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.
I didn’t expect this to live up to it’s hype. At all. I typically avoid stuff that has way too much hype until everything has quieted down around it, but I am glad I picked this up earlier than I normally would have. The only reason I did this was because a good friend of mine read and loved it.
Divergent was totally worth the hype. My goodness! This was GOOD.
There was so much going for this book. Even though there are so many dystopian books out and popular right now, this one felt like it stood apart from them. I really liked how society had split up into the five different factions, and how the Abnegation, Dauntless and Eurdite factions were explored here. It gave a really interesting dynamic to the world that Roth created, and allowed for a lot of dissent between the factions that were really explored through Tris’s family and their development in this book.
The characters in this book were also really well developed – there was a lot of depth to each of them (not just the main characters, but the minor characters as well) that slowly got revealed as Tris learns more about everyone. It also really showed a lot of development through both Tris and Four (whom I happen to be a little bit in love with right now).
Also, can we say, “yay no love triangle?” HUZZAH!
In a way, Divergent reminded me of Scott Westerfeld’s Uglies more than any other dystopian book I’ve read. The way the main characters had to learn what is basically a whole new culture among a group of people, and then at the end of the book have to go through that process all over again… And how in Uglies, the main character was central in changing the whole society so thoroughly, which is how I imagine the Divergent trilogy is going to end up. I also really liked how this didn’t pit the main character against everyone else in a game of survival like The Hunger Games did.
The Bottom Line
I went out and bought the other 2 books in this series as soon as I finished this one and will be reading them soon.