Divergent by Veronica Roth
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
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.
Debut author Veronica Roth bursts onto the literary scene with the first book in the Divergent series—dystopian thrillers filled with electrifying decisions, heartbreaking betrayals, stunning consequences, and unexpected romance.
Hands down, best book I've read in 2011 (and I don't say that lightly, considering how much I REALLY liked I Am Number Four!). Not since The Hunger Games, have I been compelled to turn the pages so fast, yet not want a book to come to an end.
Beatrice, or Tris as she later goes by, is one of the strongest female heroines I've read in a long time (especially amongst YA titles) - but she didn't start out that way, and she definitely had her flaws. Small in stature, not nearly as strong as the others, she more than once get's her ass handed to her. But from each loss, she gains, increasing her strength and resilience and ultimately in the end, with similar Katniss-like qualities, emerges into this fearless, brave, stubborn, and often times funny, heroine. It was a literary pleasure to watch her character unfold before me.
Four (Tobias): for some reason they left his name out of the GR's summary above. Four is Tris's instructor, upon arriving at her faction of choice, and eventually develops into something much, much more. Bad-ass, yet courageous, his mannerisms are spot on for an 18-year-old...and know when I love him one minute, hate him the next, then love him all over again, Ms. Roth has done a good job of writing his character. Believe me when I say, he has now moved into my #1 absolute favorite male lead position, easily wiping out the competition. Jace? Edward? Damon? Peeta? Nope...Four.
Gripping and intense, I clung to the pages - I even sometimes had to go as far as hiding the next page with my hand, so my eyes wouldn't skip forward to see when Four was coming back into the scene, who's name was where on certain lists, and so on. And then things would slow down with the softer moments between Tris and Four...man, I haven't felt my pulse flutter that way since I was a teenager myself. Yes, that good.
For Veronica Roth's breakthrough novel, I can only say, this was an excellent, excellent, read. If you liked The Hunger Games, you won't be disappointed by Divergent. A must read, without a doubt.
View all my reviews
Divergent by Veronica Roth