Once you pass the stumbling opening of this novel, which is jampacked with information about the futuristic world divided into four ‘factions,’ Divergent is a ravishing read! With a similar taste at its foundation as Suzanne Collins’s The Hunger Games, Veronica Roth invites her readers into Beatrice’s world where the average trouble of fitting in as a teenager is multiplied by, what’s a fair number? – a million.
Roth is ruthless in the plot and does not hesitate to sacrifice characters where the story so demands, which is refreshing to see in YA fiction. Beatrice, or Tris, is as annoying as 16-year-olds come, but you grow to sympathise and empathise with her and before you know it, that initial dislike for her reckless and immature nature has turned into cheering. I found myself rooting for her, following in her youthful misunderstandings, presumptions, and judgements.
Besides Tris and Four, who are both compelling and intriguing, however, other characters fail to deliver. They seem to lack any depth and therefore if one of them falls into misfortune, I barely bat an eye lid.
It’s all a little fast, moving from peace to war, but perhaps that’s due to the first person narrative, which confines perspective to Tris’s. Divergent is undoubtably a page-turner. I cannot wait to set my teeth in the sequel, Insurgent, and to see the movie rendition of Divergent (starring Kate Winslet!). Its descriptions are vivid, feeling, and alive – perfect for the movie screen.
Link to Divergent