In a world that has been destroyed by the human nature of greed, ignorance, and cowardice, a new society has emerged. In dystopian Chicago, society is split into five factions that each uphold and live by a single value. The Abnegation are the selfless, the Erudite are the intelligent, the Candor are the honest, the Amity are the peaceful, and the Dauntless faction are the brave. At the age of sixteen, every person is given an aptitude test, which determines the faction that he or she is most suited for. The next day, at the Choosing Ceremony, each person must decide which faction they will reside in for the rest of their lives, under the saying, “Faction Before Blood.”
Born into an Abnegation family, Beatrice “Tris” Prior has lived her life striving to act selfless like her parents. Her aptitude is considered to be inconclusive, because her results show that she displays dominant traits in three factions instead of one: Erudite, Abnegation, and Dauntless. This condition is called Divergent and it is revealed to be extremely dangerous. On Choosing Day, Beatrice follows her heart and abandons her family by choosing Dauntless. With only ten spots available and many more initiates, Beatrice must survive a ruthless initiation trial. Along the way, however, she has to cope with her life-threatening secret. Beatrice discovers what it truly means to be yourself, face your fears, and ultimately be Divergent.
Divergent, written by Veronica Roth is the first book in a trilogy. It was a great read, and I was surprised at how much I actually enjoyed the book. There are times when the author makes Beatrice look a little cold and selfish, and you can see why Abnegation didn’t suit her. But then the next minute, she is putting herself in danger and risking her life for someone else! As she fights for her life to stay in the competition for only ten initiates, I couldn’t help but sympathize and root for her. She learns a lot throughout the book, such as the real meaning of bravery, friendship, and just being yourself. In addition, the novel made me appreciate the world we live in now, unlike Beatrice’s strict society which is ruled by a totalitarian government.
I would rate Divergent a 9.5 out of 10. It’s just one of those novels which keep you in suspense and on-the-edge-of-your-seat constantly. I wholeheartedly recommend this book to anyone over the age of twelve who loves action, a little romance, many twists to the plot, and lots of adventure. If anyone is wondering, the second book in the series, Insurgent, was published in 2012, and the last book will hopefully be out in the Fall of 2013. Divergent will surely have you craving for more, and I am eagerly anticipating the last book!
– Kaylie W., 8th grade