June 28, 2012

Review: Divergent by Veronica Roth

Title: Divergent

Series: Book 1

Author: Veronica Roth

Published: 2011

Edition Read: Borrowed Library Book

Pages:  496

Grade Level Recommended: High School

Overall: I absolutely loved this book. I couldn't put it down, and I especially love how action-packed it is. Even if this book is the debut it is one that will cement Veronica Roth's career as a YA writer. 

Summary (From Amazon) :

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.

My Thoughts: It seems to me that most books are coming out as either a trilogy or a series set. This is great for young readers. They love a series or trilogy they can sink their teeth into. Much like The Hunger Games and the Legend trilogies, Divergent is jam packed with action that will make any reader not want to put it down. Divergent starts with Beatrice Prior just before she starts onto her path to adulthood. She, along with all other 16 year olds, must take an exam that will test her aptitude for one of the five factions of a dystopian Chicago. Candor, the faction of the honest, Abnegation, the faction of the selfless and Beatrice's birth faction, Dauntless the faction of the brave, Amity the faction of the peaceful, and Erudite the faction of the intelligent.

On her aptitude test, however, Beatrice is not assigned only one faction. She is assigned three, an unheard of number, and is told that she is Divergent. Although she isn't told what a Divergent is or why this is such an important thing to keep to herself Beatrice is wracked with guilt before she must go through Choosing Day and choose the faction she wishes to be apart of. Does she choose her birth faction, Abnegation, or does she choose another? On Choosing Day Beatrice finds herself, even to the last minute, deciding what to do next, and she surprises everyone, even herself, by choosing Dauntless.

Beatrice must go through an intitiation period with both Dauntless born and Dauntless transfer initiates. If you are not part of the top ten initiate spots then you will most likely be sentenced to a life of the factionless. Those in the factionless live lives of poverty without enough food and clothes to go around, and little safety and comfort allowed to you by being part of a faction.

To Beatrice, Tris as she renames herself, becoming factionless is a fate worse than death.

As Divergent goes on the story becomes about more then a quest to become apart of a faction or become apart of the factionless. It delves into parts of the human nature, and how the choice to become apart of one faction or another pushes a person to fit into the mold of that faction. The Dauntless, for example, deal in bravery. Fear is something to be overcome, and if you are not brave you are not Dauntless. Abnegation, on the other hand, deal in selflessness. You are meant to place others needs above yourself, and to meet those needs as often as possible.

What I found fascinating about Divergent is the delving into these parts of human behavior. How Roth did an excellent job of questioning what bravery, selflessness, peacefulness, honesty, and intelligence are in relation to a persons actions. Roth really went into this book with the idea of making you think about these qualities and how they are individually approached.

I wholeheartedly loved this book. I read it in a matter of days, and just devoured it. I lost sleep because I just couldn't put it down. (Thankfully it's the summer, and that's okay!) I immediately finished it and ran out to buy the second of the series, Insurgent. That's how much I loved this book. I can also tell you that I'm almost done with Insurgent, and will post up a review on it as soon as possible. If you haven't picked up this book, do so. You won't be disappointed.

Recommended For: Upper middle and high school students.

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