This is my second attempt at reading Divergent. The first time I picked up this book I found it rather difficult to get pass the first few chapters. I think that was partly because at the time I only had a ebook version and also I had absolutely no idea what to expect. I assumed that it was probably very similar to The Hunger Games and because I never got into those it was highly likely that I would not enjoy Divergent either. Those first few chapters seemed to drag so I ended up abandoning the book.
Then I saw the movie and it was nothing like The Hunger Games and I just knew that I had to read it at some point.
At the beginning of September during my lunch hour I was browsing through the books at one of the many second hand book stores close to work and there it was, basking in all its glory, whispering “buy me” as my fingers brush their spines. The complete Divergent trilogy for only R100. ($10) And I had to buy it, I had no choice, they needed a home…
And so I gave Divergent the second chance it deserved and it was completely worth it. After finishing Divergent I now realise how important those first few chapters are regarding the world building and establishing Beatrice’s character before she becomes Tris. It is necessary in helping us see Tris’s character development from being Beatrice the “stiff” to becoming the dauntless Tris. Veronica Roth does a seamless job at showing us Beatrice’s transition.
Once I’d gotten into Divergent I found it extremely difficult to put down. Tris is a strong protagonist that often battles with her own inner conflict especially regarding her guilt for leaving her old faction and wondering whether she made the right choice. Throughout the novel she battles with finding her place and fears that perhaps there is no place for her, yet she keeps fighting and is persistent in finding her place in Dauntless. Her fear and doubts stem from knowing that she is Divergent – even though she barely understand what that means – however she is determined to overcome those fears.
Tris is such a strong female protagonist. Even at the beginning of the novel we get hints of Beatrice’s strong personality especially when we read her inner dialogue and see that while she wants to make her parents proud she can’t help but push the boundaries by talking when she is suppose to be quiet and asking questions that other Abnegation kids wouldn’t dare ask. From the beginning we see a girl who doesn’t belong and knows it, we see her watching the Dauntless longingly and we realise that she craves that freedom and is capable of making a the decision to leave her faction and join them.
I also love the way Roth portrayed Tris and Four’s relationship. The progression felt natural, there was nothing cheesy about it and that was a major relief. Also, Four doesn’t treat Tris likes she fragile – as we’ve seen with most of the male characters – he treats her as an equal.