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.
Of all the dystopians I’ve read in recent years, this may very well be my favorite one. I loved the story. The idea. There’s always that one part that sets a dystopian series apart from the others. Sure most deal with society, identity and self in one way or another. But Divergent really took that idea of self and identity and brought it that extra step.
Tris was a heroine I could relate to. She’s clearly not perfect, but trying her hardest to figure out who she is and how she fits into the world she lives in. Rather than choosing the easy path of a life she’s always known, Tris goes on and tries to see if she could belong in a different faction.
Just the beginning of a trilogy, Divergent gave just the right amount of information to cause disapproval of the structure of society without throwing the readers headfirst into conflict and struggles for dominance. Instead we’re able to get to know the characters, and work through issues with her. The pacing is just fast enough to get the reader swept along and still find enjoyment in the book. There are these tiny little hints of romance that are just enough to sooth the soul but not so much that it’s obnoxious and detracts from the story itself.
I feel like there’s so much I love about this book it becomes hard to describe. But definitely a book for anyone who’s interested in dystopians in the least. Even for those Hunger Game fans who are worried about a dystopian that would only come across as being a copy, that’s definitely not the case. The concept and execution is different, but still just as enjoyable. Read it!
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