Monday, June 11, 2018

Book Review: Divergent by Veronica Roth

Divergent
Author: Veronica Roth
Series: Divergent Trilogy (Book 1)
Publication: Katherine Tegen Books; Reprint edition (May 3, 2011)

Description: Perfect for fans of the Hunger Games and Maze Runner series, Divergent and its sequels, Insurgent and Allegiant, are the gripping story of a dystopian world transformed by courage, self-sacrifice, and love. Fans of the Divergent movie will find the book packed with just as much emotional depth and exhilarating action as the film, all told in beautiful, rich language.

One choice can transform you. Beatrice Prior's society is divided into five factions—Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). Beatrice must choose between staying with her Abnegation family and transferring factions. Her choice will shock her community and herself. But the newly christened Tris also has a secret, one she's determined to keep hidden, because in this world, what makes you different makes you dangerous.

My Thoughts: In the future, in what used to be Chicago, humanity has divided itself into five factions. At age sixteen, young people need to decide which faction they will join for the rest of their lives. Beatrice Prior has been raised in Abnegation (the selfless) but she has never felt like it was a good place for her and testing confirms her belief. Testing has shown her that she could prosper in either Abnegation or in Dauntless (the brave) but that she is actually Divergent which she needs to keep secret.

Beatrice, renaming herself Tris, chooses Dauntless where she undergoes all sorts of difficult testing - physical, mental and emotional. Only the top ten of the new recruits will be accepted into Dauntless with the rest becoming part of the factionless poor. Tris has to deal with jealous rivals who will do anything to rank higher than she does. While she is physically small and slight is a disadvantage in the physical training, being divergent is a big advantage in the other two tests - providing she can keep it secret.

Her trainer is a young man named Four who is really confusing her. Sometimes he is kind and helpful, but other times he seems to treat her more harshly than the other new recruits. At the same time, Tris is drawn to him but has no experience creating emotional bonds outside of her family.

Besides Tris's own trials and struggles, it soon becomes apparent that something is wrong with the whole system of factions. Dauntless has drifted from its original noble position to one of cruelty and bullying. Erudite is campaigning against Abnegation to remove them from being in charge of the government. And both Dauntless and Erudite are hunting for Divergents to kill them.

This was an exciting story filled with action. I also liked the romance that grew between Four and Tris.  The writing was powerful and the characters were well-developed. While the ending doesn't qualify as a cliffhanger, there are certainly a number of unresolved issues both for Four and Tris and for their society as a whole.

I can't wait to read INSURGENT and ALLEGIANT to learn how things work out.

Favorite Quote:
Whoever he is, I like him. It's easier for me to admit that to myself now, in the dark, after all that just happened. He is not sweet or gentle or particularly kind. But he is smart and brove, and even though he saved me, he treated me like I was strong. That is all I need to know.
I bought this one June 16, 2011. You can buy your copy here.

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