By: Veronica Roth
Published by: Harper Collins/Katherine Tegen Books
Publication date: May 3, 2011
Recommended for fans of The Hunger Games, Across the Universe, and generally amazing books
In Beatrice Prior’s dystopian Chicago world, 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 alongside her fellow initiates to live out the choice they have made. Together they must undergo extreme physical tests of endurance and intense psychological simulations, some with devastating consequences. As initiation transforms them all, Tris must determine who her friends really are—and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes exasperating 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 unrest and growing conflict that threaten to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves . . . or it might destroy her.It's books like this one that make me remember why I started blogging in the first place. You know how it is when you read a really incredible book and you wanna call up all your book loving friends to say, "You gotta read this!!!" Consider this my call to each of you....you've got to read this!
I honestly don't even know where to begin to do this book justice. Roth has created a dystopian world that I immediately bought into. She explains how and why things came to be the way they are and it felt real. The factions are a brilliant and original concept and I caught myself trying to determine which faction I would choose under the same circumstances and which factions my friends and family would pick. It was fascinating and compelling reading to find out about each one and its members.
Now, pair the fabulous world building with vivid characters....Tris is a complex, determined, and multi-dimensional protagonist. She goes through A LOT and learns about her strength, her values, her very character along the way. I adored her. I want to know her. Another thing I loved about her? She's not described as being traditionally pretty. As a matter of fact, she pretty much considers herself to be distinctly not pretty. So many times we have a beautiful girl as the heroine of a story, it was refreshing to see a lead female who wasn't your typical cookie cutter girl. She is someone who isn't important because of the way she looks, but rather because of the person she is and the things she does. Love, love, love! The other characters in Divergent are well fleshed out too, even when they did things that sometimes were downright heinous I was able to understand their reasons for acting the way they did.
And the story. Good grief, the story. I blew through Divergent in less than 24 hours because I simply had to know what was going to happen. There is never a dull moment and everything that happens is important, whether it be to the story moving along or the development of the characters. Just insanely well-crafted. If you've been reading my blog for awhile, you know I am especially fond of books that explore ideas and make you think. Divergent goes there...from
group thinking, expectations from family and society, labeling, bullying, gang mentality, trying to fit in and ultimately to transcending it all and figuring out who you really are.
Trust me, you want to read this one.