Divergent by Veronica Roth
US Release Date: May 3rd 2011
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Series: Divergent #1
Hardcover, 487 pages
The story is set in a dystopian Chicago where the Michigan lake is no more and a wall surrounds it. The city is now divided into five factions, each one representing a quality believed to eradicate evil : Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful) and Erudite (the intelligent), each contributing to a different sector of society. The faction you’re in determines the way you live your life. Beatrice Prior, a sixteen years old girl, is an Abnegation. All her life, she was taught to help others, to be simple and not attract attention to herself, to be selflessness. But she never felt like she fits in that life. At sixteen, each teenagers have to choose the faction they will live the rest of their life after simulation tests that help them decide. Beatrice and her brother, Caleb, are amongst them. But for her, the test takes her on a dangerous ride. All she learns is that she’ll be in real danger if she can’t keep what she learns a secret.
At the ceremony, a new life starts for Beatrice- now Tris, a Dauntless life. The Dauntless faction lives in a dangerous way. They jump from moving trains and live in a dark cavern where a foot at the wrong place and you fall to your death. She’s now an initiate like the other sixteen years old that choose to stay or transfer to Dauntless. I loved her, describing her as strong is an understatement. She’s brave, curious and hates to show weakness. She made me think of Katniss in The Hunger Games. I loved going through all the experiences of her new life, from the painful to the good ones and see how it changed her. Her new life is so confusing for her because everything is the opposite of what she was born in, she learns what freedom and friendship is. She makes friends like Christina, transferred from Candor who’s funny, friendly, talks a lot and would do anything to defend her loved ones. She also makes enemies. Peter and his gang were infuriating. I profoundly hated them.
Initiation is really serious in Dauntless. All initiates are following a vigorous and painful training and the instructor is Four. He teaches them to use guns and knives, to fight using hand-to-hand combat and to conquer fear. He’s quiet, self-possessed, strict and intelligent (and sexy! => Theo James). I loved how this character was thinking, he has a very realistic and idealistic way to see things about the world he lives in. He made me feel like there was hope in this not-so-perfect world. He would be a great leader. The more you learn about him and the more you understand (and the more he grows on you).
This book gave me so many emotions. I had sweaty palms just thinking about the reckless things Dauntless members do. Being a little scared of heights (like Four!), some scenes were just too much for me like when they’re at the top of the Hancock tower. I felt butterflies in my stomach of a first love at the same time as Tris. I felt anger every time Peter and his gang did something wrong. I felt nervous through all the initiation because anything could happen and I almost cried at one of the scene in the end involving Tris and Tobias (and a gun).
Even if it’s a dystopian, I felt I could relate to many things happening. The society is different, but the problems like corruption, power and jealousy are still the same. It was realistic and is happening right now in our society. Even if it had a lot of violence, there are great values and themes in this book like discovering who you really are, sacrifices, friendship and find who your real friends are, and standing up for what is right and what you believe in. I liked how the Dauntless lives, the sense of fraternity I could feel at the same time as Tris. The setting was beautiful, I think Chicago is one of the most beautiful city in the United States.
I don’t have anything bad to say about this book. This story was fast-paced and fun to read if you can get past some plot holes. It was amazing and I don’t know why I waited this long to read this book. It didn’t need action or battles all the time to keep me at the edge of my seat waiting for what was going to happen next. I can’t wait to read the next one.
There is one mirror in my house.”
We believe in ordinary acts of bravery, in the courage that drives one person to stand up for another.”
“Look where they got us. Human beings as a whole cannot be good for long before the bad creeps back in and poisons us again.”
The Transfer: A Divergent Story (Divergent #0.1) [no review]
The Initiate: A Divergent Story (Divergent #0.2) [no review]
The Son: A Divergent Story (Divergent #0.3) [no review]
The Traitor: A Divergent Story (Divergent #0.4) [no review]
Divergent (Divergent #1)
Free Four: Tobias Tells the Story (Divergent #1.5) [no review]
Insurgent (Divergent #2) [my review]
Allegiant (Divergent#3) [my review]
Veronica Roth is a twenty-two-year-old debut author and a recent graduate of Northwestern University’s creative writing program. While a student, she often chose to work on the story that would become Divergent instead of doing her homework. Now a full-time writer, she lives near Chicago. From HarperCollins.