Monday, August 20, 2012

Review: Divergent

by Veronica Roth

Why did you choose this book? It was getting a lot of ‘hype’ and the cover is so interesting
When did you read this book? July 2012
Who should read this book? fans of young adult and dysptopian fiction
Source: library ebbok
Here is a synopsis of Divergent from Goodreads, where it rates 4.39 stars.

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.

Debut author Veronica Roth bursts onto the literary scene with the first book in the Divergent series—dystopian thrillers filled with electrifying decisions, heartbreaking betrayals, stunning consequences, and unexpected romance.

My Review 

This one is really good! One of the things that made me pick it up was the setting. It is set iin Chicago of the future, after an apparently catastrophic event. Anyone who has spent much time in Chicago will recognize the landmarks; the Sears/Willis Tower, the El, Michigan Avenue and the Chicago River, etc...all present but abandoned and/or in major disrepair.

The society is now divided into five factions, each who value a different attribute as the most important. There is honest (Candor), peaceful (Amity), selfless (Abnegation), intelligent (Erudite), and brave (Dauntless). Though each faction realizes there is some dependency on the others for the survival of the entire community, none of them like, or trust, the other factions. There is also a large segment of ‘factionless’ or homeless people that do not fit into any faction.

Once a year, all 16 year olds must choose their faction. Leading up to this, everyone takes aptitude tests to find what their true character is. While they are free to choose any faction they wish, their is supposed to be only one aptitude present in each person. And even though they go through the testing, there is a lot of pressure to remain with the faction they grew up in, even if that is not their aptitude. To leave your faction is pretty much unforgiveable. And there are no ‘do-overs’. If you get to your new faction and decide you made a mistake, your choice is to fit in as best you can, or to become one of the factionless.

There are also a certain number of people who are ‘divergent’; those who show an aptitude for more than one faction. This is not something they want known, as they are considered a threat to the society. Beatrice Prior is one of the Divergent. She was raised in Abnegation, but chooses to become one of the Dauntless. The initiation process if very difficult, with the Dauntless definition of bravery bordering on insane as they jump off of building for fun among other things. Very few initiates are actually accepted into Dauntless at the end of initiation; most either die trying, or they become factionless.

This story follows Beatrice through her transformation to Tris as she undertakes the initiation. As she becomes more and more ‘Dauntless’, she makes friends and develops relationships, particularly wiht her trainer, Four. Meanwhile the factions become more and more divided. Without giving anything away, I will just tell you, that as the tensions build, the story gets very exciting and there is plenty of action! You will want to have the next book, Insurgent’, waiting in the wings, as you will not want to wait to find out what happens next!

My Rating:  ★★★★1/2  4-1/2 Stars

Here is a book trailer I found.

1 comment:

  1. I loved this book so much! It was definitely one of my favorite reads from 2011!