Title: Divergent (Book 1 of Divergent)
Author: Veronica Roth
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books – HarperCollins
Release Date: 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 Erudtite (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 i8 – 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 halp her save those she loves … or it might destroy her.
I. LOVE. THIS. BOOK. My friend let me borrow it over break, so I have to give her a huge hug when I go back to school. I don’t even know where to start. The cover, first off, is amazing. I love the detail in the fire, and the colors are really cool, how the lettering stands out from the background, the city on the marshline, everything. I loved how it was set in Chicago and buildings like the Sears Tower were used for Dauntless stunts. The entire idea of the factions is infinitely imaginitive, and I can’t wait to the changes to the society that will be made in the second book.
Tris is an awesome character. Her inner struggle to be herself instead of who everyone expected her to be was an incredible thing to read about, especially with the added suspense of governmental intrigue, the stress of initiation, and interfaction animosity. The dystopian aspect of the society wasn’t really all that bad – the citizens willingly participated; they weren’t controlled by some ominous, vague people called the Government with a capital “G”; other than the “Faction before blood” motto, the society didn’t seem that bad. You know, until it all blew up in their faces.
The action began right after Tris chose her faction, and didn’t end until the very end. The ending was very cool – a peaceful cliffhanger? Love it. It was like they were in their own little bubble of peace, while the world around them came down in chaos. I can’t wait to see how it’s pulled back together in future books. Even though there were a lot of sacrifices made, and I nearly cried the entire last couple of chapters, I loved the ending – well-written, exciting, and definitely an incentive to continue reading!
The romance in the book was great too. I love Tris and her boyfriend, even though it took a little while for them to figure out how to have a relationship. I really can’t wait to see how their relationship grows, is tested, and is strengthened in the next book. (And if Roth ruins their relationship, I will be VERY upset. I might become a professional author-stalker, but with ONE target only…) haha Just kidding. But seriously, I love them.
Definitely a great read. I recommend it to pretty much everybody; see the warning below, though.
**This book contains some graphic descriptions of violent acts. Should probably be read by ages 14 & up.