Review: DIVERGENT by Veronica Roth

Posted on 05/20/2011 in Book Review / 4 Comments

Review: DIVERGENT by Veronica RothDivergent by Veronica Roth
Published by Harper Teen on 5/3/2011
Genres: Dystopian, Young Adult
Pages: 487
Format: eBook
Source: Library

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.\r\nDuring 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 had to let Divergent stew for a couple of days after I finished it, because it was that good.  It is epic, it is fantastic, it is everything you could possibly want in a dystopian novel and then some.   Divergent comes to us during a time of political unhappiness and it is speculative fiction at its finest.  It is the story of a society under the complete control of a government who has divided itself into “factions”: Abnegation, Erudite, Amity, Candor and Dauntless.  It takes place in our future, although the year is undetermined.  Chicago is gated, Lake Michigan is now a brown marsh, having lost much of its water and a large portion of the Windy City lays abandoned.

Divergent is narrated in the 1st-person, by Beatrice ‘Tris’ Prior, an Abnegation faction citizen.  The narration is superb.  Roth writes it so well, it felt like I was there, walking (okay, running) along side Tris and experiencing everything that came her way. Each faction has a responsibility to the society; Abnegation cares for the poor and faction-less, as well as runs the council, because they are supposedly incorruptible (I say supposedly because I have my doubts).  To be a member of Abnegation, one has to be completely selfless and giving, something I think we struggle with in our lives and society today.  Tris has struggled with Abnegation her entire life.  When she watches her selfless family members, I think she feels unworthy of Abnegation, or maybe she feels she was meant for greater things, different things.  That’s probably reader perception. I don’t want to spoil anything for you, so I’ll tell you that outside of the five factions (all of which are characterized by a single human trait), is a 6th…possibility.  That possibility is Divergent.  To find out what Divergent is and what it means, you’ll have to read the book! Divergent is similar to Matched and The Hunger Games in terms of certain story arcs.  There is a choosing ceremony, where 16-year-old citizens get to choose which faction they will spend the rest of their lives in.  There is plenty of violence and a questionable government that doesn’t tolerate resistance (for heaven’s sake, Chicago is fenced in!).  Plot twists are executed flawlessly, keeping you turning the pages and I cannot wait to find out what happens in book two (oh yes, it’s trilogy!).  I am absolutely in love with this book and I want you to be, too!  If you don’t read this book, your life just won’t be the same and I SO MEAN THAT.  Pick up your copy of Divergent and let me know what you think!

PSA: Have you heard that the film rights were sold to Summit (you know, that little company that brought us Twilight)?

About The Author:  (via Goodreads) Veronica Roth is only 22, so her bio will be short. She’s from a Chicago suburb. She studied creative writing at Northwestern University, and wrote DIVERGENT, her YA dystopian thriller (Katherine Tegen Books, May 2011!), while she was supposed to be doing homework. This was a decidedly good choice that will unfortunately make it difficult for her to someday lecture her future children on how important it is to get your homework done.

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Jennifer is both a book nerd and professional photographer. That means she lives in the fantasy world all the time, whether of her making, or someone else's. She collects books like the Duggar family collects kids, and began waiting for her Hogwarts letter at the tender age of 33.

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4 responses to “Review: DIVERGENT by Veronica Roth

  1. The Bawdy Book Blog Besties: 2011 | The Bawdy Book Blog

    […] what if you have multiple choices?  What if you’re divergent? I am absolutely IN LOVE with DIVERGENT; it had everything a young-adult dystopian could possibly have: conflict, action, despair, love, […]

  2. [Review] Under the Never Sky | Veronica Rossi | The Bawdy Book Blog

    […] like this:  DIVERGENT | DELIRIUM Tagged with: 2012 reviews • 5 stars • dystopia • dystopian • […]

  3. IMO: Why We Should Just Let Kids Read | The Bawdy Book Blog

    […] isn’t really all that bad.  There is a lot to take away from books like The Hunger Games and Divergent, especially given the world’s current political climate.  No, they aren’t classics, […]

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