Published: May 2011
Publisher: Harper Collins
Copy: From Library
Beatrice "Tris" Prior has reached the fateful age of sixteen, the stage at which teenagers in Veronica Roth's dystopian Chicago must select which of five factions to join for life. Each faction represents a virtue: Candor, Abnegation, Dauntless, Amity, and Erudite. To the surprise of herself and her selfless Abnegation family, she chooses Dauntless, the path of courage. Her choice exposes her to the demanding, violent initiation rites of this group, but it also threatens to expose a personal secret that could place in mortal danger. Veronica Roth's young adult Divergent trilogy launches with a captivating adventure about love and loyalty playing out under most extreme circumstances.
There has been lots of talk about how good Divergent is, and I find I am in total agreement. I loved every minute of it. I powered through it in 2 days, not wanting to put it down unless I absolutely had to - it's surprising how many places you can find yourself reading when the situation calls for it! There is a lot of violence in Divergent. Not the same type we see in Hunger Games though, this seems to be almost more on a personal level and it gets under the readers skin - or at least it did mine. I actually found myself flinching or wincing a few times when Tris was on the receiving end of some wicked blows.
'I hold my breath as he turns the last knife in his hand. I see a glint in his eyes as he pulls his arm back and lets the knife fly. It comes straight at me, spinning, blade over handle. My body goes rigid. This time, when it hits the board , my ear stings, and blood tickles my skin. I touch my ear. he nicked it.
And judging by the look he gives me, he did it on purpose.' (p164)
Tris is an amazing character. and the reader comes to know her well as she journeys through her initiation into the Dauntless faction. She's spunky and brave enough to try and overcome her fears, and often thinks of others before herself. Four, well I think I fell in love with him. He is the supreme 'quiet' hero. Doing everything he can to help without being overt about it. If he wasn't taken, he might be worth joining Dauntless for :) - or may'be not. I'm not sure I could handle jumping from a moving train. There are many secondary characters that are deftly and clearly created for us. I wanted to smash Peter in the face and tell Al to grow a backbone. Christina was a good friend to Tris, and her relationship with Will was very sweet.
The story progresses quickly and the excitement doesn't let up for a minute. One thing I loved was that the story never felt predictable. I was often surprised by events and I loved this about the story. This volume wraps up very neatly, with no nasty cliffhangers, but it is obvious that there is a lot more of the story to tell, and I for one, can't wait to see the next volume, Insurgent which is due out Spring 2012, but I can't find anything more specific than that. If there is anyone out there who enjoys dystopian, apocolyptic fiction and you haven't read Divergent yet, I have only one thing to say to you - WHY NOT?
PS I'm adding our ISU tag to this one, because there is so much going on with the different characters that I'm sure it would be a wonderful book to study.