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Divergent by Veronica Roth
I love this book! The dystopian world was put together seamlessly – I completely understood what I needed to know about how Tris’s world worked when I needed to understand it, but I wasn’t bored with excessive description. The characters were fantastic. With each of the significant ones I got a strong sense of exactly who they were, and how they were distinct from everyone else. But what I thought was best about it’s book was its sense of harsh reality.
Four wasn’t the stereotypical love interest – he was harsher, more real. Even better, Tris never had some sudden, life-changing experience and then suddenly became sure that she was in the right place making the right choices. She had terrible doubts through to the end, and her success throughout the book was to keep ploughing on through her uncertainty. However, my favorite part of the book was Al. I loved the contradictions as he cried himself to sleep every night and then beat his opponent senseless in his first fight. I loved the way that he soon became the epitome of weakness, refusing to hurt anyone, and then cracked and nearly killed his best friend. Above all, I loved that even when he killed himself, Tris did not forgive him. She should have, and she knew that she should have, but she couldn’t bring herself to. Throughout the entire book, the characters were never distorted from their true, realistic selves in order to make them fit the ideas and emotions deemed “right” by the typical reader, and this is what made the book fantastic.
This book just narrowly missed being one of my all-time favorites. It fell short of that highest honor because the characters don’t really live past the end of the book. Perhaps it’s that they weren’t fleshed out quite enough, or maybe it’s just because the ending was somewhat abrupt but, for whatever reason, I can’t quite imagine Tris and Tobias continuing to live past the last page. They existed fully throughout the entire story, but they didn’t manage to make that last hurdle into immorality in the readers’ mind.