Publishing Info: April 25, 2011 by HarperCollins
Source: Anderson's Bookshop
Genres: Dystopian, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: August 28, 2012
Related Posts: Insurgent (Divergent #2)
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.
During 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, Tris also learns that her secret might help her save the ones she loves . . . or it might destroy her.
So before I started DIVERGENT, I knew three things: 1) It’s a dystopian. 2) Everyone loves it. 3) I wanted to read it.
I really didn’t know much about the plot as I like to keep myself in the dark and figure it out as we go along, so I was actually quite surprised at how the story unfolded. I think I expected a lot more action and a lot more direct conflict with the authority of society, but instead I found myself learning more and more about Beatrice and seeing her grow as a person. I actually quite liked it, but it threw me off a little bit.
I always enjoy true dystopian societies where we see the landscape in shambles as the citizens rise up and try to reconfigure their world and “do it better” than the generations who left this crumbling world for them. Divergent is definitely a true dystopian, and I really enjoyed learning about all of the factions and their different characteristics. Of course, I don’t ever think this would actually work in the real world, but it was interesting nonetheless!
I think I was hoping to learn more about being Divergent and what it really means closer to the beginning/middle of the story. We get little sneak peeks at how it makes Beatrice different from her peers, but I feel like I was left waiting too long to figure out what made a person Divergent and if there was anyone else out there who was like her that was forced into hiding as well.
As far as the ending goes, it’s not quite cliffhanger, but definitely left me on the edge of my seat waiting to pick up INSURGENT! Lucky me, I just bought it!
Beatrice/Tris: Geez, how do I feel about Beatrice? I don’t even know. I relate a little to her Abengation side seeing as how that’s the selfless side of her and the one who puts everyone else first. Well, I guess I’m not really like that, but I’m a people-pleaser so I have to make sure others are happy with my decision and it’s not all about me! As for the Dauntless side… Yikes. I don’t think I can handle Tris! Even not being one of the most hard-core kids their, her bravery and determination scares me!! I really enjoyed how much we got to see her change throughout the book though and pick up pieces of each faction here and there. She really turned into a stonger person by taking all of those aspects and combining them into an awesome Divergent.
Four: Hmm, Four. Why did I keep picturing him as Kupono from SYTYCD? I really have no idea how his physical description led me there, but there you have it. I always like the roles of these main male characters who are teachers as well as protectors and then they have to throw a little romance in there. Ugh, that combination just kills me! Books like VAMPIRE ACADEMY, RIFT, SWEET EVIL — I think that combination is turning out to be my favorite kind of romance. As much as I liked him, I felt like he fell a little flat, but then again, he was keeping his distance from Tris and he had secrets of his own that weren’t revealed until much later in the book.
Christina: I think Christina was definitely my favorite secondary character! Each had its own part, but I love the best friend that Roth created for Tris as she figures out how to be Dauntless. She seems like someone I’d like to be friends with and a fierce ally who would always have your back! Christina definitely brought a lot of color into the book and really helped Tris develop her character even further.
P97: “Four leaving makes me nervous. Leaving us with Eric is like hiring a babysitter who spends his time sharpening knives.”
P250: “Peace is restrainted; this is free.”
I think the only thing really holding me back from giving it 5 stars is that I just wanted a bit more action from it. We get a lot of action scenes in the Dauntless compound, but I was hoping for more conflict with society earlier in the book to add for a little bit more suspense. I’m hoping INSURGENT picks up right where we left off and it hits the ground running!
I actually made a post with DIVERGENT recommendations! If you’re a big DIVERGENT fan, check out “8 Books to Read If You Liked Divergent” and hopefully your next great read is tucked in there!