By Veronica Roth
Published by HarperCollins Children's Books, 2011
496 pages (hardcover)
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, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves . . . or it might destroy her. (from barnesandnoble.com)
In the past year I have picked up quite a few books set in a dystopian society where a big event is coming up for the main character that will set the course for the rest of his/her life. Some of those books I read, but wasn’t thrilled with the book and some of the books I couldn’t get past the first few badly-written chapters. I had heard great things about Divergent but I wasn’t too excited for yet another dystopian society book.
Then I started reading Divergent. Wow! The dystopian society was set up well and I really wasn’t confused about how things worked. Also, the story was great. I was hooked by the writing, the choices Tris had to make, and the results of her decisions. There were plot twists, a little romance, friends who became dangerous, friends who might be more than friends, enemies who were not as dangerous as they seemed, enemies that were way more dangerous then they seemed, and relatives who had to decide if faction or family was more important.
Divergent is the first in a series of books and I am excited about the next book. Although the book may seem a bit long, it was such an engaging and interesting story that it was a quick and enjoyable read.