Author: Veronica Roth
Published May 3rd 2011 by HarperCollins Children’s Books
Beatrice “Tris” Prior has reached the fateful age of sixteen, the stage at which teenagers in Veronica Roth’s dystopian Chicago must select which of five factions to join for life. Each faction represents a virtue: Candor, Abnegation, Dauntless, Amity, and Erudite. To the surprise of herself and her selfless Abnegation family, she chooses Dauntless, the path of courage. Her choice exposes her to the demanding, violent initiation rites of this group, but it also threatens to expose a personal secret that could place in mortal danger. Veronica Roth’s young adult Divergent trilogy launches with a captivating adventure about love and loyalty playing out under most extreme circumstances.
I’ll admit it. I was less than eager to pick Divergent up. Yes, I love dystopian novels, but this was one of those books that so many people loved so much that I thought it had probably been built up.
I was wrong.
The first thing I did upon finishing this book was to text a few friends and tell them to read it immediately because it was like Harry Potter and The Hunger Games had gotten together to make a book baby. I said this largely because much of the structure reminded me of Harry Potter, it’s a dystopian, and I knew that they’d read both of those books and loved them. And I was determined for that to become the case with Divergent as well.
But (and I stress this) BUT. This book stands on its own merits.
So let me back up, stop foaming at the mouth over how wonderful this was, and talk about those.
The main character: Tris wants very badly to keep her Abnegation family happy. She loves them after all. But she is Divergent. It’s a quality about herself that she must keep a secret or the cost could be great. It means that she could belong to more than one faction, and in her world, that trait is rare. Pretty much unheard of. When the time comes to choose her path and her faction, she picks Dauntless over Abnegation. She’s never felt that she belonged in Abnegation and I really had to admire her for being true to herself. As a Dauntless initiate, she is also branded an underdog due both to her size and her home faction.
I couldn’t help but root for this underdog.
If Tris wasn’t enough, we then meet her instructor, Four. And may I just say…?
Helloooooo, nurse. (Cookie if you got that reference).
I love Tris and I love Four, but I especially love how Veronica Roth develops them separately and together.
Then. THEN, of course, there is the conflict because if there isn’t any conflict, there isn’t any story, right? And this conflict? IT IS A BIG ONE. And multi-layered. And I cannot decide who the baddest baddie of them all is and that is such an amazing thing because it feels so real.
I ate this book up. Big time. Like, gobble, gobble, gobble eating.
This review got incoherent. And the stopping of the mouth-foaming didn’t go so well. I apologize for that. Just lop me in with the fangirls because I loved this book. I also apologize for the gratuitous rambling, caps lock, and italics use.
Rating: 5/5. Needless to say, I have now joined the hoards of people eagerly awaiting the second book in this trilogy, Insurgent!
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