Saturday, May 28, 2011


by Veronica Roth, will get it's hooks into you and not let go until the very end. Don't be scared off by the 487 pages, you will probably read this in a few days like I just did. Admittedly, I have not read very many of the dystopian novels that have been coming out for teens in the last few years, so I don't have much to compare Divergent too.

However I was completely captivated by Beatrice's story in a future war-torn Chicago. Society is now divided into five factions, each dedicated to fully being a particular virtue. Candor is honesty, Abnegation is selflessness (Beatrice and her family belong to this faction), Dauntless is bravery, Amity is peacefulness and Erudite is intelligence. Each faction is responsible for particular jobs in society, for example Abnegation runs the government as society because they won't be corrupt if they are selfless. Factions are recognized by their particular clothing and hairstyle, so Dauntless is known for their multiple piercings and tattoos.

The novel opens the day before Beatrice is tested to determine which faction she is best suited for. Her test shows that she does not belong to one faction, she can belong to several. This is called a "divergent" and Beatrice is warned by her tester not to share this information with anyone. Now she is even more confused by what she should do and who she is. If the faction that you choose is different than your family, you will never associate with them again. At the choosing ceremony, Beatrice surprises everyone including herself with her choice.

Beatrice renames herself Tris, during the highly competitive and brutal initiation that follows. She struggles to learn who are her friends and if anyone around her is also a divergent. She must hide her divergent identity so as not to be found out and killed. One of her trainers seems to assist her at times, and other times work against her. As the initiation continues, there are growing conflicts between the factions in the outside world, that may unravel the supposed perfect society. All of these pressures confuse and frustrate Tris as she must learn to survive her faction and become an adult.

I don't want to share anymore of the plot in case I give too much away. I will, however, share my favourite line in the book: "...I never thought I would need bravery for the small moments of my life. I do." This book had me gasping out loud with its surprising twists and turns. Divergent is the first book in the series and I wish I could read the next one right now! This as a great summer read for older teens and adults. Check out the book trailer below. - Bronwyn

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