Synopsis: 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. (synopsis from goodreads.com)
2013 Dystopian Challenge: 1/10
My Thoughts: Why did I wait so long to read this YA novel? Maybe I was overwhelmed by all the YA dystopian literature that has bombarded the bookscene after the success of The Hunger Games? Maybe I was afraid it would be just one more YA novel that was too simple to be truly enjoyable? I’m not sure what my reasons for waiting were…but I am glad that I finally read Divergent. I loved it. With an easy to read style, well paced plot and fascinating characters, Divergent is one of those novels that keeps your reading way past your bedtime.
I’m not sure what my favorite aspect of this novel was: Roth’s creation of a post-apocalyptic Chicago, the characters of Tris and Four, or the exciting world of the Dauntless. I just liked it all! Roth takes the many aspects/virtues of a society and separate them into the various factions of her world and pushes them to the limits. In the Divergent world, a person may only identify with one virtue. A person with leanings towards more than one of the virtues is considered suspect, even dangerous.
I will say that I do have a couple of beefs with the story… There is one person that died that I don’t think should have died, well, at least I didn’t want this person to die. I really wanted to see the relationship progress and was so sad when I realized it wouldn’t. Why did you do that, Ms. Roth?!! My second issue is that I wanted a little more of something in the story that didn’t happen but since it is a trilogy, maybe it will still happen just in a different way… (Is this all cryptic enough for you all? haha).
If you have a soft spot for YA literature, READ this book! It is a fun and exciting book.