In a future Chicago, 16-year-old Beatrice Prior must choose among five predetermined factions to define her identity for the rest of her life, a decision made more difficult when she discovers that she is an anomaly who does not fit into any one group, and that the society she lives in is not perfect after all.
After reading of Divergent's high acclaim on the blogosphere, I figured it was time to finally dive into it, and see what the hype's all about. Divergent is a thrilling read about a young woman seeking to abandon all that she knows to allow her courageous, more fearless self out. I thought Roth's dystopian tale was very imaginative, and thought provoking. A world that seeks to group human beings into select sets: Erudite-The Intelligent, Abnegation: The Selfless, Amity: the Peaceful, Dauntless: the Brave, and Candor, The Honest, is a very clever world to suppose. I loved that it is set in futuristic Chicago, what more tough a surrounding? Fast trains, noise, fights, all point to Dauntless!
I enjoyed reading of Tris' (Beatrice) journey towards becoming Dauntless. Suddenly, she is thrust into a new world, where her friends may not be trusted, and her every fear is challenged. Tris' and Four definitely caused me to look at my own fears and discover how to overcome them, as opposed to allowing them to rule. Four is what every female loves in a hero: dark, handsome, challenging, and intelligent. His backstory is intriguing, and the fact Roth was not afraid to show his vulnerabilities was a definite plus. It's boring to see heros act as the definition of manliness without showing their human sides. I also loved Tris' experience with the other initiates who've chosen to become Dauntless, Will and Christina were awesome. Al, pretty heartbreaking, and Eric, the young Dauntless Leader, depraved.
I'll admit that (and this is after having devoured The Hunger Games, and might not even be fair) that Divergent seemed a bit tame in comparison to dystopias that I've enjoyed in the past. It does become more brash as it moves forward, action packed, and tear worthy as it all gets real at the end. I think, as much as I adored Tris and Four together, their romance may have come too early in the narrative. As romantic as I am, I'll admit that it might have downgraded my experience with reading Divergent. I love dystopian novels that make the situation presenting the society as a whole of somewhat greater importance than romance, to an extent; feeding us romantic bits in subtle but profound ways. I wish that they had encountered more challenge with each other, and perhaps their love delayed a bit until closer to the end, but it, nevertheless, is still a great story.
Divergent was a thrilling ride that I literally inhaled. It's definitely an addictive read that will make readers move right through it. I'm looking forward to reading Insurgent, it's highly anticipated sequel, to see how it all develops, and where I stand with this series.
I give Divergent by Veronica Roth 4 out of 5 cups of Earl Grey.