Author: Veronica Roth
Publisher/Year: Harper Collins 2/28/12
Length: 576 pages
Series: Divergent #1
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 2nd (or maybe 3rd pass at this point, i have one thing to say and don’t hate me for my social speak #LOVEIT!. i’ve decided that since Allegiant is due out in 1 week’s time, i owed it to myself to re-read the first books so that i’m fully up to speed on who’s alive, who we like, who we hate etc. Well, whatever i thought of Divergent before, i love it more now.
We are taken on a ‘soul finding’ journey in a sense where Tris, our leading female is 16 – coming of age and has to make the decision of whether she’s going to take the safe path as stay in her family’s faction – Abegnation and live a boring yet safe life, or if she’s going to take a risk, and change EVERYTHING that she knows and transfer. It’s not surprising the Tris has decided to transfer to Dauntless no less, and well, we see that she hits her stride during initiation.
she finds that she’s much stronger than she thought, and she breaks out of her shell quickly. Along her journey, she makes actual friends in her fellow initiates, Christina, Uriah, and a few others. She also begins to feel an attraction to someone else, when she gets a sense from Four (Tobias) that there’s maybe more to the trainer / trainee relationship.
What i love here is that not only do we get the complex story of a teen having to choose her life’s path, but we get to see that evolve, and then we get to see the greater picture of what’s happening in society and who’s pulling the strings.
Where this first installment leaves us off is a GREAT bit of a cliffhanger. We see that there are evil intentions all around, and that Dauntless is a pawn in this. We see that folks that are supposed to be the good guys really are the puppeteers, and that’s going to play out nicely i’m guessing in the final installments.
Good news is that i have Insurgent already so i can dive into it tonight, bad news is that i’m sure i’ll finish it before Monday night so that will leave me feeling a bit empty until 10/22/13 comes around.