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.
Hardcover, 487 pages
Published May 3rd 2011 by Katherine Tegen Books
Five Stars: This is a book that you need to read immediately! One of the best books of 2011!
I always hesitate reading a dystopian novel. I think it is because I know that I will be in for a heart pounding, thrilling journey; fraught with struggles and hardship. I am always anxious for the characters whom I care for, because inevitably in this type of book people die. I also anticipate finding some strange, new world abundant with obstacles but will their be monsters? sickness? war? What awaits me in this novel Divergent? So after giving pause, I finally dove into the strange society based upon five Factions. People are segregated into these sects based on their dispositions. Each of these Factions is based on the ideals that are believed to prevent war and conflict. Reading this book you will ask yourself am I selfless like Abnegation; truthful as in Candor; a knowledge loving Erudite; do I jump without fear into Dauntless; or am I peaceful, thus suited for Amity? If you fail to meet the requirements, then you find yourself homeless and living on the edge of society; you are factionless. Then there are the rare few that defy the categorization process, they are Divergent. Despite the best intentions to form a utopian society we know, because history has taught us, that there are always those with a heart of darkness, bent on twisting and perverting the virtues to suit their own megalomaniacal desires.
What I Liked:
- This story lives up to the hype! It is a book that will have your heart pounding with anxiety. You will flip the pages as fast as you can to soak up the adventure. It is an adrenaline fueled thrill ride. If you are a dystopian junky this novel will satiate your hunger. Yet, you will also do some self introspection as you ponder over the hard choices that this book presents. Is that why people love dystopia?
- The heroes in this book are superb. Tris and Four are daring and courageous, yet vulnerable when they tackle their darkest fears. I especially admired Tris' brave choice to choose a new life instead of remaining in the safety and comfort of familiar confines, knowing she would be miserable. I asked myself could I make the same great sacrifice or would I continue to be a square peg that is repeatedly thrust into the alienating round hole? What would you do? Then there is Tris' mother, so selfless, sacrificing and supportive. I wondered would I have the courage to let my daughter go? These characters tug at your heart strings. I loved living vicariously through Tris as she fought, jumped and climbed to find her place in the world. She is a tenacious, admirable young lady. Her growth and maturation in this book is a wondrous accomplishment.
- The villains in this novel are malicious and spiteful. I truly detested them. You know it is a well written character when you encounter them your pulse races and you want nothing more than to punch them in the face! Peter, Eric, Molly, Drew and Jeanine do just that. I hated them but I appreciated that Ms. Roth could create characters that illicit such a strong aversion.
And The Not So Much:
- This book immediately grasped me and thrust me into this new world of Factions. When I came up gasping for air, I had a few questions. Where am I? When am I? What kind of War happened to precipitate this new society? What is on the other side of the locked gates? Unfortunately, I found few answers to my ponderings. I was frustrated by the lack of information. I personally feel, that more background information regarding the formation of the Factions would have enriched the story. Perhaps, I will get more answers in the next installment.
- The cliffhanger ending. While the end of this book was not as blatant and cruel as some; it still left me hanging. At least the characters I loved are safe for now, that is comfort while I endure the long wait for book two, Insurgent set to release May 2012.
You need to read Divergent, whether you are a fan of the dystopian genre or not. This is a book with an intriguing story line and tremendous characters. Just make sure you set aside plenty of time because once you immerse yourself into Ms. Roth's world you will find it difficult to leave. I was blown away by this author's debut book. It is a story with thrills and chills, it will leave you gasping for more. You will ask yourself what am I most afraid of? For me it is being alone and losing the ones, I hold closest to my heart. What about you? The pages of Divergent will force you to face your darkest fear. Upon completion, you may find the contents of this book rattling around in your head for days to come. Do not hesitate grab a copy of Divergent today!
This book landed on my top ten list of 2011 and it won Goodreads Best Book of the Year Reader's Choice Award.
"It will be difficult to break the habits of thinking Abnegation instilled in me, like tugging a single thread from a complex work of embroidery. But I will find new habits, new thoughts, new rules. I will become something else."
"I believe in ordinary acts of bravery, in the courage that drives one person to stand up for another."
"But becoming fearless isn't the point. That's impossible. It's learning how to control your fear, and how to be free from it, that's the point."
"Human beings as a whole cannot be good for long before the bad creeps back in and poisons us again."