08 November 2011

The AWESOME That Is Divergent

Ie, how Divergent is awesome. Not divergent awesomeness, although that could be also fun.

May 2011, HarperCollins
487 pages, Paperback
Personal copy

YA Dystopian

Some violence, discussion about not-having-sex-yet

Summary from HarperCollins:

In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue—Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is—she can't have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles to determine who her friends really are—and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes infuriating boy fits into the life she's chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she's kept hidden from everyone because she's been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers a growing conflict that threatens to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves . . . or it might destroy her.

Debut author Veronica Roth bursts onto the literary scene with the first book in the Divergent series—dystopian thrillers filled with electrifying decisions, heartbreaking betrayals, stunning consequences, and unexpected romance.

Amy's thoughts:
OH. THE. SQUEE. I know, I know, I keep going on about the books I've read recently, but SERIOUSLY. YOU GUYS. There has been a whole spate of REALLY AWESOME YA debuts recently. REALLY. AWESOME. Divergent is definitely one of them, and if you're at all curious/unconvinced, note that you can read the first 100 pages free online.

I'm warning you, though: you'll knife anyone who gets in the way of you and the rest of the book once you have. (Though at least the book is out now; I read the first 100 pages 6 months before the book was released, oh the horror).

Ahem. Okay. Actually reviewey stuff. Divergent is YA dystopian fiction premised on the idea that society has been divided into five factors, each of which live life according to a particular value because they believe that that is the best way to restore peace to society. Tris's (Beatrice) story begins when she has to decide whether to stay in her family's faction, or defect to another. It's a pretty standard YA coming-of-age set-up, in an original-yet-familiar social/conceptual setting; it's good, sure, but this is not what makes Roth's book astounding. What makes it astounding is the amazing voice and the characterisation.

Roth absolutely nails Tris's voice; Tris is innocent and naive, yet determined and brave all at the same time, and the conflict that she feels between her old way of life and her (self-) imposed new way of life is treated with subtlety and delicacy and is just... *melts* *pats the pretty*

Topped off with a twist I didn't really expect (hurrah!) and your obligatory hot guy (though please note, his characterisation is equally as subtle as Triss's), this really is an amazing, amazing book. Go on: read the first pages already.

Final Conclusion:
I am speechless, and Ms Roth is on my auto-buy list. Read the first 100 pages of Divergent here, stalk Ms Roth on twitter and on her blog, and watch out for an announcement later this week about how you can win your very own copy of Divergent-shiny that I bought especially for you :o)

1 comment:

fairyhedgehog said...

I loved this book too.

It's a great review: you get all the main points across without spoilers, which is much harder than it sounds!

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