Author: Veronica Roth
Genre: YA Dystopian
Morality Rating: PG-13
Readability Rating: 3 stars
Buy it: Amazon
Divergent Book Summary
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.
This super-famous dystopian book was an enjoyable read, but after reading truly stand-out dystopian novels like World War Z, The Maze Runner, and The Woodlands, I thought this book felt a little been-there, done-that.
Plot: I liked where the plot for Divergent was going at the start. The idea of factions interested me, and I wanted to learn more about how they worked together and operated. The book started to move away from that before I was ready- but overall, I was happy with the plot from the first book.
Characters: I was a little disappointed in the characters from this story. I love Beatrice (I’ll always love an angry, sullen heroin), but the others lacked depth. I felt like the interactions were both too shallow, and too intimate at the same time. It reminded me of a TV show.
Setting: The setting for this universe is quite interesting. I like the idea of different political factions separating so forcefully and yet still working together. This, I think, would never happen, but it is interesting to read about none-the-less.
Writing: Divergent is written in the first person, which I am realizing is extremely common for the modern YA book. There is, of course, nothing wrong with that, but it is not my favorite. The only trouble I had with the writing in this book was that it is extremely simple. I had my second-grader read a couple of pages, and she only stumbled on one word (it may have been Beatrice).
This book is a fun, fast read that has plenty of action and some unrealistic romance- just like every good YA book should have. But if you are looking for a book that will blow you away with story, characters, or beautiful writing- this isn’t it.
Oh, and here is the trailer for the movie coming out next month (birthday trip for me!)