Divergent (Review)

Book cover for "Divergent" by Veronica Roth.Title: Divergent

Author: Veronica Roth

Publication Year: 2011

Pages: 487

Genre: Fiction, Young Adult, Dystopian

Source: E-book purchased from Kobo Books

From the cover:

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.

I put off reading this book for a long time because it was so popular. I know, that’s weird, right? But I have this thing against reading series when they’re new and saturating the discussion. It just feels like they’re getting more than enough attention already, so why should I buy into the hype?

So I waited until this year to read the Divergent series. And while I’m glad that I read it, I’m also glad that I waited. Because by doing so, I got to read the book without any expectations or spoilers kicking around. It’s been so long since it released that any tidbits of information I read, I’d forgotten. And that’s a good thing!

The main thing that I loved about this book was the main character, Tris. Right from the beginning, she was questioning everything. In a highly structured dystopian society, where she was expected to be one very specific thing in a rigid family group, she was re-thinking everything she had been fed right from the outset.

I also thought that Roth did a really great job at world-building. The society she has created in this book, and the structure behind the factions, is very intricate and well thought out. It’s a great setting for the series, and it sets the stage for character development – particularly Tris’ – to take place.

Finally, I think that the character of Four really tied everything together. He’s kind of the character that acts like a pin, bringing together Dauntless training, Tris’ questions about herself and the society they’re living in, and the problems with the faction system. Divergent is a great first novel in the series, and it’s really the characters that bear that out.


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