Divergent, by Veronica Roth

8306857Release date: April 25th 2011

Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books

Number of pages: 487 (Hardcover edition)

Genre: Dystopian

In Beatrice Prior’s dystopian Chicago world, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue–Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is–she can’t have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself. During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles alongside her fellow initiates to live out the choice they have made. Together they must undergo extreme physical tests of endurance and intense psychological simulations, some with devastating consequences. As initiation transforms them all, Tris must determine who her friends really are–and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes exasperating boy fits into the life she’s chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she’s kept hidden from everyone because she’s been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers unrest and growing conflict that threaten to unravel her seemingly perfect society, Tris also learns that her secret might help her save the ones she loves . . . or it might destroy her.
MY REVIEW
I love dystopians, and this is one of the best of the kind that I have read! The book is  fast paced, has a unique world and strong characters. The story flows smoothly and the writing is captivating.
The protagonist and narrator, Tris, is strong-willed and it was quite an enjoyable experience learning about the Divergent world through her eyes. Her personality is realistic, which makes her relatable, even though the dystopian world she is in is quite different to our reality. I don’t want to give too much away about the other characters, but I tell you that some are fun, some are cunning, some are infuriating, and all of them are unique and relatable.
I am very fascinated with the way this dystopian world works. The people are segregated by what value they believe can rid the world of ‘evil’ and can bring peace for a perfect civilisation. It’s almost how we, in real life, are part of groups that support what we think is right in terms of religion, governing, etc.  It makes you think about which faction you would choose if you had to; would you leave you family to be with people who believe in the same values as you?
I am hoping that there is more history of this world explained in the sequels. I would love to learn about the beginnings of this society and the founders and initial thoughts and ideas. The society in Divergent seems so straight-forward and well thought out – like humans really could live in a perfect world. But, and I am paraphrasing Tris’s mother’s words when I say: humans always find ways to screw things up.
There are many themes in this book, including: courage, family, friends and love. All of this is weaved tactfully into the main storyline. The abundant amount of themes, alongside the action, drama and world-building, is what makes this book one that I could reread multiple times. Each time you come back, I imagine that you’d take more and more away. I’m trying to think of negatives, but that’s hard knowing that there are sequels that will probably make up for what’s missing in this novel; which is a lack of detail and information on how the society works and the history of it all.
If you are a fan of dystopia and haven’t already picked up this book, go do that now. It’s a must read for all young adult fiction readers! Even if you don’t like dystopian books, I urge to try this one out. It’s quite easy to read because of its fast pace and fascinating settings.

MY RATING

Characters: 2/2

Plot: 2/2

Writing style: 1/1

This book definitely deserves the extra 2 points! A very unique idea with strong aspects.

7/5
Happy reading,
Z.
(Sorry about no spaces between the paragraphs. Experiencing some difficulties with WordPress.)
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The Maze Runner by James Dashner

images-1Release date: October 6th, 2009

Publisher: Chicken House

Number of pages: 371

Genre: Dystopia

“When the doors of the lift crank open, the only thing Thomas remembers is his first name. But he’s not alone. He’s surrounded by boys who welcome him to the Glade – a walled encampment at the centre of a bizarre and terrible stone maze. Like Thomas, the Gladers don’t know why or how they came to be there – or what’s happened to the world outside.”

MY REVIEW

This book had been on my TBR list forever! But it was never one of those books I was actually planning on reading till recently. There seemed to be a sudden burst of Maze Runner fans on Tumblr in the last month talking about how amazing the book is and all that. I believe this outburst was caused by the new information we now have on the movie adaption of this book which comes out next year in Feb! And besides, I have been meaning to read more dystopians. I am SO glad I decided to pick this up.

The character development in this book is very well done! You get to know the boys in the Glade, their different personalities and attitudes and quirks. They go through a lot, the Gladers, and you get to experience their emotions as they do. The main character is Thomas, who is smart, curious and, being a newbie to the Glade, very different to the other boys. There’s adorable, fun Chuck; strict, scary Alby; the helpful, kind-of-nice Newt; the supportive Minho – and a couple of others. Can’t wait to see what happens to these guys in the sequel!

From the start of the book, you will be asking questions and just reading, reading, reading to try and find some answers! That’s one of the main things that makes this book a page-turner – it is filled to the brim with words and names and statements you don’t understand, but you know that if you turn the page, you MIGHT find out! It was very tempting to sneak a peak at the last words of the chapter or a few chapters forward, and I made the mistake once or twice and spoiled it for myself. I never really understood how people could just NOT put down a book, but after reading The Maze Runner, I get it. It’s intense and suspenseful, and there is witty dialogue sprinkled throughout! I’m actually wanting to re-read it now, but other books await me!

James Dashner writes very well! Action, emotion, dialogue – all of that good stuff! I really enjoyed his writing; like I’ve mentioned before, it was suspenseful, intense and really gripping! Can’t wait to read the rest of this trilogy.

 I would absolutely recommend this book to you! It’s so amazing, especially the ending, when everything becomes clear, but then new questions pop up! The characters, the twisting and surprising storyline, the writing and just everything about this book is awesome!

MY RATING

Characters: 2/2

Plot: 2/2

Writing style: 1/1

Yes, I really did love this book, but when it comes to the extra 2 points I could give, I start comparing to my favourites – like The Fault in Our Stars and The Kite Runner – and that’s when I decide to be a little mean. So, +1. 😉

6/5

Happy reading and Running,

Z.

(Fun fact: I’m writing this at 5am. During the holidays. _._)