Thursday, May 26, 2011

Divergent (Divergent, #1)Title:  Divergent
Author:  Veronica Roth
Series:  Divergent Trilogy
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Publication Date: May 3, 2011
Links:  Amazon | Goodreads
Rating:  Photobucket

From 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.

Debut author Veronica Roth bursts onto the literary scene with the first book in the Divergent series—dystopian thrillers filled with electrifying decisions, heartbreaking betrayals, stunning consequences, and unexpected romance.

I was up until the wee hours of the morning trying to finish this book. It gripped me from the first page, and I couldn't imagine going to sleep without knowing what happened. Which, if you think about it, doesn't make much sense since it's only the first novel in a trilogy, but there it is.

This book was so captivating -- I'm sure that word will appear in a ton of reviews -- and I've heard a lot of comparisons to The Hunger Games, but I don't think that's a fair assessment. Yes, dystopians are very much the trend right now, and dissenters will undoubtedly refute the merits of this novel by calling it just another copy-cat trying to ride on the coattails of The Hunger Games' success. I assure you it is not. This book is real and honest and compelling and unafraid. Of course there are going to be similarities, but that will always be the case in literature; it's how the story is told that makes it stand out, stand apart. However, if The Hunger Games is the dystopian novel in which we are to compare all others, it has found its equal.

In Beatrice/Tris, Veronica Roth provides us with a main character that we can immediately find likeable and even relatable. Tris is not pretty. She doesn't have many friends. She doesn't always make the right decisions, and she struggles to be the person she is expected to be. Her voice is so natural, so powerful that you feel as she feels. Tris is not invincible, but she is strong and intelligent. We're allowed to see her flaws and faults, that she isn't perfect and can't best every foe placed before her. Tris is very capable but she's still fragile and needs help at times to overcome her obstacles. That's where Four comes in.

Four is the perfect complement to Tris. He pushes her and has no sympathy for her plight, but it is still obvious that he cares for her. Four does what he can to keep Tris safe, but she doesn't fully understand their relationship, why he taunts her or doesn't acknowledge what happens between them in private. One of my favorite scenes is when she confronts him about it, and Four says, "I didn't think it would affect you this way. Sometimes I forget that I can hurt you. That you are capable of being hurt." Four believes in Tris when maybe no one else does. Their mutual respect is a driving force in their relationship, and that only gets stronger when they see each other at their weakest.

The world Roth has created in Divergent is fascinating. People are split into factions based on their strengths and how they perceive that the downfall of their once great civilization came about. They must choose which faction they belong in at the young age of sixteen, and this decision impacts the rest of their lives, determining if they will live out the rest of their lives with their families or choose a different path altogether. The motto of all factions is faction before blood. What a difficult choice to be faced with at sixteen.

This first installment mostly concerns itself with following Tris through her initiation into the faction she chooses. We see her grow and overcome. We see her fall and we see her triumph. And through it all, we see Tris become the person she always suspected she was. But now she's starting to suspect that things are not as they seem and her life may really be in danger.

Divergent is full of suspense and there is no end to the action. These characters do not sit idly by and wait for things to happen. They are always in the midst of it. There are secrets in this novel, too, which I will refrain from spoiling, but I'll just say that all of my suspicions were confirmed. That's not to say that the answers are there in plain sight. No, you do have to work things out on your own. I just seem to have inherited my mother's gift for always knowing what's about to happen in a book or in a movie.

This was such a great read. All of the hype over the release of this book was not for naught. I dreamt about it after I finished it last night, and I haven't been able to stop thinking about it since. I'm actually already considering re-reading it. In my haste to devour it, I am sure I glossed over items of importance, and though I know I have a year or more in which to re-read it before the second installment is released, I don't know if I want to wait to read it again. My congratulations to the author for bestowing such an astounding debut novel on the world.
*I won an ARC of this novel from Pitch Dark Books/Harper Teen in their Dark Days of Supernatural promotion.*

Next up for review:  Illusions (Wings, #3)


  1. ohhhh! this book sounds AWESOME!! i can't wait to read it!!

  2. I can honestly say I wasn't surprised when I read that this was Roth's first novel. Well, I do admit that this book has its good points. The good points being a small handful of the characters. I particularly liked Will, Caleb, and Tris's mother (the best, in fact). I didn't think Peter was that bad too, though he could be overly dramatic with his antics. I liked how each person had a faction to attend to, to keep order in the city. Sadly, that's all the good I can think of at the moment (admittedly I haven't read the book in a while so some information might be incorrect).


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