Genres: Young adult, dystopia, science-fiction.
In Beatrice Prior’s dystopian Chicago, 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.
First of all, this is hands down one of the most beautiful, eye-catching book covers that I have ever seen. I love the dramatic fireball, the striking title, and the captivating, haunting landscape. It’s even more beautiful in person. It’s SHINY!
Divergent is addictive from the very first page. I was so annoyed when I began reading it on the train and then had to get off because it was my stop. I just didn’t want to stop reading. And, on the way home, I nearly missed my stop because I was so immersed in the storyline. I’ve spent all weekend reading it and I can understand why it has received so many positive remarks, excitement and hype.
I found Beatrice to be an extremely likeable character who is instrumental in demonstrating to us just why free will is worth fighting for. The dystopian Chicago was believable and thoroughly interesting. You know that the world-building is great when you want to know everything about it – the history, the cause, life in other factions. As in many YA dystopia novels, there’s a love interest – Four. Four is an extremely attractive and unreadable bad boy who has a cryptic past. It’s easy to see why he’s a favourite character amongst Divergent fans. However, what I found interesting is that the romance is not the main focus of the storyline; it does not revolve around overemotional relationships, but is about the brewing conflicts between factions.
There was less action than I thought there would be but there was still plenty of it and it was exciting, violent and grim. It made me realise that I’d never be able to choose Dauntless and that I’m not selfless enough to choose Abnegation. I’d most likely choose between Erudite (unsurprisingly! They do love their books) or Amity (although I really wanted to find out more about them – perhaps in the sequels?). Nonetheless, the balance between events was done very well. They were neither too drawn out nor too fast-paced to develop properly. Divergent is not completely unique within dystopian literature; I felt comfortable reading it – certain aspects were very familiar to me, but it was distinctive enough to ensure that it always kept me on edge.
What is incredible, to me, is that Veronica Roth is the same age as me – 22. Divergent is perfect for those feeling empty after the end of The Hunger Games trilogy and the film rights have already been snapped up, which I am very excited about. The sequel is out next year. Roll on 2012 and 2013!
My Rating: ★★★★★