Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Publication Date: 5/3/11
Source: Around the World Tours
Of Note: Debut Author Challenge Book #4
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.
Divergent is one big book. Seriously, it clocks in at almost five hundred pages. Yet it moves along at such a pace that I never looked at the book wondering, 'how many more pages', but instead I'd notice how many pages I had left and feel a bit wistful. If I hadn't had to read this book in a week and mail it off, I would have parceled it out a bit, because it's just that good.
I've read a lot of dystopian tales over the last year, and I have to say that Divergent ranks right up there with The Hunger Games for me. I really enjoyed the world building and understanding how the society was set up. It's quite different from other dystopian books I've read, in that society is separated by personality type.
I was also quite glad that the romantic element of this book was not front and center. The romance brings depth to the novel, but it's not the entire story, and I enjoyed that. The last hundred pages of this book went by in a flash, and I got that rare feeling of glee when I realized that this book was not the stand-alone that I'd thought it to be and there are further books in the series.The ending was satisfying, but I can't help but be thrilled that the story will continue on.
I rarely say this, but if you're a fan of young adult literature, or heck, even if you're not, you simply have to pick up Divergent when it goes on sale in early May. You won't regret it!