Thursday, February 23, 2012

Review: Divergent by Veronica Roth

Divergent by Veronica Roth
Book One in the Divergent trilogy
Published March 1, 2011
ISBN: 0062077015

Review: 4/5

Cross reviewed on Goodreads


In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago, 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 to determine who her friends really are—and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes infuriating 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 a growing conflict that threatens 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've heard so many wonderful things about Divergent: how it is compared to The Hunger Games and a few other Dystopian novels that I haven't put on my TBR list yet. I knew I needed to read The Hunger Games trilogy first, and then I could jump on board with Divergent to discover the phenomenon. Sure enough, I thoroughly enjoyed Veronica Roth's Dystopian society she created. 

At first, I didn't quite know what to think of Beatrice, or Tris (as her name becomes later). She wasn't exactly a great character to start. Kind of normal, ho-hum, going about her transition into the faction she chooses. Then, all the sudden, things pick up speed as Tris's world is turned upside down by a secret she is forced to keep from her family and her new faction members. The secret is what drives Tris to become better, for her to not risk exposing it, she must show that it doesn't control what she can do.

As Tris continues to rise through the ranks of the other sixteen-year-old initiates around her, she develops a close relationship with one of her instructors, an eighteen-year-old boy called Four. Here again is where Tris's motivations started to confuse me. She was always flip flopping over revealing her secret to Four because she's become close to him, but constantly falls back to what she was told about her secret...and how it was very dangerous for any one to know. While other readers might see that as the depth of her character, I saw it as an annoyance. I wanted a constant. I like knowing that a character is strong and reliable, but I know it's not always possible. Especially since Tris is only sixteen.

Finally, in the last quarter of the book, we learn what all this has been leading toward. This Dystopian government which is ruled by the five factions as not as solid as we are led to believe. No surprise there. There has to be a flaw, and it is here when it is revealed. Tris becomes one of the best in her class of initiates and it turns around to bite her in the ass. I'll say no more for now.

Divergent was an excellent read. The story reminded me of the depth The Hunger Games offered. The world Roth created is exciting and deadly, and to learn answers about herself, Tris finally exposes her secret. It is the beginning of a rebellion that will come full-swing in Insurgent, due out May 1, 2012.

Up next for review:

Dead Beat by Jim Butcher


  1. I really like Divergent. Can't wait for the next one! :)

  2. I've seen this one around the library but haven't gotten around to reading it... I have to be picky with the YA that I read since I'm in the Children's Section and I have to be up to date on those. But you've convinced me... this is one that I should read.

  3. Nice review! I have an award for you at my blog today.


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