Published: April 25, 2011
Genre: Fiction, Young Adult, Dystopian
My Rating: 5/5
Summary (from chapters.ca):
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.
'Faction before blood.' This is something that everyone learns when they are growing up... your family comes second. If you were placed in this situation, what would you do? How would you look your parents in the eye and make a choice you know will hurt them?
I would be insane not to start this review with a huge, gigantic, overwhelming - OMG, BEST BOOK EVER - fangirl moment! That said, I can not continue!
How is it possible that this is a debut novel for Veronica Roth? Her skill at story-telling is by far one of the smoothest I have read in a long time. The way she builds the characters and the relationships throughout the story allowed for me to feel as though this was a world that existed beyond the pages of the book. I am truly amazed.
As for the story... WOW! Having heard the hype surrounding Divergent (as Insurgent neared release) I was hesitant as I have been disappointed before but not this time. Beatrice (Tris) is a wonderful main character and she embodies everything that I look for in a heroine. She is strong, she is selfless, she is smart, she is... Divergent. Throwing in a great mix of supporting characters and a tangled love story, Divergent really is a book that hits every note bang on.
I also loved the uniqueness (is that a word) of the Factions. In fact, I found myself wondering which faction I would choose if I had to. After sadly believing that I could actually be Factionless, I realized that I belong in the Amity camp... not the coolest but definitely fitting for me. Being able to truly examine ones character and see yourself in a specific camp for life would be near impossible, however through skilled writing, Veronica Roth really makes me wonder what it would be like.
Overall, Divergent will have you sitting on the edge of your seat throughout the entire novel and when you are done reading, it will stay with you for weeks afterwards. In fact, I recommend picking up Insurgent before even starting because really, you'll be reading them back-to-back! Phenomenal!!