Author: Veronica Roth
Published: May 1, 2011
Number of Pages: 496
Beatrice "Tris" Prior has reached the fateful age of sixteen, the stage at which teenagers in Veronica Roth's dystopian Chicago must select which of five factions to join for life. Each faction represents a virtue: Candor, Abnegation, Dauntless, Amity, and Erudite. To the surprise of herself and her selfless Abnegation family, she chooses Dauntless, the path of courage. Her choice exposes her to the demanding, violent initiation rites of this group, but it also threatens to expose a personal secret that could place in mortal danger. Veronica Roth's young adult Divergent trilogy launches with a captivating adventure about love and loyalty playing out under most extreme circumstances.
"It is more important for you to be safe than right, for the time being. Understand? (...) But please, when you see an opportunity...ruin them."
"Fear doesn't shut you down. It wakes you up."
I could make a five-word review out of this, but I won't because I loved this book too much. But for the sake of it, I'll put those five words down:
I. Loved. This. Freaking. Book.
I loved every single aspect of this book, and I rambled about it to my parents, friends, and teachers until I was beating a dead horse. For the first few pages, I was confused/bored, but that was IT. After that I was flipping through the pages like there was no tomorrow, promise. This is probably the best book I've read all year. It was so exciting, mysterious, and action-packed.
Okay, I'll get off that now and get to the actual story. So, there are five factions in a future world, the story based in Chicago. Abnegation, for the selfless; Amity, for the peaceful; Erudite, for the intelligent; Dauntless, for the brave; and Candor, for the honest. Our protagonist, Beatrice, is from Abnegation—and her feelings are mixed. She wants to be selfless, but she just can't understand. So she has hit the age of sixteen, and she takes the test to decide which factions best fit her.
She is Divergent. This is dangerous. But that is all she is told. Beatrice decides to go into Dauntless, and takes up the name Tris [which I like much better]. Immediately she makes a few friends, and meets her future love interest, Four. Dauntless puts its newest members through a number of trials to decide who gets to stay, and who gets to be factionless. Tris vows not to let this happen.
Tris's character is very complex, very layered, and can be very selfish. I know a lot of people are put off by that fact, but look at it this way: would you really be selfless in a faction like Dauntless, whether you grew up selfless or not? I think not. It's just another layer of Tris you have to accept. Each character has their own goals driving them, whether they be righteous or not.
Travelling on through the events, Tris is antagonized, befriended, loved, and hated. She is uncertain, she is Dauntless, she is Divergent. Her family is a great source of uncertainty for her throughout the book, as is Four. There are just so many things going on at once in this book, and it makes it impossible to put down.
Before I make this review last four about seventy paragraphs, I think I'll just stop there by saying that the end is everything and more than what could have been expected. The only thing I could possibly criticize would be...the lack of explanation for how the world became the way it is, but I suppose that's for a later novel. Veronica Roth has set the bar for anything dystopian in my eyes. Bravo, brava, keep it up, looking forward to the next novel. (;