Divergent by Veronica Roth

(Divergent #1)

In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago world, 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 alongside her fellow initiates to live out the choice they have made. Together they must undergo extreme physical tests of endurance and intense psychological simulations, some with devastating consequences. As initiation transforms them all, Tris must determine who her friends really are—and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes exasperating 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 unrest and growing conflict that threaten to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves . . . or it might destroy her.

“Becoming fearless isn't the point. That's impossible. It's learning how to control your fear, and how to be free from it.”

Dystopian is the "in" thing right now, a trend that's taken the reading and movie-going world by storm. That's unlikely to let up any time soon; Divergent cashes in on the trend, creatively conceived but unrealistic. I can't see our world ever dividing into these factions, it doesn't line up nor make sense, but it's a originative conception if you're in the mood for a unique dystopian world.

Told through first person POV, Beatrice never felt altruistic enough to belong to her Abnegation (the selfless) family. The day of graduation sets in the test everyone must take, one which will reveal which faction they are best suited for, leaving them the decision whether to stay or change what they've always grown up in. While testing, Beatrice discovers she's a blend of personality (good in our world, horror in hers). Other factions are Amity (the peaceful), Erudite (the intelligent), Dauntless (the brave) and Candor (the honest).

I won't spoil what her choice was, but I wasn't happy with initially. The arrogance and annoyance of the faction's initiation lasted the duration of the book, a turn-off. I couldn't sympathize with some of the characters, the controlling world pissed me off, it seemed fiercely demented, and rage isn't a trait I like feeling while reading. After awhile it comes to a satisfying conclusion, taking the story in a direction I could finally embrace.

Because of my frustrations with the faction and how long the book stayed there, to some of my irritations with the main character, I was soured on the experience a little. It made up for it eventually, but there's not a lot going on to save it before it comes to that point.

The book shines with its tense action scenes, and although the faction initiation goes on too long, there's violent and politically charged things happening to make up for it. I didn't get the love connection Beatrice feels, it seemed forced and rather generic, not sure why they'd develop such a bond so easily. It didn't hurt my enjoyment of the story, just felt out of place and wasn't something I could invest it.

It's a pretty good story, not amazing, but an okay read and venture into the dystopian world. The ending leaves a mini cliffhanger, of course, and now that the faction has been shaken up some I'm hoping to enjoy the sequel more than the original.


   Book Quotes:

“I have a theory that selflessness and bravery aren't all that different.” 

“A brave man acknowledges the strength of others.” 

   Movie Trailer:

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