Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Divergent

When I first started reading this series, I was a little bit wary about the story. After a few pages of reading a few bells went off in my head. "Harry Potter, much! This is so The Hunger Games, come on! Just stop reading!". But the more I read, the more I got into the story line. I started to realize that it was nothing close to either of those stories. The process of choosing in the beginning is slightly similar to the choosing of your house in Harry Potter and the factions look like the districts, each has their own value. But it's very different still.

When I kept reading and reading I started to fall in love with the story, I will tell you why.

The main character is Beatrice 'Tris' Prior. She grew up in a faction called the Abnegation, also known as 'the selfless'. People in this faction practically live for other people. They are not allowed to care about themselves. Others come first. Beatrice is not comfortable with this way of living. She is not able to be that selfless. Nevertheless, she tries to fit in with her parents and her brother. Yet she cannot live this passively. She wants to care about herself, make decisions for herself and be able to speak up for herself. She wants to be allowed to look into a mirror without being judged. This is what I like about her. She feels like it's selfish, but I feel like it's only fair to want a life for yourself. The things she wants seem normal to me.

But this also means that she has to leave the Abnegation and along with it, her family. She is thinking about this a lot when she has to do her test, to see in which faction she belongs. But then something terrible happens. Her test is inconclusive. She is what they call Divergent. She doesn't fit in anywhere. She has no idea what Divergent means and if there are others like her. Soon she finds out why she doesn't know this, why nobody seems to know this. All the people who are Divergent seem to disappear. She can't tell anyone, not even her own parents, what she is. She has to choose a faction where she's safe, where 'they' won't find her. The question is, how is she supposed to do that?

I like this story. I like how, in the beginning, it's different from the stories I usually read. It's about one person. Not about two different persons who clearly belong together. Sure there is some romance later on and you do fall in love with the other characters. Though it's not the main factor. It's about Tris and Tris only. That's also why it reminded me a little bit of The Hunger Games. Since that story is also only about a girl and what she wants and needs to do. Sure Katniss is loved but she is still alone. Divergent is slightly less cruel, though.

I like how Veronica Roth, the writer of Divergent, is not scared of killing characters. She sees how it adds value to the story and to the characters. It's always sad and cruel when people die (or get killed) but it also makes it real. 

This book is about humankind and how they can turn against each other. No matter what you try, evil will always be there. Waiting for the right moment to strike. People are not only good or only bad. Everyone has both qualities within them. Some just choose to listen to only one of those sides. Find out for yourself who in this story is the bad guy and why.

This book is part of a series. After Divergent you have Insurgent and Allegiant.

You can find the original review here.

2 comments:

  1. This is a really excellent review. I'd been curious about this series, but wasn't sure I wanted to pick it up, until now. You gave me just enough information, without spoiling anything. Thanks!

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