Divergent (Divergent #1) - Veronica Roth
I am not Abnegation. I am not Dauntless.
I am Divergent.
And I can’t be controlled.

It's not often that a book manages to be original and enjoyable and popular simultaneously. Divergent pulls it off and it's definitely one of my most favorite reads of 2011.

The beginning is extremely slow, but not entirely uninteresting and certainly not unnecessary. Tris lives in Chicago where five factions - Abnegation (Selflessness), Erudite (Intelligence), Dauntless (Bravery), Amity (Peace), and Candor (Honesty) - coexist to promote harmony and prosperity. Tris belongs to Abnegation, but selflessness does not come naturally to her, and she chooses to be Dauntless instead.

Most of the book is about Tris's initiation into Dauntless and how she goes from being selfless to brave. The last half of the book is what transforms this book from being an average YA novel about fitting in and finding oneself to sheer genius. I can either bitch about how unoriginal and cliched some of the twists were, or I can simply be glad that I enjoyed reading through it. Since I'm in a generous mood, I choose to do the latter. I'm glad the suspense and action kept my undivided attention, and I love that I was able to see what all the hype surrounding this book is all about.

I feel a rather motherly sort of affection for Tris, and she's the best type of kid. She learns from her mistakes, doesn't get obsessed with every cute guy, and manages to be fierce and sweet and vulnerable and brave at the same time. If she wasn't my fictional child, I would definitely have a girl-crush on her. Of all the characters, her development from a child to a young woman is the most remarkable and fascinating.

And now, the secret reason why this book is so famous: There is no love triangle in it. Before Divergent, I would have thought it impossible for a YA series to lack that highly overdone factor, but this book has proved me wrong. I sincerely hope that Four remains the only love interest throughout the series, especially because I refuse to accept anyone else as my son-in-law. That isn't to say my feelings for Four are anything close to motherly, however, since I envision him looking something like this:


And did anyone else notice the lack of the L-word in the entire book, until the last 5 pages or so? I think the absence of it is exactly what has made me love this book so much! One of the reasons, anyway.

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