Author: Veronica Roth
Source: bought at Barnes & Noble
Excerpt from Goodreads:
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, Tris also learns that her secret might help her save the ones she loves . . . or it might destroy her.
Like most people in the book nerd/literary community, I had heard about Divergent long before I ever picked it up. The book had been sitting on my shelf for months but the final kick in the butt was seeing the first couple movie stills that were released back in July. I wasn’t sure what I was getting into, but I wish I had picked up the book sooner!
The dystopian element of Divergent was unlike anything I’d ever read before. It came off more as a utopia, with five factions centered around the idea and prospect of peace. The whole opening sequence of Tris undergoing the faction test and ultimately being able to choose which faction she entered was vivid and fascinating. If I had to choose one word to describe the entire novel, I think I’d have to go with vivid.
Once the Dauntless training sequences began and especially during the fear simulations, I felt like I was going through everything with the characters. Roth was able to describe every event in such detail that it felt like I had left the comfort and safety of my room and was being transported into the Dauntless complex. I mentioned in my August Wrap Up video (youtube.com/akaMissFierce) that I haven’t had that feeling with a book since reading Harry Potter.
Tris is such a unique female character in the young adult genre. What I’ve come across most often in other series are female characters pretending to be tough, or being forced into the role of the leader or fighter due to their tragic and unfortunate situations. Tris has this characteristic innately and organically. She doesn’t have to try and be tough or pretend that she can handle life threatening situations, she does so without thinking which we learn is due to her being Divergent.
I really admired how Roth wrote Tris as well as how she wrote Four and their relationship. One of my favorite things about this book is that there is no love triangle! True, another character has a major crush on Tris which gets her into a sticky situation, but Tris makes it clear that she’s not interested. Instead of pinning after Four, he confuses her, and as far as she knows, often rejects her. It isn’t until he finds out Tris’ secret that he begins to open up to her and reveal that he’s been trying to protect her the whole time.
I can’t express enough how moving the fear sequences were, both for Tris and Four. I’m a person who has many rational and irrational fears and I know for a fact my fear simulation would last hours upon hours. The end of the novel had so many pure and heartbreaking moments, but also moments full of family and hope.
This was the best novel and my favorite novel that I read in August and without a doubt one of my favorite novels of the year. My review is a little shorter than usual because it’s taken me awhile to find the time to write this review but trust me when I say I would recommend this book to anyone who can read!
It is a fantastic exploration of how closely linked dystopia’s and utopia’s are, and how humans ultimately have the ability to tip the scale in one direction or the other. I cannot wait to read Insurgent, the second novel in the series and Allegiant, the thrid (and I think last) novel which is being released this October!