Published: February 28th 2012
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, Tris also learns that her secret might help her save the ones she loves . . . or it might destroy her.
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Genre(s): Young-adult dystopian/utopian, sci-fi
Page Count: 487
I know many people are skeptical of Divergent because they believe it to be a Hunger Games wannabe. Don’t worry, it’s not. I mean, yes, of course there are similar factors (duh, it’s still a dystopia) but Divergent has several different, interesting parts to it that makes it its own book.
Divergent follows Beatrice Prior (later called Tris), a 16 year old girl who lives in a city divided into 5 factions:
- Dauntless (the brave)- This group of people strive for the rush and excitement of danger, and believe that cowardice was the reason for the years of war and destruction in the past.
- Abnegation (the selfless)- Tris’ home faction. They put others before themselves and try to be as helpful as possible without asking for anything in return. They believe that selfishness in people is at blame and is the leading faction (the government) of the city.
- Candor (the honest)- Candor always tell the truth. Always. The Candor are masters at detecting lies. Obviously, they blame dishonesty as the fault for the previous destruction and war of the city.
- Amity (the kind)- These are the ambassadors of peace and happiness.
- Erudite (the intelligent)- Erudite are the brains of the city. Jeanine Matthews is their leader.
So, our heroine Tris, is born into Abnegation, but during her choosing ceremony, she decides to join Dauntless. However her aptitude results weren’t all straight and simple; she had an aptitude for 3 factions: Dauntless, Abnegation, and Erudite. For this reason she’s called ‘Divergent’ and is told to keep it a secret as her type is considered a threat and could be killed as a consequence. The novel follows her through her initiation training, where Tris starts to discover that their society isn’t as calm and under control as she once thought it to be.
I really enjoyed reading Divergent. Although the faction idea is nowhere near anything I’d imagine our world to ever be, it was an interesting concept to read about, and amusing. The writing style was shifting between light and serious, when need be, which I also liked. As for the characters, I really enjoyed how we read about the interactions between the initiates, the relatable jealousy of transfer-initiates at Tris’s success, and how the way the characters met and bonded seemed genuine and well-written. (To me, anyway.) Even my cousin, who almost NEVER read a book for fun in her life, really enjoyed Divergent, which alone is something to celebrate. 🙂
I loved the action in the book as well. From simulations, to (MINOR SPOILER) sticking a knife in an initiate’s eye, the action is endless, and I love it! It kept me on the tip of my toes, and got me to keep reading.
Tris herself as a character I liked, and I’m looking forward to some more character development from her. We read about how she’s already trying to adapt from Abnegation to Dauntless, then realizing how she could be both and still kick butt. 🙂
As for secondary characters, we have Four, Tris’s love interest (no love triangle in this one, folks!) who was so clouded in mystery that I was itching to figure out more. And as his and Tris’s relationship grows, I’m sure I will!
Other secondary characters I also enjoyed, such as Tris’s Dauntless friends like Christina (former Candor), Will (former Erudite), Uriah (Dauntless-born), etc. The antagonists were also well-developed, and I also enjoyed them, such as Peter (former Erudite), Eric (Dauntless leader in chief?), Jeanine Matthews (Erudite leader), you get the idea. We got glimpses of all these characters throughout the story, and I’m looking forward to more.
There is also a movie adaptation for this, as most of you know, that came out March last year, along with Divergent movie poster the second movie, Insurgent that came out March this year. I’ve watched both, and while some people are saying the first one was unlike the book and was a bad movie, I enjoyed it. Shailene Woodley stars as Tris Prior (and I think she was perfect for it), Theo James as Four (also agreed), Zoe Kravitz as Christina, Miles Teller as Peter, and Kate Winslet as Jeanine Matthews (who did really good as well). Be sure to check out the trailer below!
So, do I recommend this book? Definitely, especially for YA dystopia fans, Hunger Games lovers, and yeah. If you haven’t read this book, you should totally check it out, and if you have, let me know your thoughts on this book in the comment section below! That basically conludes this review, so happy eating!