Author: Veronica Roth
Provided Synopsis: 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.
Review: My inclusion into the faction of Divergent-lovers began slowly. When I first started this book I felt as if there was something that I was missing. This series has been so favorably heralded that I was expecting pure genius from it, and in the beginning that seemed to be lacking. But I should never doubt a great author, and let’s face it — Veronica Roth is a great author.
The book is set up slowly, introducing us to this dystopian world in Chicago of Roth’s own making. There are five factions that civilians might live in, all of which pertain to a certain value above the others. Our protagonist, Beatrice, was born into the faction that values selflessness, but for all of her life she has struggled to be as selfless as those around her. Beatrice is destined for more; she learns of this when she takes her aptitude test at age 16, which determines the factions that a child is best suited for and then allows the child to make their choice. Beatrice’s choice changes everything. What follows is a story that I could not put down.
Veronica Roth had got me. She had recruited me to her faction.
Besides being such an interesting take on dystopian YA fiction, I extremely enjoyed the character of Beatrice. Her growth from the beginning of the book to the end is fantastic. She has to learn who her friends are and where her loyalties align; she has to discover who is is, personally, along with the threat that she lends to her world. She makes mistakes, and she learns from them. There is romance, of course, since this is a YA novel, but it was so well done and so appropriate for the tone and feel of the book that I had no qualms with it. I have embraced everything about this series and now look forward to getting my hands on book number two, since like all good stories, this one ends at a cliffhanger that mingles our allies with our enemies on a road to which there is no foreseeable end.