Author: Veronica Roth
Genre: Science Fiction
# of Pages: 487
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Divergent is the first book in a trilogy by young novelist Veronica Roth. Beatrice ‘Tris’ Prior lives in a dystopian society that is divided into five factions, each of which highlights a particular virtue: Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). Although each child is born into a faction, at the age of 16 members of society are allowed to pick which faction they will dedicate the rest of their lives to. When the time comes for Beatrice to choose her fate, she struggles between her loyalty to her family and her own desires. Her surprising choice leads to an intense and competitive initiation that challenges her mental strength, her physical capabilities, and the durability of her friendships. As conflict brews and her seemingly perfect lifestyle begins to unravel, Tris realizes that her most closely guarded secret might be the key to saving the people she loves.
Through the development of a society characterized by divisions and faux peace, Veronica Roth plays on stereotypes, human nature, and the danger of conformity while building her scene. There are few lulls in the action, and I actually felt a sense of urgency to push forward while reading this novel. It was as if the next important event would have gone on without me if I set the book down for just a moment. With a defiant teenage girl as the leading character, a futuristic, bleak setting, a budding romance, and a fascinating blend of excitement, dread, and mystery, I could not help but compare the first book in this trilogy to The Hunger Games. Do not start this book if you have any enticing plans for the next eight hours. Or during finals week, like I did. It started as a casual read that I hoped would calm my nerves, but instead I ended up pulling a non-academically related all-nighter to finish it.
Honestly, the only real downside to this book is that conclusion of the trilogy will not be released until next fall. In Divergent, some questions remain unanswered and many situations do not make sense. I am expecting that these issues will be resolved in the second and third books, though. I’m not one for patience and would have preferred to read all three books in close sequence, but as far as flaws go I would say that this is a minor one. While Divergent is not for everyone, if you enjoyed The Hunger Games series I advise you to pick up this Veronica Roth novel!
Review by Christie Wentworth, A&S '13 Illustration by Patrick Hughes, A&S '14