic fits... well, at least most of the times!)

Well, as you imagine, that situation isn't impossible in the Dystopian Chicago where this story takes place.
The most appropriate way to describe this story, for me, would imply that I use the following adjectives:

Brutal. The concept of the story felt completely innovating.

A frightening journey where everything is questioned.
In whom can you trust? What is the value of love and family in such a society? Are you strong enough to be honest with yourself?
Edit: (19/10/13)
As it turns out, I didn't immediately start with the second volume after finishing the first one.
And in a way, that's a pity...
Because had I done that, I probably would be enjoying Insurgent a lot more that I currently am.
Here's the thing, I've finished a re-read of this book a couple of hours ago, and I'm still trying to make sense of what I feel right now, comparing it to the previous five star review that I had given it.
In my defence, I can only say that this was one of the first dystopias that I read, and I guess I got sidetracked - all the action in the book making me ignore other points.

The advantages of doing re-reads is that there's no more anxiety throughout the read, wanting to know what is going to happen, and I could focus better on what was going on in the story.

Honestly the action scenes are the best thing in the book. Yes, they're violent and brutal, but they do make this book a fast read. Even if they're sometimes pointless.

Weak point: Honestly I don't know how I could have missed this, but Tris, just sounds too infantile compared with other dystopian characters, like Katniss, Aria,  or Penryn for example.

The author wanted to show us Beatrice's growth. Unfortunately, I didn't feel as if this was achieved during the story.
On one side, it gives the message that courage can be found by doing stupid/ irresponsible things.
Which couldn't be more wrong.
Yes, she follows her own path _ that, or she just acts rebellious _ and she ends up facing a lot of dangerous situations. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to see her growth.
In fact, having already read a little more than twenty per cent of the second book, I can say that Tris just feels more juvenile.

I loved Four in this book. He was unobtrusive, quiet, someone in which Tris could rely.

The world building:
Pretty weak... I was hoping it would get developed in the second book. But so far, no chance.

The writing:
It's okay, considering that this is a first novel.

Bottom line:
Definitely not on the Hunger Games' level, but it's an interesting read. My advice: If you liked this, better hurry up reading the following ones.

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