A teen review of one of the biggest dystopian teen reviews. Here's Sarah, who is a teen volunteer at Westover's, look:
Divergent by Veronica Roth
As of late, dystopian novels have become pretty popular, what with books like The Hunger Games, Cinder, and Matched. Divergent by Veronica Roth is one of my personal favorite dystopian stories. Divergent follows a 16 year-old girl named Beatrice (Tris) Prior living in Chicago of the future. In her society, people are split up into five factions, based on what character traits they value most. Kids are raised in the faction of their parents, but at age 16, they get to choose whether they would like to continue life in their current faction, or transfer to one that better fits their personalities. Tris is raised in Abnegation, the faction that values selflessness. Before making her choice at the Choosing Ceremony, she must take an aptitude test that is designed to tell her what faction she belongs in. This test is inconclusive, causing her to be even more nervous about the choice she is about to make. This one choice could change her entire life.
I don't want to say more than that, although that is not what the entire book is about. The book follows her as she chooses, but her choice happens pretty early on, and the rest of the story takes place during initiation, in which the teenagers are tested to see if they are worthy of being members of their factions. This may not sound like an interesting plot line, but that is likely due to the fact that I do not want to give you any context in the fear of giving things away. In any case, this book is very heavily driven by plot. It is a fast-paced action story, but it also has thoughtful or heartfelt moments.
Admittedly, some of the characters feel a little bit forced or one-note, but overall, the characters are well-developed. And I realize that books are not written for the sake of having likable characters, but I was impressed with how relateable Tris was. There is also a male protagonist who I do not want to name for sake of not revealing too much of the plot, but he is also pretty likable most of the time.
Overall, though ,the power of the book is in it's fast-paced plot. The action is intriguing and well written. I often find that battle-type action is uninteresting in that it is simply a blow-by-blow of people hitting one another, but such action scenes are quite well done in this book.
One other indication that it was a good book is that I was able to reread it. In one weekend. It does have value the second time through, which is something I really appreciate in a book. So if you enjoy fast-paced action or dystopias, this is the book for you!