By: Veronica Roth
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books (HarperCollins)
Publication Date: May 2011
Reviewed by: Amy Lignor
Review Date: May 24, 2011
This YA masterpiece from this brand new author has already been seen in entertainment magazines across the land. Yes…this IS the next big thing. Being billed as the best YA to hit the shelves since The Hunger Games began, Divergent is a tantalizing, adventurous story set in Dystopian Chicago.
When readers begin, we are introduced to an odd “new world” where Sears Tower is now called the “Hub,” and everywhere you look there are railways with trains racing across, over, and under the city. One part of the city is referred to as ‘factionless;’ this is where poor people live. Like the slums, the ‘factionless’ community try with all their might to get ahead in life, but they are the garbage men and normal workers of Dystopian Chicago who work hard just to be able to buy food and clothing…sound familiar? There is also a huge perimeter fence around Chicago that supposedly protects its citizens from any and all intruders.
The world has turned. The human populace has been torn apart. So, now, the world is split up into factions. One faction are the people who represent knowledge - Erudite; one are the peaceful faction - Amity; one are the brave - Dauntless; one are the honest - Candor; and, the last faction are the selfless - Abnegation. Each faction represents a certain society and, of course, they don’t get along politically, socially…again, familiar.
Our main character’s name is Beatrice. She and her family are part of the Abnegation faction, and live their lives selflessly. Unfortunately for Beatrice, she’s not as selfless as the rest. This is the day of her aptitude test - a test that is given to all sixteen-year-olds so that they can choose what faction they want to spend the rest of their lives in. Through circumstances, Beatrice becomes a part of Dauntless - the big, strong warriors. Not only does she have to leave her family behind, but she also has to be initiated.
From jumping off moving trains onto buildings, to throwing herself down a hole and hoping there’s a net to catch her, Beatrice (now Tris) has to deal with many, many harmful things in order to pass the Dauntless initiation and become a member of the Dauntless family. As things go forward, Tris begins to learn about very “odd” secretive things going on between the factions, and also finds herself falling in love with one of her instructors who goes by the name of Four.
When Tris uncovers a plan that will hurt a great many people - that is literally the epitome of brains using brawn to kill - Tris must find a way to save society…without ending up dead.
There is SO much to tell readers about this book that it is virtually impossible to go into each and every fantastic theme and plot this author has put together. Suffice to say, this is no ordinary novel. Being the first book in this Divergent Trilogy, readers will be begging for the next in the series.
Quill Says: Perfect! And what does Divergent mean? You most DEFINITELY have to read the book to find out!