By: Veronica Roth
My Rating: 4 stars
Who Should Read This: Readers who enjoyed the Hunger Games series or The Maze Runner
Quick Synopsis (from Goodreads):
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.
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, she also learns that her secret might help
her save those she loves . . . or it might destroy her.
I read Hunger Games Christmas of 2011, I believe, and absolutely fell in love with the books. So when I heard about Divergent I got really excited. I have begun to start to like Dystopian and YA books a little more, so I thought I would give this one a chance. I also found out that a movie is going to be made based on this book so I knew I had to read it now rather than later. One thing you should know about me is that if I have seen the movie I will not read the book. This is probably the reason why I have yet to see Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close.
As I started to dive into this book I found myself starting to compare it to The Hunger Games. About 50 pages in I really had to focus and not analyze the difference between the two books. Once I did that I found I really started to enjoy it. I stopped comparing Tris to Katniss and how the author for this book portrayed a futuristic Chicago compared to the futuristic world that was created by Suzanne Collins. The detail that the author put in to set the scene was not as descriptive as I thought it might be, but I actually found that I wasn't bothered by this. Roth instead put her emphasis into the main character, Tris and her relationships with her family and others. I found myself creating the scenery in my mind and with the help of Roth's descriptions was able to see clearly the type of life that Tris and the others were living.
I also thought that it was interesting that Tris and the other 16 year old teens were able to choose what faction they wanted to be placed in. No matter what their aptitude test told them, they had the freedom to choose the type of life that they wanted to lead. With a lot of dystopian books I feel as if the characters are forced into one lifestyle or never given a voice. It was kind of interesting how the story played out. I actually read this book while flying back to DC (where I live) from California and it was the one time I really didn't mind how long it took! The story was engaging, and the ruthlessness during training kept me on the edge of my seat. After one incident (I am not going to explain further due to spoiler alert) I knew all bets were off and found myself a little nervous. This was probably due to the fact that I never would have handled things as well as Tris or her companions. Even the ending surprised me. I assumed it would end much differently. The ending almost reminded me of George R.R. Martin's writing ethics for Game of Thrones. No one is safe, if you assume they are, you will be disappointed.
I am excited to see where Roth takes the reader in the next book. She definitely does a great job in tying loose ends while keeping the reader intensely interested in what is going to happen next. It is a fast, easy read that I think many will enjoy. Along with suspense and thrills, the book deals with the effects of the choices we make and plenty of romance thrown in as well.