Veronica Roth Divergent
487 pp. Katherine Tegen Books (HarperCollins) 2011 ISBN: 978-0-06-202402-2
Interest: 2011 Debut Author
Summary (From Goodreads): 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.
READ THIS BOOK! Would it be okay to stop there? Because seriously, WOW! I’m still reeling and it’s been probably 8 hours since I finished. I can’t get Tris and Four out of my head! How much longer until Insurgent comes out? I know I’m rambling and maybe not making much sense, but Divergent is so amazing it will do that to you.
When I initially heard about Divergent it was being compared to The Hunger Games. I was impressed but skeptical because it seems like all dystopian novels are being compared to that trilogy. While Divergent definitely lives up to the hype, I wouldn’t exactly compare it to The Hunger Games. I’m sure if you like that trilogy, you’ll enjoy Divergent. Tris, like Katniss, is a strong female protagonist that male and female readers will like and probably relate to. Other similarities are uncovering secrets, being separated from family, survival, problems with government, etc. The story lines are so different, though, it’s hard for me to really think of them as comparable. Hopefully that makes some sense.
One of my favorite aspects about this book is that we get to know Tris so well via the initiation tests. We learn her physical and emotional strengths and weaknesses. We watch her utilize her strengths and try to overcome her weaknesses. It’s not very often that a reader gets to know a character so thoroughly. We get to know her trainer, Four, pretty well also; not quite like Tris, but close. I think that’s why I’m still thinking about both of them–I developed a strong connection with these characters.
Learning the ways of a faction that’s new to her, Tris does enjoy some victories through initiation, like being the first jumper, but she suffers through so many losses and obstacles. This, however, makes the story that much more compelling. The faction she joins is so different from what she grew up in, that it’d be impossible not to suffer and face challenges. She wants to be brave, battles with being selfless, and constantly thinks of what her mother or father would say about her actions. I can’t imagine just up and leaving my entire upbringing behind, to learn a brand new way of thinking, acting, and living. As Tris goes through all of this, I cheered, cringed and cried.
I realize this review is lacking some meat about the story. I want to delve into the big plot points, but they’ll end up being spoilers. Take my word for it, this is an awesome book that’s so worth reading.