Divergent is the first book in the Divergent series by Veronica Roth.
Summary (from back of book)
Beatrice Prior is on the brink of a decision that will change her life. In a society divided into factions all are forced to choose where they belong. And the choice Tris makes shocks everyone, including herself.
Once decisions are made, the new members are forced to undergo extreme initiation tests with devastating consequences. As their experience transforms them, Tris must determine who her friends are – and if the man who both threatens and protects her is really on her side.
Because Tris has a deadly secret. And as growing conflict threatens to unravel their seemingly perfect society, this secret might save those Tris loves…or it might destroy her.
“Becoming fearless isn’t the point. That’s impossible. It’s learning how to control your fear, and how to be free from it.”
“…there is power in self-sacrifice.”
I’m surprised at how quickly I was pulled into this story, so much so that I really struggled to put it down. I hadn’t seen the film before reading the book (which is how I prefer it), though a little serendipity, the film was on TV the day I finished it. And I’m aware that it took me quite a long time to get around to reading it. However, I do have a tendency to keep away from “popular” books at least while everyone is still talking about them. (I still haven’t read The Hunger Games series yet!) It helps to form my own judgement of the book, and to consider whether I think the hype surrounding it was justified in my opinion.
So, in a nutshell, I loved pretty much everything about this book. I don’t often tend to read dystopian fiction, so Divergent was a pleasant surprise.
The faction system was really interesting, and I did spend a little while after reading it (and some time whilst I was reading it) wondering which of the five factions I would choose. To think such a major decision has to be made by every sixteen year old is crazy. I’m not sure I would have trusted my sixteen year old self to make a decision like this, and not one that would have had a major effect over the rest of my life.
Roth is very good capturing her characters personalities. Tris is a fantastic main character; possibly one of my favourite YA leads. Four is also great. The book is well-written, and the storyline clear. The pace was fast enough to keep me hooked and actively engaged in what was happening but not too fast that things passed me by in a blur and left me confused.
All-in-all, a great first book in a series, a great YA read, and one you can completely immerse yourself in for a few hours.
As soon as I finished this book, I started the second, Insurgent, the review for which I will be posting soon.