In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago, 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 to determine who her friends really are—and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes infuriating 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 a growing conflict that threatens to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves… or it might destroy her.
Debut author Veronica Roth bursts onto the literary scene with the first book in the Divergent series—dystopian thrillers filled with electrifying decisions, heartbreaking betrayals, stunning consequences, and unexpected romance. (from GoodReads)
I've been wanting to read Divergent since before it was released and I can't believe I waited until to finally get it. It's no surprise that I absolutely LOVED Divergent and think that it was one of the best books of the year.
Everything about Divergent appealed to me: the factions, the dystopia, the fact that Tris is different than her peers, the romance, the impending war between the factions. I thought the factions were really clever and I could definitely see why a society might want to encourage certain traits in its members. Even though you are born into a faction, at 16 you still get to choose which one you want, which was pretty nice. It would be so hard to choose, because if you pick a different one than the one you were born into, you never get to see your family. Looking at the factions, Dauntless would be my last choice and Erudite would be my first, which is funny when you see what happens in the book.
It was interesting to watch Tris change and develop from a meek little girl in Abnegation to who she becomes in her new faction. Some of the changes were good, some not so much, but I understand why she changed the way she did. I also thought it was interesting that even though the factions stand for good characteristics, the end up bringing out the bad side in its members. For example, the Dauntless are pretty violent, the Erudite are arrogant and the Candor are insulting. It's funny how good traits can turn bad.
Besides its action and romance, Divergent also provides commentary on human nature and things such as facing your fears, being brave in spite of your fear, and what it means to have multiple traits working together. I thought the author wrote Divergent magnificently and I never wanted to put the book down. Now I can't wait to read Insurgent!
Rating: 10 out of 10!!!
FTC: borrowed from library.
2011/Katherine Tegen Books/487 pages.