Friday, March 16, 2012

{Book Review} Divergent by Veronica Roth

Title: Divergent
Series: Divergent #1
Author: Veronica Roth
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books: HarperCollins
May 3, 2011



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. (From Veronica Roth's Website)

I really don't know why I put off reading Divergent for so long. It has everything I love (or hate) in real life: politics, idealism, segregation, cliques, etc. Actually, love and hate aren't the words I'm looking for...intrigue is a better description. I like to believe I am an open-minded person, and I believe most of my close friends would describe me in this manner. Of course, we all have our faults...don't we?

I love the cleverness of Veronica's world-building. She takes positive traits and begins to prove how only possessing one of these attributes and degrading the rest make for an unstable environment.

Divergent begins just before the aptitude testing that all 16 year olds must take to tell which faction a person's innate beliefs and personality will be most beneficial. Beatrice and Caleb, her brother, are both taking the test. They have been raised Abnegation and taught to put other peoples well-being before their own. Beatrice finds this train of thought more difficult than her brother and worries what her simulation test will show. Turns out, she is right to be worried.

After the test, comes the Choosing Ceremony. Each initiate now knows their test result and must choose which faction they wish to join. Yes, there is still a minute amount of free will involved...initiates may go against their test results and choose a different faction - though few do. The chosen factions will forever become their new homes, given they pass the initiation process.

"Faction before blood" is a way of life in and around the factions. Even more so for the Dauntless - the faction that places bravery above all else. The faction that protects the borders. The faction you want on your side in a time of war...which is coming sooner than anyone thought.

I don't want to go into any more details about the story itself. So many things happen on "Tris's" journey from Abnegation to Dauntless. Her transformation is one of self-discovery, strength, bravery, and, ultimately, doing what is inherently right...always. Tris is one of the strongest heroines I've had the pleasure of reading about in quite some time. Her growth throughout a single book is phenomenal, especially with the obstacles she faces both day and night. I'm amazed by the feats she conquered in one novel, I cannot imagine what fate lies for her in Insurgent.

Oh, and I haven't even mentioned Four. Simply amazing, but you see...he is someone you cannot discuss in detail without giving away vital secrets. BUT...his and Tris's relationship grows at a steady and realistic pace. He's strong, brilliant, sincere, and broken. Kindness is hidden deep inside him and trust...well, good luck Tris.

During the next week, I'm going to do several Divergent based posts. Something a little different. So keep a close lookout...especially Sunday. I'm thinking there may be a giveaway. Hmmm....what do y'all think?

Have your read Divergent? What did you think? Are you looking forward to Insurgent (which releases May 1, 2012 - AKA: My birthday)?

1 comment:

  1. yay! So glad you enjoyed this book, and yes im so looking forward for Insurgent. I loved this series. Great review.




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