Series: Divergent #1
Published by Harper Collins, Katherine Tegen Books on April 25, 2011
Genres: Action and Suspense, Dystopian, Romance, Sci-Fi, Young Adult
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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.
In this installment of Heather Finally Reads, I finally get around to reading the Divergent series before the movie comes out and now that it is complete. I’ll be reviewing each book for the next couple of Tuesdays in January.
In this dystopian future, Chicago is a walled off city and Lake Michigan is a swamp. The citizens are divided into five factions, based on testing that they take when they are sixteen years old. If they show an aptitude for a different faction than they were born in to, then they can choose to join the initiates for the other faction for a chance to become a permanent member or remain as initiates in their original faction. If they fail the initiation process, they then become one of the factionless, living in poverty and hunger on the streets of the city.
Beatrice Prior was born into the Abnegation faction–the selfless people who will do anything for someone else, never putting themselves first or ever being selfish. When she’s tested, her results are inconclusive for only one faction, which is also known as Divergent. Being Divergent is dangerous to the well-organized way that Chicago runs, so she’s told to tell know one of her results and choose her faction wisely. She bravely picks Dauntless, the fearless faction that protects the fences, leaving her Abnegation leader father and mother behind for a dangerous and exciting unknown new life where she must risk life and limb to make it through Dauntless initiation. Here she’s tested both physically and mentally as she has to prove herself against both the Dauntless born initiates and the transfer initiates.
I really enjoyed reading Tris’ progression from meek girl to kick-ass woman who stood up for herself. The relationship that she developed with some of her fellow initiates was realistic and well-developed. Their Dauntless instructor, Four, was smart, hard-nosed, sexy, multi-layered, and calculating. The relationships that developed between Tris and Four was well-paced, tension filled, and sweet.
I give Divergent a 4.5 out of 5. In this action packed book, the world-building is strong without detracting from the character driven plot. The fight scenes had the right amount of choreography without being too complicated. The story is well-paced throughout. Overall, I really enjoyed this first book in the series and I immediately started the second book, Insurgent.
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