Monday, October 29, 2012

Review: Divergent by Veronica Roth

I've heard good things about Divergent, so I was very excited to get my hands on a copy. It's long (487 pages), so I thought it might take me awhile to get through it. One day later I was finished! So entertaining.

In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago, 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 to determine who her friends really are—and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes infuriating 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 a growing conflict that threatens to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves… or it might destroy her.

Tris' struggle was very interesting to follow. Being selfless was ingrained, but she really fought it at times. Sometimes that was actually pretty sad. The idea of only being one thing (honest, selfless, brave, peaceful or intelligent) is just crazy, but it makes for a fascinating read.

I like the reminder dystopian novels give about how important it is for society to work together. Sure, the situation presented in Divergent seems far-fetched, but being divisive causes so many problems.

I'm excited to read the next book in the series, Insurgent.

*As far as content goes, there is violence, a few swear words, and some intimacy (no sex, but it is talked about).