Divergent by Veronica Roth
Release Date: May 3rd, 2011
HarperCollins, 487 Pages
Age Group: Young Adult
Series: Divergent #1
Recommended for: Fans of The Hunger Games
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 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 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 help her save those she loves…or it might destroy her.
This is the kinda book that I will probably annoy my friends with. Constantly telling them to PLEASE read this book to the point where I: 1. Hold something ransom 2. Bribe them 3. Buy it for them – in order to get them to read it. I want to shout from the rooftops how amazing this book is.
Where, oh where shall I begin? Let’s talk about the 5 factions. We’ve got the Selfless, the Brave (or as I much of the time thought of them “The Stupid and Crazy”), the Honest, the Intelligent, and the Peaceful. Our main character, Beatrice is born into the Selfless faction, however when she turns 16, she can choose where she goes. And she chooses to go with the Brave. The book tells the journey she makes through the initiation process for Dauntless (the Brave). This faction only takes the top 10 initiates so Tris has to be good. Which, she is (though not at first).
Let me go all super nerd on you and analyze the diction real quick. Why is it that Veronica Roth chose Dauntless for the name of the “brave” faction? They are the only ones in which the name of the faction has a Derivational suffix (thank you, Dr. Kerr.). Derivational suffix meaning that the -LESS is attached at the end. These people LACK something, they lack fear. All the other factions are FULL of something – not in the names themselves but if you think about it..the Erudite are full of knowledge (she didn’t say they were lacking stupidity, etc). Alright, out of super-nerd world and back to reality..
On her way to becoming a member of the Dauntless, Tris has to go through some physical as well as mental obstacles. Seriously, this faction is CRAZY. I’m talking stabbing-people-in-the-eye-while-they-sleep and jumping-off-cliffs type of crazy. She also has to battle the faction that wishes to take down Abnegation (her old faction, where her parents live).
Tris is a strong female character who doesn’t take anything from anyone. Whether or not that helps or hurts her, both she and I aren’t sure. But I do love her and want to protect her. She’s more special than she even knows.
Also, I liked that there was more than one “bad” guy. It was more like a group of bad guys and they aren’t necessarily working together. I actually think that there were more corrupt people in this book than good people. Anyway, it spread out my hatred for the nemesis and so it was easier to perhaps, ahem..forgive certain characters for their “mistakes”. And I liked that Ms. Roth had the guts to kill off so many people (And she did!). It was like a “HELLO. I am not some super sweet happy ending kind of girl”. Alot of authors don’t kill off as many people in THREE books as she did in this one. I’m loving it and hating it at the same time.
So go buy this book. Like, now.