Divergent (Divergent Series #1)

Divergent  - Veronica Roth 5+ starsView full review here!All dystopian fiction these days will be compared to The Hunger Games. No exceptions. I know you do it. I do too. And though there are many, I still haven't read a dystopian book that's better. But where THG will always be my favorite, Divergent would be a close second. Because MAN, do I love this book!! Not only is the story unlike everything I've read so far, Divergent is just so fast-paced and interesting and mysterious that NOTHING could stop me from reading! (And I read this when it was 45C degrees in the shadow. Point made.)Despite the fact that it's over used, I love dystopian fiction. I love thinking to myself "How would society get to this point? Is there any realistic way in which a world would develop like that?". My first reaction to the society in Divergent was: "Wait. What?!"Imagine this: the population of Chicago has been divided into factions based on five values: bravery, intelligence, honesty, peacefulness and selflessness. Once you have decided with faction you want to be in, you will live in and serve a community of like-minded individuals who will become your colleagues, neighbours, friends, loved-ones. And the best part? You'll never have anything to do with all the other, obviously less amazing factions, because you can spend your time bitching about them in your own perfect faction. Oh, also: you have no other characteristics than the one you pick. You can't be both intelligent and peaceful. Obviously.What kind of person would come up with an idea like that? Who would say "Hang on, I've totally got it. We'll divide the city by forcing everyone to choose one, and only one, principle virtue. No more human characteristics, but one way of living. Oh, and we'll let everyone wear a different colour. That would be AWESOME." It. Makes. No. Sense. I've read about dystopian societies that I can understand, that I can actually wrap my head around, but not this one.Another thing I thought while reading was: "Well, is this going somewhere?". We follow Tris through her faction initiation process, which goes on for about 400 pages, whereas the plot wasn't that mysterious that I didn't know something was about to happen. (Just like you know from the start which faction Tris would pick and who she'd fall in love with.) In the beginning of initiation, I was kind of hoping it would be over soon, so Tris could actually join the faction she fits in so perfectly.But once I got into the story (after the first five pages or so), none of the above actually bothered me while reading, not even a bit. Divergent is so fact-paced, action-packed, and just very fun to read, that I didn't even have time for that! The build-up was good, the main characters were solid, and Tris is a kick-ass heroine first-class.And the best part: there is NO LOVE TRIANGLE! Thank you, Veronica Roth, for letting Tris choose between right and wrong, and not letting us sit through another crappy love triangle! Thank you also for not letting the romance take away the main focus of the story. To all the hopeless romantics out there (including myself): don't worry, there's enough romance. But it's slowly build, it doesn't take away the action and it thankfully doesn't change the plot. Bouns points to every YA novel that can do that.The thing with Divergent is that the story isn't flawless and I'll admit that if it weren't for the cover, I probably wouldn't even have read it. But I really, truly, thoroughly loved it. It was quick and enjoyable and full of action and unputdownable. I just could NOT stop thinking about it. I still can't. I'm flipping open my copy of Insurgent RIGHT NOW. To be continued.