Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Divergent, Veronica Roth (4.5 stars)

From Amazon: 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.

Debut author Veronica Roth bursts onto the YA scene with the first book in the Divergent series—dystopian thrillers filled with electrifying decisions, heartbreaking betrayals, stunning consequences, and unexpected romance.


Can you imagine taking a test that determines your place in society, a determination that can never change? Oh, and did I mention the test is given when you are only 16.

Thus is the case in Veronica Roth’s dystopian world, a world divided into five factions. During their sixteenth year, each child must choose their faction: Candor, Abnegation, Dauntless, Amity, or Erudite. Just before their public declaration, they are given a test to help them determine their place in life. Unfortunately for Beatrice, her test is murky and might just put her in danger. She’s rare… she’s Divergent.

At the ceremony, Beatrice chooses Dauntless, which means leaving behind her mother and father, who raised her to be Abnegation, and her brother, Caleb, who chooses Erudite. When you choose a different faction other than the one you grew up in, you leave your family behind.

Through a series of tests and challenges as a new Dauntless member, Beatrice finds out more about her Divergent nature and discovers her own strength. Renamed Tris, she bonds with the other newbies while distinguishing between friend and foe. She also finds herself drawn to Four, a mentor to the new class.

Nothing is as it seems. Twists and turns abound, and the author does an excellent job keeping the reader engaged while slowly revealing the next intriguing plot point. By the end, you’ll be heading to the bookstore/online to buy Insurgent, book two.

A fast-paced, yet emotional, ride sure to please even the pickiest fan of the young adult genre.

Note: My book had a great bonus material section with a faction quiz, corresponding results, and manifestos for each faction. Fascinating.

Rating: 4.5 stars (Rounded up to 5 on GoodReads and Amazon)

This book counts as book two of my 2012 Book Blogger Recommendation Challenge. Eight more books to go and just over 3 months of reading time. I need to get my butt in gear!