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Veronica Roth - Divergent

Divergent - Veronica Roth

Firstly, I need to get something off my chest. In terms of dystopian fiction this one is really not the greatest example.

There is no background information whatsoever about how the society in these novels came into being. Dystopian fiction usually works by means of extrapolating society’s problems or the current state of things into the future and see where that might lead. This is not done in Divergent. The reader is put into this setting in a take-it-or-leave-it kind of manner. There are no explanations of the historical circumstances that lead to this point and we don’t find out how the factions that are so important to the plot of the novel came into being.

That said, this book was awesome and great fun to read. I love a writer that can be ruthless with their own creation [e.g. by killing off characters we came to love or hate or have any type of strong emotion for] In the YA section I have only come across two so far – Rowling, J.K. and Suzanne Collins. Veronica Roth is now number three on that list.
She created an interesting environment and put a story filled with action mystery and – yes – love into it, which is never boring and can always be taken seriously. And, in turn, takes its readers seriously.

Even the love story makes sense in this one. YA series often tend to force the love interest on the protagonist in a way that makes me cringe and want to throw the book at the next wall. Here it is neither the centre of the plot nor is it random. It comes slowly and seems very realistic – that is I can understand why Beatrice is intrigued by Four and how she herself only realises this very slowly because she does have more important things to deal with. I also like that she is not absorbed into and weakened by this relationship but stays on course to finding and becoming herself.

All in all this is a great read that I would categorize as Science Fiction and not so much as Dystopia (of course this might change with next book in the series – which would be awesome!).