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.
I’m skipping giving the synopsis because telling more about the story than I have already done with the blurb above, would be giving away spoilers that would ruin the complete first part of the book for you. And that would be a huge waste.
I stayed away from the divergent series, same as I have with the Mortal Instrument series because I felt like I had plunged myself into enough YA series for a while after having read the Selection, Starcrossed, Beautiful Creatures and the first few books of Percy Jackson. However, I couldn’t very well keep on ignoring it when Hank Green was waving it around in his last videoblog (F yea Nerdfighters!). So, I got an Sample of the first couple of chapters to see if it was any good. When I reached the end of the sample, I immediately bought the entire book. I was very glad that Amazon Kindle Store only asked $6 for it because I think I would have bought it regardless of the price.
Divergent is one of those series that swallow you up and drags you away when you start reading. It doesn’t do any good to fight the current, you know you’re going to have to move along with it if you want to get out alive. I started reading Divergent somewhere on Friday night and finished reading it Saturday night. After that, I took a day of deliberating before acquiring Insurgent (the sequel), which I’m now close to finishing. After that, I have no doubt I will read the third book even faster. Wait, what? It’s not out yet? Dammit!
In some ways the series is very similar with the Hunger games, not in story but in build-up. The first book is all about getting to know the characters and the world they live in. I have to say that I am very intrigued with the world that Roth created. A long while back, when I first started this blog, I wrote a post about my love for creativity. Especially when a writer has something in the story that is different for everyone, if that makes sense. Like, in the Hunger Games you have the Arena’s that change every year, in Harry Potter you have the Patronusses that are different for everyone. Even in Twilight some vampires have different ‘powers’. Divergent made me very happy in that aspect because not only did it have the different factions, but through the course of the story Roth also gives insight in the different factions. What are their initiation processes, how are they dressed, how do they act and so forth. I always enjoy thinking of things like ‘what faction would I be in?’ The answer to that question would be Amity. Things like that always make me want to read the book more.
Other than that, the storyline was very captivating. As with Katniss, Tris is a very strong and independent woman. But, unlike Katniss, she doesn’t know it yet. It is fun to see her grow and develop but what I like about this is that later in the story (I will talk more about this in the Insurgent review) we are reminded that she is in fact a 16-year-old-girl. I think it’s more realistic, if that makes sense.
Anywho, like I said the story and its characters are very captivating. I fell a little bit in love with Al, I must say. Which made me sad in the end. I also really liked Christina and Uriah. Argh it’s hard to not say things about what happened in Insurgent rather than in Divergent.
If I have to name one negative, it’s that the series is a tad predictable. Of course, the rebellion theme is popular right now and although Roth has created a very interesting world, I wasn’t awed with the originality of it (apart from the factions bit). Also, it helps when you don’t know what the word ‘Divergent’ means. I didn’t, and I must say that it makes the book a bit more mysterious. Once you know the meaning of the word, you know what’s going to happen. Other than that, it was sometimes painfully obvious what was going to happen with certain characters. Al, Four, I’m looking at you two.
But I did enjoy reading it very much and therefore I rate this book a 4 out of 5. I recommend this book if you enjoy dystiopian YA series á la the Hunger Games. It’s fast paced and it keeps you interested. It also leaves you wanting more.
Speaking of, I’m going to go back to reading Insurgent now. Cya.