Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Release Date: May 3, 2011
Source of my copy: publisher
Series: Divergent series #1
Synopsis (from Goodreads)
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.
The synopsis does an good job at giving just enough of what the story is about without giving any spoilers so I'm not going to reiterate the story again. I'll just talk about what I like most about this book and my other thoughts about it. Okay, so first what I like best and that is the romance aspect. It wasn't a central theme in the book which I found refreshing but I just love how the romantic relationship between Tris and Four, one of the Dauntless instructors for the initiates, developed. It wasn't a love at first sight, insta-love. It was gradual borne by mutual respect and admiration and friendship. The world building was well done as well. The different factions reminded me of the different houses (Gryffindor, Slytherin, etc.) in Hogwarts. The faction politics was interesting and I'm eager to see what will happen next because a huge crack has been made in the seemingly comfortable society where everyone was segregated according to the virtue they most value.
Divergent is similar to the Hunger Games series by all the action-filled scenes and dangerous (sometimes bloody) situations Tris and the other Dauntless initiates find themselves in as they fight to be in the top ten (only the best will be welcome in Dauntless--others will be cast out and become factionless or the outcasts of the society). There's more action still at the climax of the book when chaos ensues and one must kill or be killed. But between the action scenes were shocking and heartbreaking scenes. Unfortunately, I wasn't as emotionally invested in the story as I would have liked. For example, there was a big emotional scene toward the end between Tris and her mom and usually I would be bawling or have a huge lump in my throat but while I was sad I felt a sense of disconnect. The same goes for the other emotional scenes in the book. That may be because while I liked Tris and other characters in this book I couldn't care about them as much as I would like.
Ever since the Hunger Games series I have been looking for another dystopian that will make my heart pound with non-stop action and danger, has heart-melting romance and great world building. I have found that in Divergent. Although I was a little disconnected from the characters I thought it an excellent start to what is going to be an addicting dystopian series. I am excited for the next book in the series. 4 out of 5 stars