Format: Paperback, 487 pages
Published: April 25th 2011
Age Range: 14+
Rating: 4/5 Stars
Find It: Book Depository
In Beatrice Prior’s dystopian Chicago world, societyis divided into five factions, each dedicated tothe 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.
Divergent … Divergent .. Where to start? Let me start with the bad. I always seem to start with the bad when the overall result is good! I felt as though the story development in the beginning was terrible. I understand that it took Roth a long time to really develop the world, (and she did a great job at that) but I felt as though there could have been a little more actual story in the beginning instead of in the last 200 or so pages. Also, I was not a fan of some of the violence, well one part in particular *Highlight for spoiler* The part where Ed gets stabbed in the eye. So I have rated the book with these scenes in mind.
Now the good! I thought this book was fantastic! I was really surprised by Tris’ character and how much she struggled to not only make choices, but convincing herself over and over that the choice was the right one for her. Making choices is something everyone can relate to and the second guessing comes just as naturally! I feel like the age that this is aimed towards is perfect since teens and young adults are all starting to make heavy decisions of who and what they want to be for the rest of their life. In a way I was sad that I didn’t have a machine to tell me who and what I needed to be! I don’t like to make decisions (even simple ones like what I should eat for dinner) so a machine like this would be wonderful for me.
I also really liked how Tris was vulnerable. Whether it was dealing with the emotions of leaving her family, or having to train with the dauntless you could really feel her emotions within you. That really helped with the training aspects and following along as she started to make connections and enhance her abilities with more fighting. You really felt the success and were (in your living room or bedroom or wherever you read) cheering her on.
This story had a little bit of everything, a bit of action and a bit of romance but on the flip side of that it left a lot open. With the romance, I wasn’t actually as connected wholeheartedly (although I may have a minor crush on four). I really hope Roth continues to build the characters throughout the rest of the series. There were still things left to be explored… I guess we will see!