Recollections: Reviews by a Book Lover



Review: Divergent

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Divergent

By Veronica Roth

So I feel a little behind on this one.  Its sequel, Insurgent, came out in May, and I’ve been meaning to read Divergent I just haven’t gotten around to it until now.  I’ve heard a lot of good things about the book; including the YA librarians in the system I temp at saying they can see it being the next big thing.

Ok so Divergent is a dystopia (not sure if it’s obvious yet but I like dystopias).  In this future world there are 5 factions.  When you turn 16 you take an aptitude test which determines which faction you would fit best in, but it’s your choice during the Choosing Ceremony to pick the faction you will spend the rest of your life in.  Oh and there are also the faction-less who do not belong to any faction, so they are basically poor due to this status.  The five factions each have a specific trait they believe is most important.  Dauntless – brave; Abnegation-selfless; Candor – honest; Erudite – knowledge; Amity – kind.  Beatrice, our main character, was born in Abnegation but she never felt as though she was any good at putting others first.  When she takes her aptitude test, her test results are inconclusive and she is told she is Divergent.  She is warned that being Divergent is a dangerous thing and not to tell anyone.  Her test results were deleted and manually replaced so no one will know the truth.

Beatrice chooses Dauntless, and so we follow her initiation into the Dauntless faction.  Initiation does not prove to be easy nor does having to leave her family behind.  We also see Tris (the name she takes when she chooses Dauntless) discover what it means to be Divergent.

Overall I really enjoyed Divergent and I’m looking forward to Insurgent.   I like the future world and the idea of there being factions.  And as is obvious people cannot live believing in one sole idea, and many of the traits are important for everyone to possess.  Nor are any of the traits truly separate from one another, many go hand in hand.  Being selfless requires bravery, being honest requires a form of bravery, being selfless is a form of kindness, etc.   They all play-off of each other.  Tris is special because she is Divergent.  Being Divergent is dangerous because it means being free.  When you think with a mind that can be all things you cannot be so easily controlled because your beliefs are many.  I think I like this idea so much because history has taught us how important it is to be open minded.  People are complex and they do things for a variety of reasons, and keeping yourself in a narrow mindset is dangerous.

I forgot to mention there is a love interest in the story, Four.  He makes for a good love interest so those who enjoy romance mixed in will be satisfied.  There are also characters you will hate, and others you will love.  Be warned though this novel mixes in its high moments of triumph with its fair share of sad moments.

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