In a future dystopian Chicago, Tris society is divided up into five factions: Abnegation (selflessness, and where Tris grew up), Candor (honesty), Erudite (wisdom), Amity (friendliness), and Dauntless (courage). All people in her society must choose which faction they wish to join at the age of 16, and Tris makes a choice that startles everyone, including herself, when she decides to join Dauntless.
But truly being a part of Dauntless is not so easy, as Tris and other initiates must first pass a long and difficult trial that tests their physical, mental, and emotional strength. As Tris makes friends and maybe even falls in love, she also uncovers a burgeoning plot to upset the order of their society, and learns what it truly means to be Dauntless.
Everyone, listen up. The hype for this book? Its legit. At long last I do think I may have found the book that I will truly encourage fans in Hunger Games deprivation to pick up. DIVERGENT is fast-paced, with a thoroughly developed dystopian world, engaging plot, and an admirable protagonist. In a word, it is excellent.
As soon as Tris chooses to join the Dauntless faction, DIVERGENT becomes an unputdownable read as Tris navigates the often dangerous trials of her initiation period that keep both her and readers on their toes. Its a classic enough plot structurethe trials that the protagonist must face in order to meet his or her goalbut one that always holds my attention, and Veronica Roth plots the story exceptionally well. When Tris is not learning how to handle weapons that she may have never seen before in her life, she is cautiously navigating her emotional connections with her new friends or nemeses. Physical action blends seamlessly with relationship intrigue to appeal to readers who generally prefer one over the other.
In the midst of all this action, Tris emerges as perhaps the strongest dystopian heroine I have read about since Katniss. All doubts that I may have had about whether or not she truly belongs in Dauntless disappeared only a few chapters in, and from then on I was firmly rooting for her the whole way. While not resourceful, per se (she is in a new faction, after all), Tris has unmatched mental strength, and just a bit too much determination to prove herself, that help carry her triumphantly through obstacles. In short, I like her. I like her I like her I like her. She is just the sort of girl I hope I could be like if, God forbid, I were ever in her situation.
Supporting characters, while nice and attractive, I wish were developed some more, in particularly Cristina, Tris closest female friends through the Dauntless initiation. Tris love interest is pretty good as far as love interests in YA speculative fiction usually go: he has no need for silly, enigmatic broodfests, and actually likes Tris for her strength and not because of some impenetrable vague reason like insta-luv (this is my interpretation of it, anyway). The ending, unfortunately, felt rushed, and while I dont disagree with it being a good way for the book to end, it lacked the forceful punch I was looking for, and to which I felt like the rest of the book had been building up.
My minor quibbles with supporting character development and the ending aside, I found DIVERGENT to be an entrancing read throughout. Dystopian? Strong female protagonist? Fast pace? Subtle critiques on our societys incessant need to label and categorize everything? Read DIVERGENT for all of them. In the meantime, I will be camping outside the nearest bookstore for the next book in this series, thank you very much.
I have questions. Once my questions are answered, maybe I'll move my overall ratings up from 2.5 stars to 3.5 stars. Here is the thing, If the world doesn't make sense to me, I'm not going to enjoy the book as much as I could enjoy it.
So, here are my questions- (there are no spoilers here that will ruin the book)
Why, at the beginning, can Beatrice look in the mirror ONLY when her mom cuts her hair? What does her mom cutting her hair have to do with anything?
When Tris (aka Beatrice) goes down the zipline from the 100 story building, she has to fall in the arms of her fellow Dauntless from 20 feet up. Who caught the first girl down the zipline?
So, is the food synthetic, artificial (from the beginning of the book) or is it fresh (from later in the book)?
Why is the marsh dried up, but they have a river, waterfall and of all things, a drinking fountain?
Why do you need a backup generator to run the elevator up but you clearly have electricity to run other things?
Isn't carbon dioxide a problem if you are really deep underground?
How is it the scientists can make microscopic transmitters but there is not enough material to finish paving the roads?
Who runs the trains?
Why is tattooing and piercings a sign of being brave? It said somewhere that the dauntless were not the artistic ones?
Disappointing. Eager to hop on the Hunger Games train of the post-apocalyptic genre, readers find themselves skimming the surface of the Divergent trilogy, never able to fully immerse themselves in the world or the characters. Roth paints a fascinating picture: a world comprised of five factions of which the characters must select one to join during their 16 year, or be ostracized from the communities, but thats all you get of the book, a fraction of what it could have been. We only ever get a surface view of the characters personalities and the world they live in. My hope was that as the trilogy went on Roth would go deeper. Unfortunately, Roth stuck to the relative safety of generalizations, overused simile, and repetitive conflicts between the main characters of Tris and Four, and of violence/revolution.
SPOILER ALERTS for the entire Divergent trilogy
My biggest complaint is that throughout the books the only major deaths are of main female characters: Triss mother, Jeanine Matthews, Tori (although she was more of a theme throughout the books than a main character, a grounding mechanism and source of answers for Tris, like many characters never really having a chance to develop a strong personality so her death barley affects us until we meet her brother), and finally Tris herself. The main message coming from Roth seems to be that once a female character has a position of power she must give it up, like Evelyn, and sit ideally by, or die by bullet. I would have loved to see Johanna Reyes have a chance to become a main character, but her story was always overshadowed, first by Marcuss involvement and then the disbanding of their revolution and world. In Roths Divergent trilogy the primary source of movement throughout the books is violence and revolution. There is nothing else pulling the story forward until the epilogue, at which point its too late. The epilogue feels more like a consolation prize, that maybe the world can change to become a better place but not until everything has been soaked with blood and death, exhausting the extent of Roth's writing ability.
Stumbled into this series...it is FANTASTIC!
I love the characters, the writing...dare I say I like it more than the Hunger Games
Its another take on the theme that we (humans) have caused disastrous things to happen to our world. From chaos, extreme structure has taken over. At 16 yrs old every adolescent must choose one of 5 factions, to live and work with. Each is in charge of a part of society and held to different values and rules.
Beatrice is the main character. She chooses a faction other than the one she has grown up in...what follows is an ingrossing adventure. This is the first book...insurgent is second and the third is not released yet.
Divergent was breathtakingly amazing. It was downright perfection in my opinion. I don't even know what else to say, it was just that good. If your like me and have let it sit on your bookshelf month after month afraid to pick it up because you are afraid it wont live up to the hype...pick it up now and read it. I regret taking so long to read Divergent. Five stars doesn't even do it any justice. Okay let me stop gushing over it and get on with the review.
Sixteen year old Beatrice Prior lives in a time where society is divided into five factions. Abnegation-the selfless, Candor-the honest, Dauntless-the brave,Erudite-the intelligent, and Amity-the peaceful. Then there is another group of people, one that if your are found out by others what you are will get you killed - Divergent.
I finished Veronica Roth's debut novel in a matter of hours. If you want an intense and compelling read Divergent is it. There was betrayal, corruption, and not to mention romance that developed realistically between Four (Tobias) and Tris (Beatrice).
The world building and plot was immaculately done. Then there were the plot twists that had me to the point where I couldn't turn the pages fast enough. And of course the fact that even all the secondary characters were all very well fleshed out which helped me fall in love with Divergent that much more.
Overall this was a fascinating read and I looking forward to picking up Insurgent when it releases.