Before I read Divergent, I had no idea what it was about. If I pick up a book because I’ve seen it ranted and raved over everywhere across the virtual globe and want to see what all the fuss is about, I never read the blurb. Same goes for if a book comes highly recommended to me by someone I trust. Even if I read a blurb when making an independent decision on a purchase, I never reread it before reading the book. I prefer to go into a book as blind as possible as to what’s to come.
What I did catch prior to reading Divergent, though, was a whole lot of references comparing it to The Hunger Games.
So my opening comment on this book is that I wholeheartedly (and respectfully) disagree.
Divergent is original, unique and way more than I expected it to be. Yes, I took the opening chapter slow whilst I made sure I absorbed all the Factions and exactly was going on and coming up. Once I’d gotten past that (small) part, however, I was pretty much on a ride I seriously did NOT want to get off. And the fact it ran (albeit somewhat obscurely) parallel to a future I could believe our world heads toward just made the story all the more powerful for me.
I loved Tris. Loved Four even more. And, on top of those, each and every supporting character was full bodied and individual and 100% believable. I don’t want to say too much because I don’t want to provide spoilers.
Trust me when I say I believe this book will hit you with bigger impact if you go in not knowing what to expect, having just experienced that myself. Just know that there was not one point where I considered the story/pace slow, or the content extraneous, or the path walked by the characters to be forced, or the portrayal of the story to be screwy. All I know is that I started reading … and I didn’t want to stop.
Oh … and it made me sniffle. Books that make me sniffle (coz I’m ‘ard as nails) always earn extra points from me.
And despite my comment above, here comes probably the biggest spoiler you’ll get from me for this: Do NOT head into this book expecting roses and champagne at the end. This genre cannot possible work that way if it is to be believable and impactful.
Go in with an open mind. And don’t be mad at the author when what happens between the pages p****s you off or when the ending doesn’t leave you feeling all light and airy but somehow saddened and weighted down by a load that isn’t yours.
Because it takes (imo) a brave author to head down dark paths with no light at the end and not be afraid of showing the reader what’s there, hiding in the shadows. Kudos to Ms Roth for doing exactly that yet somehow managing to make still want to read on.