Divergent by Veronica Roth
|Publisher(s):||Katherine Tegen Books|
|Formatt:||Hardcover / Paperback / Audio Book / eBook|
|Genre(s):||Young Adult / Dystopian|
|Release Date:||May 3, 2011|
Here’s a title that, until a few weeks ago, had flown completely below my radar. My sister-in-law suggested it to me, claiming that if I loved The Hunger Games Trilogy, I would absolutely adore this book. I fixed her with a doubtful stare, one that told her plainly that I thought she was full of it. But, because I did love The Hunger Games so very much, I decided that I would give it a try.
The premise sounded interesting enough. (Insert loosely paraphrased book-jacket synopsis below!)
Beatrice Prior is a sixteen-year-old girl who lives in a dystopian version of Chicago. In this futuristic Chicago, society is divided into five “factions”. These factions are named after a particular virtue–Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). Those who are in them are expected to live their lives according to the virtue their faction is based on.
On a special day of the year (undefined by the author), each sixteen-year-old born into each faction must choose to either stay with their faction, or leave it. This decision is fueled by how each child performs in a simulated test that ranks which faction they would fit best in. If a child leaves the faction that they were born into for one of the other four, they start anew. They do not associate with their family and they must fully assimilate into their new faction. Beatrice must make this choice whether she likes it or not, and what she chooses surprises everyone, especially herself.
And, no, I shall not tell you which faction she was from, or which she chooses. You must read in order to figure this out. 🙂
Anyway, Beatrice, like all the other sixteen-year-olds, is subjected to this simulation test. And her results are startling and dangerous. She must keep them a secret from everyone: her friends, her family, and especially her faction leaders. Once she chooses, she and the other sixteen-year-olds go through a highly competitive initiation process into their chosen faction. During the initiation, she renames herself “Tris” and struggles to figure out who her true friends are and who she can and cannot trust. She meets a boy (big shock) nicknamed “Four.” He’s sexy and intimidating, and a little bit dangerous, and there is something about him that Tris can’t stop thinking about. To be frank, I can’t stop thinking about it either. Meeeow!
All around her there are secrets, but the secret she holds about herself is the most dangerous of all. If she isn’t careful, it could very well lead to her death. All around her there is conflict, between her peers, between the factions and within herself. She learns that her secret might help her save the people that she loves, or it might destroy her.
What I Liked
– Incredibly fast-paced read. There was so much action and suspense. I kept reading even when I thought my eyes would fall out because I literally HAD to know what would happen next. I haven’t been so emotionally invested in a YA novel in a long time.
– Tris is a TOTAL badass. She is by far my favorite heroine in a YA novel thus far, nudging Katniss Everdeen of The Hunger Games out of the number one spot.
– While her badassery knows no bounds, she is also not a robot. She has feelings and can be hurt, which makes her easy to identify with and look up to. She’s brave. She’s strong. But she also knows when weakness can be useful. 😉
– While she is interested in Four, Tris does not let her attraction to him rule her decisions. She still keeps her independence.
– Veronica Roth is fabulous. I don’t believe I read a single error in the book, which is saying something. I found an error on the third page of I Am Number Four. It was a very dark day for me, Pittacus Lore.
– The first-person point of view (POV) connects you intensely with Tris and her thoughts and feelings. This book is an emotional storm and I found myself on the verge of tears a couple of times. (I’m a tad sappy, though.)
– It was a very well executed narrative. Nothing was left unexplained that I knew would not be covered in the novels to come.
What Was Not So Great
– The main conflict just sort of exploded onto the page two thirds of the way through the novel. There was very little leading up to it, so it was unexpected and the tone of the novel did a very dramatic somersault that almost made it feel like a separate novel altogether.
I am very interested to see where this series progresses. Veronica Roth has constructed a very believable dystopian-futuristic novel, and it shakes you to the core. I HIGHLY recommend this book to anyone who is a fan of The Hunger Games or of dystopian novels in general. You will swallow it up and starve for what happens next. Oh, and the movie rights have already been purchased. BOO-YAH! 😀