Divergent by Veronica Roth

June 28, 2012

Title : Divergent
Author : Veronica Roth
First Published : 2011
Publisher : HarperCollins
Pages : 487
Genre : dystopian fiction and action
Extras : Author Q&A, Discussion Guide, Divergent Playlist, Faction Manifestos, Faction Quiz, Writing Tips, Quotations, Faction Naming, Utopian World and Sneak Peek for Insurgent
Price : US $9.99 (IDR 90k)
Rating : 9.5/10

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.


"One choice decides your friends. One choice defines your beliefs. One choice determines your loyalties forever. One choice can transform you."

I know it's a little too late to talk about Divergent when everybody probably is talking about Insurgent now (which I have already hold the book, waiting to be consumed). I've known the series long time ago, back in 2011 to be exact, when the book freshly hit the stands, but unfortunately I couldn't find the original one (the english one). But, the wait is over, as I found the book sitting vigorously at an International bookstore, alongside with Insurgent. First sight : the cover. If I hadn't read some reviews, I'd be clueless about whatever it might be. The odd title (what the heck is Divergent?), the fire circled with ring of fire, up away in a city's dim light (which I now know it represents Chicago over Dauntless' fire of bravery) and not even a brief synopsis added, just the words "One choice decides your ..." (which I can't argue, quite an inviting words, really juicy and tempting). Quite a move, I thought myself.

Another dystopian novel, I thought. I am not a dystopian fan myself, despite my great love for Suzanne Collins's The Hunger Games and Koushun Takami's Battle Royale, which "accidentaly" are my last readings. But, I can say myself that both three authors; Collins, Takami and Roth have one ability that really represents them the most; they are able to offer a constant suspense, along with twisted plots and surprises around every corners. Their writings are raw, shine in different colors, which I like.

The story is quite simple, but somehow feels smartly cornered. Taking place in Chicago (yes, Chicago, what an interesting choice of place), a 16-year-old Beatrice (a.k.a Tris) is living in the time when a nation is divided into five different factions; Abnegation (the selfless), Erudite (the intelligent), Dauntless (the brave), Candor (the honest) and Amity (the peaceful). As an Abnegation-born, Tris is ready to face the aptitude test, as she comes to the age to determine which faction she's in. But then, she has a little trouble when she faces the test and at the Choosing Ceremony, she directly betrays her family and her faction as she chooses Dauntless over Abnegation. Then, the story follows her to her preparations and her fights in the Dauntless's inititation as one of faction transfers, in her struggle to become a true Dauntless, as well as her self-denial and insecurity. Juicy? Yes, it is.

Roth simply won't let us stop flipping through the pages; she delivers such a tenseful story, topped with twisted plots and surprises, all in constant and stable way. Divergent is deep, rich and smart, all mix in a heart-pounding action and thrilling suspense, along with electrifying decisions, heartbreaking betrayals, stunning consequences, breathtaking adventures, torrent of emotions and some delicious romances. We will seriously have a good time following Tris's journey in the initiation as she faces non-stop thrilling actions and risky stunts. Not to mention the fear landscape and the simulations, really fearful and captivating (also ridiculously smart, manipulating people's mind and fears, way creepy!) ; we get to see everyone's fears and phobias and how they overcome it, as everyone isn't fearless. I don't find any hole fits in this book, all executed well, I can say. The story is just fascinating, the journey is interesting to be imagined of (I mean, really? Jumping on a train?) and the development of each and every characters is worth to follow. The plot seems stable; a long journey of the initation follows with the cracked war that leads to the second book. Curiousity everywhere, along with the heart-pace of imaginations. Brilliant.

One thing that makes Divergent really great; the fierce female heroine. She reminds me a lot of Katniss Everdeen of THG, but in such different way. Tris isn't flawless; she has that selfishness, insecurity, distrust, down right stubborness and betrayal all over her. She isn't pretty nor interesting, but she indeed is strong and that Divergent thing really helps her, a lot. She can work that Divergence of her, she's strong-minded and definitely not a quitter; she is something. I love her every actions which represent strong-will with slight vulnerability. Don't forget about Tobias a.k.a Four. It takes me a while to begin to love him. He's a definite example of a kind, brave, honest, selfless and smart guy, with slight vulnerabilty and insecurity. The way he behaves when he's with Tris and his will to sacrifice for others; exceptional. Tris-Four's chemistry is something to be envied for; I really can feel their touch, their closeness, moreover, their heartbeats.

Friend of mine once recommended me not to read this book, as he found Divergent boring. Well, shame on him, because Divergent really is an addicting drug; a heart-pounding and thrilling action, topped with juicy betrayals and bloomy romance. Trust me, this one is a really good one. I'm looking forward to date Insurgent and tempt you one more time.

"Valuing knowledge above all else results in a lust for power and that leads men into dark and empty places."

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