It took me about a month to go around into actually picking Divergent up to read. I am very disappointed with myself at this but I must say, it could not have been a better timing. I almost lost my reading drive, seriously. I managed to get a lot of books over the holidays but so far I haven't been loving what I read. Divergent was a quite recent purchase about a month ago so obviously it's on the end of my reading list. Thank God that I bumped it up on my schedule and it got me out of this dry spell! :D
On to the review!
Gosh. Where do I even start? I could gush about Divergent on and on but I'll put on my English major hat and analyse this beauty in one (hopefully short) blog post!
One of the reasons why I love Divergent is because of Roth's ability to create such profound sentences. I have a few of my favourites and I will list them down later. To be honest I did not get hooked by the first page but by the end of Chapter 1, I find myself continuing to read. That is always a good sign. Given my experience of encountering such bad (a very strong word) novels, it's hard to find an un-put-down-able book. Especially from a Young Adult genre.
This could be an exaggeration by me but Divergent is dystopia at its best. Roth manages to bring forth issues or thoughts that have been on my mind for quite awhile. It even support my theory that I've been developing about the world. You might think, "Aren't you being a bit dramatic? Drawing such conclusions from a children's book?" But really, it is such a good piece of work if it could draw me some conclusions. Honestly only God knows how much answers I need right now.
"You chose us," he says. "Now we have to choose you." (pg. 73)
I got goosebumps when I read this sentence. This particular line really shed light on the workings of democracy. The West has been giving other countries sh*t for not upholding democracy in their countries; making it seem that democracy is the RIGHT or humane way of governing. No one really focuses on the negative effects of democracy. If democracy is so right, why are people still unhappy? I have been thinking a lot of politics lately given the elections are coming up soon in Malaysia. So it's no surprise why this line struck home.
Roth raises a point in the consequences of democracy. We choose a leader, choose a system that we want to be in and when we do get what we want--it is the government's turn to decide whether we ARE eligible to be in that system. If we are given a right to choose, why are we still being tested? If democracy gives the people power, why are they still being oppressed? I guess it takes a dystopic society to illustrate the major consequence in choosing our governments today.
"It is a beautiful thought." (pg. 207)
Ideals. Idealisms. It is interesting how everything starts out as ideals. Ideas/beliefs become the basis of government or way of life. And yet none of us are able to carry it out perfectly. And soon enough, it becomes a thought. An idea that fails to manifest into a product becomes a thought. I guess it is in our nature, we are not perfect beings. Our flaws balance out the good in us which makes this reality. Now does that mean all that is good are just thoughts? Obviously our main character may think like that but her actions show hope. No matter how bleak the situation is, I guess Roth shows that humans are hopeful beings. We still try.
Divergent makes me philosophical. Haha!
Brash summary of my ramblings: Everything starts out good and then people f*ck up. We have problems but we still try to fix it.
"Peace is restrained; this is free." (pg. 250)
I have this theory that the world will never achieve total peace. (I remember that this thought popped in my head when I was cutting onions while making dinner. Intense thinking done in the kitchen I must say.) A sad worldview I know. This particular line in Divergent sort of sums up this theory perfectly. I always think that once the world solves a major problem, the solution will open up to a whole new set of problems. So in a way, it is a never ending cycle. And even if total peace is achieved, sooner or later someone will create problems because that is the true nature of our existence. We are curious and hopeful beings. We destroy, create and move on.
When I first met Tris, I had a bit of an expectation that she would be like Katniss from The Hunger Games. Not that I want her to be like Katniss but seeing that the format is somewhat the same, I imagined that she would be a bit like her. Basically I was starting to stereotype the heroines for this particular genre but it's good that Roth did not exactly work with the same mould and break off the chain. Tris is a strong character but I appreciate how Tris seems vulnerable at the same time. She has her doubts and she thinks about her surroundings. And I love how she can be such a girl sometimes!
I really find the concept of grouping the masses into groups of personality very interesting because it emphasizes the fact that humans are complex beings. No matter how many similarities we share, we are just different. Intentional or not, Roth manages to accentuate this point very well. Basically we are all Divergents.
I'm a sucker for forbidden romance. Even though Four and Tris's relationship is not exactly forbidden, the whole teacher-student dynamic got me excited. Too...excited.
Now if Four is just a tad bit older...than Tris. Then it would be reaaaaaally forbidden. :P
I mean seriously, how HOT is Four?
My only complaint for Roth is really superficial. I just hate her choice of names for the main characters. No offence to anyone named Beatrice but really, can't you just give her a much cooler name? Also Four's real name killed the fangirl in me...just a bit.
But then again, Beatrice and Four's real name (I'm kind. No spoilers here!) are total Abnegation names. So that must be her reasoning.
The Verdict: 5 out of 5