Rating: 5 stars
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.
I loved Divergent. Everything about it was wonderful and I couldn’t put it down. I find that so many Dystopian books have authors trying to establish so many details in a small number of pages in order to show that the world they’ve created is much different from all of the other Dystopian books out there. On top of that, the plot has to progress at a decent pace but still have a lot of action with some sort of romantic aspect to tie everything together in a nice and neat little bow. Veronica Roth did all of this with such a graceful ease that I am in absolute awe.
The characters were excellent. I thought Tris was a great character. She was strong and determined, but she was not perfect. She had her obvious flaws, which I think made her more likeable because no one wants a perfect protagonist. It makes any story boring and predictable. Four was wonderful. I adore every single thing about Four and could probably go on for days about my love for him. As for the other characters, I find that each one brought something special of their own. No one was the same and many have stories to be discovered in the next two books. And the villains. Oh, the villains. They were crazy and I loved every second of it (even though I totally had the urge to knock them on the back of the head with a frying pan).
My one (very small) issue with the book is the aspect of the five factions. In theory it seems like a decent idea, but the fact that all the issues of the world can be blamed on only five problems is pushing it just a tad. There are too many people out there with too many opinions who have a burning need to be right that makes this idea of five factions a little off. It’s a far stretch to have people living their lives by following one specific idea with these ultimate one-track minds.
Besides that, the story was great and despite the fact that I was spoiled on the big thing that happens in Allegiant long before I decided to pick up Divergent, I still have every intention of one day finishing the trilogy because I’m excited to see how things turn out.