by Veronica Roth
Kindle Edition – Read January 6, 2014
Original Release Date: January 1, 2011
Length: 501 pages
Official Description: This is book #1 of the Divergent Trilogy
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, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves . . . or it might destroy her.
I have been avoiding this book for some time now. It has officially been out for 3 years now and I didn’t want to read this. I didn’t think I’d like it because there are so many YA dystopian novels out there now, there are so many that are alike. Reading this book at first kind of reminded me of The Testing but I remembered that book was written after this one, and they are somewhat similar, but different. Oh what is with me and dystopian novels. I get sucked in to them, I get the whole end of times world, where people see the mistakes they have made and try to make a better world by going to extremes. They ALWAYS, ALWAYS repeat the mistakes of the past. That is just human nature, I even wrote a paper (back in my younger college days 10+ years ago) about the cyclical nature of history, and the inevitability that we will repeat our mistakes. That is kind of what this book is about, and the nature of greed, desire the desire of wealth and power that can corrupt, the people who follow blindly and the few who take a stand. I am such a sucker for these books.
What’s even better about Divergent, it’s about the story, there is some romance and there is a naive 16-year-old girl, who knows nothing about boys and thinks she’s ugly, and of course is ‘under developed’. However, the story is more of a coming of age, a story of a girl finding herself, not in a boy, though my gosh that romance took FOREVER, discovering what she can do, who she is, and why people fear her. I literally sat down and read this 500 page book in a day, because I just couldn’t put it down, I had to take breaks to…well, pay attention to my family and go to a baby shower, but I refused to sleep until I found out what happened. I can’t really go into the whole of the book, because I’d go all spoilers on you in a heart beat, but I think it’s worth it. I don’t find it to be like Hunger Games but so many people want to throw these books together and call them the same. Do they have a similar theme? Yeah, it’s a dystopian novel, there are only so many themes you come to in a dystopian world, mostly they are created because of the stupidity of people and they are all going to have similar themes. This one just feels unique, the characters drew me in.
Tris was great, a little on the whiny side for my taste for part of the book, but she is a great character to watch grow. She isn’t perfect, she gets beat to a pulp, she has all the odds against her, but she still grows. Four was my favorite character, he is just a brilliant character, vulnerable but tough and you know there is just a good story there. Loved him, loved his hard edges and his sweet side. I actually found Peter intriguing, yeah he’s kind of a bad guy, I mean he is a douche but I think they could take him to an interesting place, I think he would have a good back story, he would be the perfect villain or the perfect redemption story. There are some sad moments in the story, a lot actually, I didn’t tear up like I did in Hunger Games but I did feel for Tris. I like that she should feel certain ways and yet shows apathy.
Point is I LOVED this book, it’s so close to 5 star for me, but I just couldn’t put it there. Oh, and I apologize in advance because my next 2 posts are going to be all about the Divergent world because I just picked up 2 novellas *woot*, then I’ve got something a little different before I delve into Insurgent! Oh, I do so hate (secretly love) getting sucked into another world so fully. *Sigh*
“A brave man acknowledges the strength of others.”
“Politeness is deception in pretty packaging.”