Review: Divergent (#1) by Veronica Roth

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Goodreads | Waterstones

Beatrice Prior is on the brink of a decision that will change her life. In a society divided into factions all are forced to choose where they belong. And the choice Tris makes shocks everyone, including herself.
Once decisions are made, the new members are forced to undergo extreme initiation tests with devastating consequences. As their experience transforms them, Tris must determine who her friends are – and if the man who both threatens and protects her is really on her side.
Because Tris has a deadly secret. And as growing conflict threatens to unravel their seemingly perfect society, this secret might save those Tris loves… or it might destroy her.

This is one of those few books (and most of them are under the dystopian category) that I’ve watched the movies and never read the books. I’ve also watched the movies fairly recently, meaning in the past few years, so I started remembering what happened as I was reading. I didn’t know the first movie stayed so close to the book, but it felt like a reread to me and I found it so hard to rate because of it!

I read this partly on audiobook and partly a physical version (probably around 70/30) and I really enjoyed reading it that way. It made the book go so quick and I read it within a few days.

We believe in ordinary acts of bravery,

I’m finding it really hard to articulate my thoughts of the book, but overall, I really enjoyed it. I wasn’t on the edge of my seat as much as I think I would have been if I was reading it without watching the movies first, but I did still enjoy the plot. The biggest change for me was obviously being able to see inside Tris’ head, and I quite liked her as a character. Her inner torment was really interesting to read about and how she discussed the factions in relation to how she felt about her own mannerisms was fascinating.

I liked the other supporting characters, although I didn’t quite click with Four. Their relationship kind of got to me at times, and I just didn’t feel like they knew each other very well, or I knew him well enough to like him as a character. I felt like Tris didn’t own up to how she felt, and that really frustrated me. And some of the scenes between them were just so cringey.

in the courage that drives one person to stand up for another.

The writing wasn’t particularly astounding, but it kept me hooked and interested. Some scenes were written particularly well and had me on edge, but most of the book felt quite mediocre.

Overall, I like the concept of this series, it feels quite original and was interesting and fun to read. It didn’t wow me, but I’m looking forward to carrying on with the series!

★★★★
3.5 out of 5 stars

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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Review: Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

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Goodreads | Amazon

Juliette hasn’t touched anyone in exactly 264 days.
The last time she did, it was an accident, but The Reestablishment locked her up for murder. No one knows why Juliette’s touch is fatal. As long as she doesn’t hurt anyone else, no one really cares. The world is too busy crumbling to pieces to pay attention to a 17-year-old girl. Diseases are destroying the population, food is hard to find, birds don’t fly anymore, and the clouds are the wrong color.
The Reestablishment said their way was the only way to fix things, so they threw Juliette in a cell. Now so many people are dead that the survivors are whispering war – and The Reestablishment has changed its mind. Maybe Juliette is more than a tortured soul stuffed into a poisonous body. Maybe she’s exactly what they need right now.
Juliette has to make a choice: Be a weapon. Or be a warrior.

Before I begin, thank you to the lovely Anna for pushing me to read this book! An old friend gave it to me for my birthday almost 2 years ago and it’s taken me until now to finally pick it up. But I’m glad I did, because I enjoyed it so much that it took me under 2 days to complete.

“Raindrops are my only reminder that clouds have a heartbeat.”

I think the thing I found most enjoyable about this book is it’s so easy to read. The pages literally fly by, because after the first couple of chapters the pacing is steadfast. The short chapters left me wanting to just read another one, making Shatter Me a book I just couldn’t put down. I also loved the cast of characters, from our clever villain to Adam’s sweet little brother. Although Juliette was whiny and cliche, I couldn’t help but understand her situation.

This book kind of reminded me of The Selection series in the ways it made me feel. The insta-love annoyed me a little as it was cringy, but I still couldn’t help but enjoy reading about their story. I just wish I’d read this one a couple of years ago instead, because I would have loved it even more!

“That I have one, too.”

Alongside some of the cringe, I had a few small issues I want to address. For one, why does Mafi not know about commas? I understand that this pushed forward the whole diary/notebook written aspect, but some sentences just really needed breaking up. It didn’t bother me too much after a while, but if I didn’t think it was intentional, it would have just looked unprofessional.

But niggles aside, I couldn’t help but enjoy it. I’ve already ordered the second book and I can’t wait to carry on with the series soon!

★★★★
4 stars

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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