Saturday, November 2, 2013

Divergent by Veronica Roth

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
(Picture and Summary from Goodreads)

Allegiant was recently released and since it had been a while since I last read Divergent and Insurgent I figured I would have a little Divergent-read-a-thon.  First up: Divergent.

On these mornings when my brother makes breakfast, and my gather's hand skims my hair as he reads the newspaper, and my mother hums as she clears the table - it is on these mornings that I feel guiltiest for wanting to leave them.

Divergent is set in a dystopian Chicago, where people are divided into factions based on their morals and principles. Beatrice is part of Abnegation which believe in selflessness.  They constantly put others first and do everything they can to keep attention off themselves.  When the book begins Beatrice and her classmates are getting ready to go through a test that will tell them what faction they should be in.  After finding out their results they take an evening to think about what they want to choose; to stay in their own faction with their family or choose a different faction and leave their family behind.

"Faction before blood"
 When Beatrice is told her results it changes everything and leaves her with an important decision to make.  Beatrice's choice shocks both herself and her family.  As soon as the choosing ceremony ends she is swept up into an intense initiation process.  She gets tested and pushed beyond her limits, faces fears she never knew she had, renames herself Tris, makes new friends, and gains enemies.  She also begins to have a confusing thing with her instructor Four (that's his name, sorta), at first it seems like he is being tough on her, then maybe he's helping, but it could be more than that.

Tris fits in really well with the faction she calls home and though she has to make some difficult choices, she really seems to grow as a person.  Soon after finishing the initiation process a situation comes up that brings some horrible truths into the light.  The book ends in chaos and has readers wondering what will happen next.

I really love this book.  Veronica Roth does a really good job of developing her characters and the world they live in.  The story is full of suspense and secrets, friendship and budding affection.  If you have made it this long without reading Divergent, don't waste another minute!  Read it now!



Veronica Roth is from a Chicago suburb. She studied creative writing at Northwestern University, and wrote DIVERGENT (Katherine Tegen Books, May 2011) and INSURGENT (May 2012). The third and final book in The Divergent Trilogy, ALLEGIANT, will come out on October 22, 2013. In the meantime she will spend endless hours browsing Wikipedia in her pajamas as she eats corn flakes. (Or some other kind of bland breakfast cereal.)
(Author Bio and Picture from Veronica's Goodreads Profile)


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