Divergent – Book and Film Review

I am totally in love with the Divergent Series by Veronica Roth. It’s amazing. Tris, our plucky heroine, has grown up confined in her society which splits social roles into factions – the selfless Abnegation are government, truthful Candor – law, Erudite are science and doctors, Amity are farming and Dauntless are military. It all works, society is peaceful, everyone knows their place.

Except Tris cannot be as selfless as the Abnegation demands and on her choosing day, where she is sorted into a faction, she finds she is not crystal clear – she’s Divergent. She cannot be controlled. So Tris chooses Dauntless, running, fighting and being free for the first time in her life. But the perfect society hides dark secrets and the leader of Erudite, the cool genius Jeanine Matthews, is seeking to eradicate the Divergent and impose her power over the city.

The trilogy is fast paced, explosive with action, romance and the hottest rebels ever (Tobias… I can’t even! Theon James is just amazing – he’s good looking and plays the brooding and brave Tobias to perfection and Shailene Woodley is beautiful and a spectacular actress!). So I went to see the film last night, and totally loved it! It’s 9 stars of glossy, well-filmed visuals, exceptional acting from Shailene Woodley, humour, romance and rebellion against a dystopian government. Seriously, go see this film!

DivergentI love how badass Tris is. While I love the Hunger Games, Katniss is a reluctant leader. Tris refuses to back down – in Dauntless initiation, there is the constant threat of failing to make the grade and having to live factionless (which is a cool parallel to the rigours of high school or univeristy – endless tests and fear of failing, alongside the need to fit in and belong to a social group). Tris, starts off ranking at the bottom of the class, fights day and night to make it through, and she does! I also admire Tris as she is both Dauntless, Abnegation and Erudite, she is smart, brave and selfless – she stands up for people and in the same time learns to stand up for herself – overcoming her fears to be the one girl to go against Jeanine Matthews (played by the beautiful Kate Winslet who gives a stellar, scene-stealing performance).

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The series struck me as a Hunger Games meets The Matrix mashup, and I loved the humour – Tris gets a “Dodge This” moment and it is perfect! In the other 2 books of the series, Insurgent and Allegiant, ethics and genetics is called into question, as Tris and Tobias escape their ruined city of Chicago and discover that the outside world is just as warped as Jeanine Matthews.

The film is gorgeous, good fun and definitely the next Hunger Games. If you’ve seen it, tell us your review in the comments below!

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