Friday, February 28, 2014

Book Review: Divergent by Veronica Roth

Title: Divergent
Author: Veronica Roth 
Series: Yes. #1 in Trilogy
Pages: 487
Genre: Young Adult. Science Fiction. Dystopian.
Published Date: April 25, 2011
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books/HarperCollins

Summary: Goodreads

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, Tris also learns that her secret might help her save the ones she loves . . . or it might destroy her.

My Thoughts:

This was a great book. The moment I picked it up, the story instantly had me hooked. From the very first chapter you are thrust into this world of uncertainty and worry. Worry for the characters you grow more and more fond of with each passing chapter-- although not every character was easy to care about. Unsure of what will happen to them or were they stand in the world. The book is told from Tris' point of view and I really enjoyed watching her grow more and more sure of herself as the story progressed. While reading this book I felt as though I were on the edge of my seat the whole time, however, unfortunately for me, there were a couple of parts throughout the story that made me want to either roll my eyes or just shut the book altogether. Another problem I had with the book was the overall lack of world-building. Now, don't misunderstand me, I'm not saying it was nonexistent, I just personally would've preferred a little more description. I loved how Tris would surprise me with every decision that she made; I can proudly say that she managed to only irritate me in a couple of instances. From start to finish Roth was able to keep my heart racing for a good portion of the book. There was almost never a moment when you didn't have to worry about near-death experiences or someone figuring out Tris' secret.

(Do NOT read unless you've read the book!!)

Okay so... can I just start off with how dreamy Tobias is? His innocence is more than adorable and he managed to make me swoon more than once in a couple of parts. He truly is this silent, sexy, enigma that leaves you wondering what's really going on in that head of his. One moment he seems cruel and heartless, the next you wouldn't believe he could hurt a fly; at least, that's how I see him.

In the beginning, I could see how out of place and unsure Tris felt about herself. She loves her family more than anything, but she doesn't want to be something she's not, and after the aptitude test she's left with only 3 choices: Erudite, Abnegation, or Dauntless. Although since she never truly considered Erudite as an option her choices were left between: Abnegation, or Dauntless. Family or Self. Caleb choosing Erudite didn't necessarily surprise me after reading the scene where Roth vaguely described his bedroom in the seconds that Tris was able to glance inside. Between that and Four turning out to be Tobias, those were the main instances that were predictable for me, which is, in all honesty, slightly disheartening. This did not happen a lot, thank goodness, there were far more times when I just didn't know what to expect and that is what continuously drove me forward. I think the zipline scene was probably one of my favorites. I'm not sure if I, personally, would've been brave enough to go down... and I love heights. But once again Tris' bravery left me inspired. After reading that part I suddenly felt the urge to go ziplining too; is that strange?

When I was first introduced to Peter, I didn't think I would end up hating him as much as I do. He's such a slimy, snot-nosed brat that reacts savagely when he doesn't get his way. Poor Edward. Poor, poor Edward. Tris knew how vile he was, but that knowledge didn't save her from his violence either. All in all, Peter is probably my second most hated character in the book, number one should come as no surprise, but I feel like every time Eric was around the entire setting just got a thousand times darker. Jeanine's pretty bad too though... she probably puts Peter in 3rd place instead of 2nd. 

Ugh, Jeanine. Jeanine, Jeanine, Jeanine. This woman is terrible. I cannot believe how freakishly power hungry she is that she's willing to use everyone as puppets. Affective, but terrible. When they injected Tobias with that serum to make him attack Tris I was so outraged that I wished I could've go into the pages and slap Jeanine myself. For a terrible moment I thought Tris wouldn't be able to bring him back, thankfully the affects of the injection were able to be turned off, in both Tobias and all the others. The end of this book gave me so many mixed feelings. I was surprised by how sad it made me when Tris' parents died. And I think it irritated me even more that two really good people died, but two d*****bags managed to survive. Oh, and Will! How could I forget poor, sweet Will? That was such an unfair moment. And what will Christina think? Or does she ever even find out? Is she even alive? Obviously, I still have a few questions and I'm actually looking forward to the second book. Hopefully it doesn't disappoint. 

Thursday, February 13, 2014

February TBR

These are the books I'm planning on reading in February!! At least, hopefully. This is just a test run to see if I can keep up with TBR's. We all have to start somewhere, right? Well, I've already started on "A Game of Thrones", and thus far I'm LOVING it. It's so intriguing and heart-pounding and the more I read the more I fall in love with the characters. I'm only 236 pages in though; it's such a big book and I'm a slow reader, but that's okay, I'll make it eventually. I've found myself switching between GoT and "The Archived" when I want to read something lighter; although I'm not very far in that either (pg. 34). So whichever one I finish first will have their review posted up sooner! Yay, progress.
1. A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin
2. Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
3. The Archived by Victoria Schwab