|Nomadic SA Chick||
Publisher: Katherine Tegan Books
Page Count: 487
Fiction Genre: Fantasy, Dystopian, YA, Sci-Fi, Romance, Adventure
Dates Read: June 10 - 13, 2015
Set in a future, torn apart Chicago, Beatrice is just turning 16. It's time for her to take Faction Examination which will help guide her as she makes the largest, irreversible, decision of her life. Which Faction will she commit her life to, her current faction Abnegation (selflessness), or will she decide to transfer to one of the other four factions, Candor (Honesty), Amity (Peacefulness), Erudite (Intellectual), or Dauntless (Fearless)? Beatrice must choose between her family of herself, a tough decision, but not as tough as her upcoming initiation into her chosen faction. She must follow through with her decision while keeping a very dangerous secret hidden from the rest of society.
This is a tough one. I can see the potential in this story, but I honestly cannot understand why so many people are head-over-heels with this book. At it's very best it is mediocre. The characters are poorly developed and the plot of the story is thinly put together. We are expected to believe that having only one personality trait is desirable and you're supposed to pick the future of your life based on this one personality trait to act and behave just like everyone else in your society, while having more than one trait is considered "dangerous" to society, and you are thus labeled as "Divergent". Ooooooh, scary! What happens if you don't pass initiation, don't pick a faction, or choose to leave your selected faction? You are cast out (to who knows where exactly) and become one of the "Factionless" ... Basically it's a fancy word for bum or homeless.
What upsets me is how Roth is incapable of explaining just how Divergent is dangerous. We're just supposed to buy it and accept it. The "love story" in this book is a joke. What we find between Tris and Four is creepy and forced. I seriously think that Bella and Edward in Twilight had a better love story. Also, what happened to the rest of the world? Hell, what happened to the rest of the United States? It's like the only people left on the face of the Earth have all congregated in Chicago and have developed these weird, one personality trait cults. How did the world end up in this state?
I am really frustrated by this book because I know it could have been excellent. Roth could have produced something that was amazing, instead we got this. A half-assed YA, Dystopian novel. There are so many unanswered or neglected questions, and a ton of plot holes that are never addressed. Since I am committed to the rest of the series, I can only hope that Roth finally delivers and gives us more content instead of an empty shell of story.
Rankings (based on a 10 point scale)
Quality of Writing - 6
Pace - 5
Plot Development - 4
Characters - 6
Enjoyability - 5
Insightfulness - 4
Ease of Reading - 6
Photos/Illustrations - N/A
Overall Score - 3 out of 5 stars