I want to be brave, and selfless, and smart, and kind and honest.”Four, Divergent
Author: Veronica Roth
I must admit. I saw the movie for this before I read the book. I actually saw the movie when it came out and I loved it. This is the first time I have read the book through. I didn’t realize how different the movie was from the book and I loved it. I love seeing both things as their own piece of art. Now, the movies give me a false sense of hope at one point, but I will talk about that later. Also as a heads up the reviews for this trilogy WILL contain spoilers. If you have not read the books and do not want spoilers I recommend you read carefully. I will make sure to mark the spoilers very clearly.
Without much needed introduction, here is the goodreads summary of the book:
In Beatrice Prior’s dystopian Chicago world, 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 alongside her fellow initiates to live out the choice they have made. Together they must undergo extreme physical tests of endurance and intense psychological simulations, some with devastating consequences. As initiation transforms them all, Tris must determine who her friends really are—and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes exasperating 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 unrest and growing conflict that threaten to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves . . . or it might destroy her.
I will say I think watching the movie before reading this contributes to me giving it a 9/10 and not a 10/10. I had a false idea of the way the information was going to present itself in the book. Though that is not the fault of Veronica Roth, it is the fault of the movie writers and directors. In the beginning I really didn’t like Four. I think the book being written from Tris’ point of view really is what caused that, where as in the movie I was team Four all the way. You could really tell in the movie that Four liked Tris based on the way he would react to things. In the book you got that to some degree but not until further along in the book. This is one of the only stories that I wish was written to be from more than one point of view. I hate the retelling of things that happened, but I do think that it would have been nice to see somethings through Four’s eyes. (I do get my wish for this in a companion book, which I will also be writing a review about don’t you worry.)
One of the things that I don’t like about this book is SPOILER all the physical fighting. I get why it is necessary to know how to fight, that is proven in this book as well as the two following, but I don’t really agree with it being necessary to mike the initiates fight almost to their deaths to create the faction that Eric and Max are wanting to create.
I do like the way that Veronica chooses to handle SPOILER AND TRIGGER WARNING suicide in this book, to some extent. I like that Veronica shows the side of suicide where the their friends feel like it is their fault and they could have stopped it. I personally have never been in this situation, but I know that many people do feel like they should have known, should have done better. That is what she was showing when Tris asked if Four thought it would have been different if she would have just forgiven Al for what he did to her. The part that I don’t like about how she addresses this issue is when they are talking about it like it is heroic. I know that the was trying to show how the faction was, but I feel like this was one situation where they really should not have been celebrating what he did. Tris said it best when she said that now people might feel like it was brave to throw themselves off into the chasm so that they would be remembered as a hero.
This book is a typical YA dystopian book that has romance and tragedy in it. It is a little more action packed than some of the other ones I have read (such as Matched and Delirium) which probably makes it appeal to a larger audience of people. There were definitely things I rolled my eyes at in the book. The way Tris is completely clueless about Four liking her is one of those. I know that he was trying to hide it but he did a horrible job at it, so she really should have figured it out way before she did.
Overall I really did enjoy this book. I recommend reading it before you watch the movie, or at least if you are going to read it know that the two pieces of work are totally separate. Both are great, but they are not the same. I feel like Divergent is the only one of the three that at least includes a lot of the major plot points in the book without changing them, but them choosing to place them where they did in the movie did kind of change the whole tone of the story.
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