Divergent (Divergent #1) by Veronica Roth (2011)
YA Fiction | Dystopian
“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.”
pooled ink Review:
The series Uglies by Scott Westerfeld blew apart my world and launched me into the world of YA Dystopian Fiction. I devoured those books in middle school (and several more times since) and then I was blessed with the discovery of The Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins as I entered high school and I could only hope beyond hope that there would be yet another series out there. I’d been on the hunt for another series that could capture my imagination the same way those books had and lo and behold this was it.
Divergent was amazing. I mean I plowed through this book like there was no tomorrow. I found Tris a relatable, identifiable, and well-developed character and I found Four quite attention-holding as well. The whole book had me in its grip as the world unfolded and took shape, as softness hardened, as realities collided, as lives were altered, destroyed, or built up. Uncertainties and terror as well as faith and determination emanated from the book as Tris’ whole world shifted.
Filled with action, roughness of reality, ulterior motives, sabotage, vengeance, manipulation, competition, friends, enemies, allies, sabotage, politics, and all out war coursed through the plot and pulsed in each page. Sure Tris is just some sixteen-year old but that’s part of the point of YA Fiction, to show that even a teenager has it in them to be a hero, to fight, to survive. Maybe Tris was a child in the beginning but she grew up and she held her own. That’s one thing she fought for consistently and tirelessly, freedom from control (and if that’s not something a teenager can relate to then they must have a different puberty cycle because even the most well-mannered golden teen I know goes through a stage of even tiny rebellion).
I’m not sure what else to say. Not because there isn’t more to say (I could babble on and on and in fact I have done just that with my friends) but because this is one of those times where you’ll just have to take my word for it. This is a great book and the start to a good series. Don’t let me down Roth!
Originally rated on Goodreads on March 13, 2012
Meet Veronica Roth!
Veronica Roth is from a Chicago suburb. She studied creative writing at Northwestern University, and wrote DIVERGENT (Katherine Tegen Books, May 2011) and INSURGENT (May 2012). The third and final book in The Divergent Trilogy, ALLEGIANT, will come out on October 22, 2013. In the meantime she will spend endless hours browsing Wikipedia in her pajamas as she eats corn flakes. (Or some other kind of bland breakfast cereal.)