I should really review Divergent and The Hunger Games in the same post, because of all the similarities. They’re both dystopian, and the main character in both novels is a feisty female who must learn to survive in an environment full of people trying to kill her.
I read Divergent on a plane from Sydney to Brisbane. I bought it just to read at the start and end of the plane trip when you’re not allowed to listen to music because you have to “switch off all electronic devices”. I ended up reading it the entire trip and then finishing it when I got home.
The premise is at first confusing: futuristic, post-apocalyptic Chicago is separated into different factions (similar to the districts in The Hunger Games). These factions are Abnegation, Amity, Candor, Erudite, and Dauntless. Beatrice Prior grew up in Abnegation, the faction known for being selfless. However, in the year she turns 16, she – and all the other 16 year olds in Chicago – can choose if they want to change. Beatrice changes to Dauntless, and becomes Tris.
She is thrust into a violent faction filled with deceit, lies, murder, and brutality. She is trained to be a fighter and defender of the city, and those who fall behind from the group are cast aside and deemed factionless.
The novel has an intriguing premise, but the first fourth of the novel is a little confusing and Roth doesn’t quite explain the setting well enough for the reader to picture it. The main character is refreshingly feisty and learns how to survive. The book has a strong romantic element that I think is missing from The Hunger Games. Tris is independent and relatable, and Roth’s writing is strong. The pace moves quickly and she’s created three dimensional characters.
My Score: 8/10