Kate Reads

Divergent - Veronica Roth Divergent is a doorstop of a book, clocking in at almost 500 pages of actual story (and maybe another 50 of extra features) with about three words a page. Okay, maybe that is an exaggeration, but I was able to finish this book in a day of quick reading. Unfortunately, I'm not completely sure how I feel about it. On one hand, it was fun, action-packed, and a really fast read. I didn't invest a lot in it, thank goodness, because it does have quite a few faults. First of all, there are frequently terms or concepts that are put out there without explanation. I wasn't entirely sure what the amity faction was all about until maybe halfway through the book, and even then I apparently was mistaken because I read somewhere they were about peace, when I believed they were creative. Not a huge deal, though, in the grand scheme of things, but when I assumed things based on context clues that later turned out to be wrong assumptions, clearly the concepts were not explained enough. I get showing, and not telling, but there was a little more room for telling in this book.Another thing is that for about 30 pages in the middle somewhere, I liked the underlying "message" of the book. Or what I thought was the underlying message. I was getting the feeling that it was making a statement about change, and how things can start out with the best of intentions, but be twisted by only a few people into something different and undesirable. And then, people started killing people, and I was kind of lost. I don't want to give anything away, but I didn't really like the violence in the book. Sometimes violence can, when used sparingly (in my opinion), have a very meaningful effect on a story. In this case, it seemed like the fighting and violence were written in for it's own sake, not to make any sort of point. It was gross and gruesome in a way it didn't need to be. I will say, and this is completely my own bias, that I love when books take place in Chicago, and from the few details, I really did enjoy imagining a future Chicago and what it would look like in the society created by Roth. But, since I know Chicago, I feel like it was easier for me than it would be for somebody who is not familiar with the city at all.Roth's writing style makes it very easy to get sucked in to the book. There were times when I am sure my heart was beating faster and I was genuinely terrified for the characters. But, I was scared for the characters because I don't want anything bad to happen to anybody, not necessarily the people whom I was supposed to like. Sure, I wanted the bad guys to go down. But that didn't mean I loved the main characters. In fact, Tris drove me insane. She was reckless and immature, and didn't seem to grow at all. Like I said, there were a few moments when I thought she was getting it (when her and Four were discussing the purpose of an exercise) and then she went back to being the same annoying character she was before the conversation. So. If you are looking for something with a lot of action, and you aren't particularly picky about tons of violence, and you don't expect amazing things, you will probably like this book. If I hadn't started thinking about it, I would definitely have enjoyed it a lot more. But I will likely not be picking up the sequel.