Title: Divergent (Divergent #1)
Author: Veronica Roth
Genre: YA Dystopia
Release Date: January 1st 2011
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.
The dystopia genre is pretty new to me. In fact before Divergent, the only dystopia series that I’ve read is the Hunger Games series. I heard nothing but great things about the Divergent series and when the trailer for the 2014 movie adaptation came out, the blogosphere went nuts. So what causes this uproar among the bookworms of the blogging world at the mention of anything Divergent related? Well, I guess there’s only one way to find out.
Since my “reading experience” in the dystopia series is pretty limited, I didn’t know what to expect with the first book but I kept an open mind towards it. Basically, the story of Divergent is that the city where Tris– the main character lives is divided into five factions namely, Erudite, Candor, Dauntless, Abnegation and Amity. When Tris discovered she is a Divergent, she didn’t know what being one means but she must keep it a secret because being Divergent can cost you your life.
Tris has the quality I love about a female protagonist—strong-willed, resilient, selfless, brave, relatable yet fun and quirky.
“Can you be a girl for a few seconds?”
“I’m always a girl” I frown.
“You know what I mean. Like a silly, annoying girl”
I twirl my hair around my finger. “Kay.”
Tobias has a very mysterious air towards him that pulls you to him. Even if he is at first shrouded in mystery, there is some kind of “magnetic pull” that pulls the readers towards him. Just like Tris he’s strong and brave and sometimes a bit harsh. But he is also capable of being endearing and sweet without overdoing it, which makes me like him very much.
“We kiss again and this time, it feels familiar. I know exactly how we fit together, his arm around my waist, my hands on his chest, the pressure of his lips on mine. We have each other memorized.”
I know Divergent isn’t primarily a romantic novel but I can’t help but admire the love Tris and Tobias have for each other. Even at a young age they value and handle their love in a mature way. I love the fact that their relationship is built on trust and respect. They complement each other well and they are each other’s strength. I admire how strong their love for each other is and they don’t let anything come between them.
It was fast-paced, exciting and each event is action-packed. I know this book has been compared to Hunger Games a lot and I myself can’t help but see some of the similarities. Both books are in the same genre, the theme of the story is roughly the same and both books’ female protagonists are strong and brave heroines. But the factions in Divergent are a bit different from Hunger Games’ twelve districts. In Divergent they can choose whether to switch factions at the Choosing Ceremony or not. But I find the factions very restricting. I can’t imagine myself choosing just one faction. I feel like each and every one of us has a little part of the factions inside us—the curiosity and quest for knowledge from the Erudite, honesty from Candor, bravery from Dauntless, the desire for peace from the Amity and I believe we are all capable of self-sacrifice like the Abnegation.
Divergent is a metaphorical extension of us choosing what we want to be and discovering who we really are. I think what makes this book very lovable and appealing to legions of fans out there is that we all see ourselves in these characters, we can relate to them.
After reading the book I knew I had to give it a 5-star rating and it is currently number one on my highly recommended list.