Katherine Tegen Books, 496 pages
"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. During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles to determine who her friends really are—and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes infuriating boy fits into the life she's chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she's kept hidden from everyone because she's been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers a growing conflict that threatens to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves… or it might destroy her."
I heard about Divergent first and foremost because it was a dystopian book. After reading The Hunger Games I've sort of been hooked on any dystopian or post-apocalyptic novel. Not to mention the gorgeous cover! This book is the first in a trilogy and just recently, I discovered the second title was released by Veronica Roth on her own blog that book two will be called, Insurgent. I'll be impatiently waiting for the actual release until then!
In case you aren't particularly familiar with dystopian books, (or The Hunger Games--which for that matter, get out and read them, pronto!) dystopian books are set in a post-apocalyptic world where society controls how the city is run to maintain order and prevent corruption. Divergent is very much like the typical dystopian novel, except when you're sixteen you have a choice. This choice revolves around deciding which of the five factions best fits your values and lifestyle. For some, the choice is simple, but for those such as Beatrice, it's one of the toughest.
Beatrice was my favorite character in this novel. At the beginning of the book she can't make up her mind, she's afraid, unsure of her own identity, and torn between pleasing her family or pleasing herself. The reason she was my favorite character is because of the journey the reader takes along with her as she grows into a completely different person from where she began. At this point in time, teens can easily relate to the changes Beatrice goes through.
After the choosing ceremony, where sixteen-year-olds decide on which faction they want to belong in, everyone separates off. When Beatrice does make this choice, everything is put into perspective. Shortly after this, there is an initiation process that all new members must par-take in. For some, they will make the cut, while others won't and will be left faction-less with a low ended job or no job at all. During this initiation process is when Beatrice changes her name to Tris, thus giving her a new identity. I especially love this part because it truly shows how she plans to start a new life as a different person and put everything that has always mattered most behind her.
Another one of my favorite characters was Four, and yes, there is a specific reason to why his name is Four, but I guess you'll have to read the book to find out! Four is a very mysterious character and that's probably one of the main reasons as to why I like him so much. He is definitely attractive and plays a big part later on.
Although I did love Divergent, I felt that there were a few parts where everything didn't flow as smoothly. The writing wasn't necessarily forced, but at the end, I especially noticed that the plot was a little rushed in the process.
On a better note, I had a hard time putting this book down and can hardly wait for Insurgent to come out!
Rating: 5 stars - I loved it! Buy a copy!