Publisher: HarperCollins Children’s Books
Publish Date: May 3, 2011
Synopsis: 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.
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
When I first heard about this book a few months ago, my twitter was buzzing with how great this book was. It has been a while since almost 95% of my friends, internet or otherwise, was all agreeing on the same thing. It’s definitely rare that they would all sing high praises for a book. So when Divergent was released in the beginning of May, it was a given that I would be at the store purchasing a copy of my very own.
Divergent takes place in a dystopian society derived of factions. For those of you who do not know, a dystopia is an idea of a society that is in a controlled or repressed state. You could call it the opposite of a utopian society. In this case, Divergent’s societies are split into five factions: Abnegation, Amity, Candor, Dauntless, and Erudite. Each faction has it’s own attributes and own characteristics individual to one another. Abnegation is about duty and selflessness, creating a seamless society where individualism is not coveted. Amity is peaceful. Candor is honest, unable to lie and only tell what is. Dauntless is daring, to the point of seeming careless. And Erudites are knowledgeable, always seeking to reveal the answers of the unknown.
Roth tells this story through the eyes of Beatrice Prior. She was born into the Abnegation faction, and lives a life of selflessness. Inside her mind, she struggles and questions with why things are the way they are. She is unlike her brother, Caleb, who is dutiful and selfless as they get. The story begins the day before the Choosing Ceremony, where those who are of age, sixteen, are to take an apptitude test. This test will show which of the five factions one belongs in. Beatrice’ test results show that she is allowed in three factions, and together are a dangerous combination. Beatrice must keep it quiet, despite her confusion surrounding the whole ordeal.
On the day of the Choosing Ceremony, Beatrice surprises everyone and chooses a different faction other than her own. Transferring into the Dauntless faction proves to be challenging. Upon the first initiation into Dauntless, Beatrice decides to shed her former persona and reinvent herself into Tris. Throughout the book, Tris goes through trials and tribulations discovering herself and her new faction. Tris proves that hidden in her foundations as an Abnegation, she has a lot of Dauntless inside her too. Tris is strong, compassionate, smart, and witty. Roth has done a beautiful job writing the natural progression of this character. The evolution from on faction to another was paced nicely as well.
I related easily to Tris. She was someone that you wanted to root for from the beginning. We all have some parts of Beatrice or Tris inside of us.
Throughout this book, we meet some memorable characters, but none stands out as Four. From the beginning, there’s something about him that pokes at your subconscious to pay attention to him. Roth, once again, did a great job writing his character, his progression, and his role into the story. Four is a love him or hate him kind of guy, and sometimes you might just feel both.
In Divergent, Roth depicted this dystopian society with flying colors. I was instantly drawn to the story after the first few pages and she had me hanging on until the end. My favorite books are Farenheit 451 and Brave New World. So yes, I feel I understand dystopia. There is something about Roth’s writing that fully encompasses the meaning of repressive control and she carefully delivers it with a touch of romance, only to then be opened up to the world of action.
Divergent is truly a perfect blend of everything one would want from a book. There were scenes that I didn’t care for, but only because the emotions felt so raw. I cried, and like the best of them, I routed for the underdog. This roller coaster of a book had me fearing what was around the bend, but as soon as it was over, I went back and read it from the beginning. I felt that the different factions in Divergent are a part of our subconscious. 5 different traits that make up who we are. We all are a little of each faction inside, and we are the only ones that can decide which one outshines the other. There’s something about the way Roth writes in the morals of this story. It’s so well done that you wouldn’t even realize it even if there was a bright flashing neon sign in front of you. It’s just so enjoyable that you throw all common sense out the window and jump on a train like you are one of the Dauntless.
Divergent might possibly be the best book that I have read that has me so emotionally invested in. I don’t think I’ve read a book of this caliber in a long time. Maybe not since A Brave New World. If I am singing high praises to this book, it is because I truly enjoyed it and urge you to read it and feel the same. Yes, I suggest books to you and want you to read it, but with this book, I want everyone on the internet to have a copy. And yes, there will be a follow up book!
I truly believe you will enjoy this book. So pick up a copy of Divergent by Veronica Roth and start reading today.