My rating: ★★★★★
Divergent opens as Beatrice Prior prepares to decide her future, and is a whirlwind ride from that choice on. Beatrice lives in a futuristic, dystopian world in which people are divided into one of five factions: Abnegation, Amity, Candor, Erudite, and Dauntless. Beatrice was born into Abnegation, but when teenagers turn 16, they are given the choice to remain in their current faction or transfer to a new one. Both Beatrice and her brother Caleb find themselves torn between remaining selfless in Abnegation, or following their hearts elsewhere. Luckily, each 16 year old is given a test to determine which faction they really belong in. Beatrice finds herself inexplicably drawn to Dauntless, the daring, black cloaked people jumping to and from trains. However when her tests come back inconclusive, Beatrice is forced to choose on her own which faction is for her, and how to hide the secrets that come with that.
I have to admit that it took me much longer to get into Divergent than it took most of my friends. I actually put it down for months before really delving into it. BUT ONCE I DID. I couldn’t bring myself to put it down. It pained me to reach my stop on the train in the morning because it meant putting it away for hours. I loved Beatrice: she continued to surprise me all the way through the book, whether by choosing Dauntless, or being the first jumper, or being endlessly clever through everything she went through. Four was really interesting to me too, with all his brooding, and I’m excited to see what becomes of him in Insurgent. And Caleb and Christina. And everyone!
I gave this book five stars because it got me hooked and refused to let me go. I cannot wait to get the next two and see where the train takes Tris next. I was reluctant to start because I didn’t think it would compare to The Hunger Game, and it was completely different: Roth definitely puts her own spin on the dystopian Chicago. I also couldn’t believe it when I learned that Roth was only TWENTY THREE when she wrote Divergent! That’s practically my age! It makes it all the more interesting that a couple reviews I saw said that Divergent was unrealistic because it forced 16 year olds to decide what to do with the rest of their lives. Isn’t that what we as a society ask students to do now?
“People, I have discovered, are layers and layers of secrets. You believe you know them, that you understand them, but their motives are always hidden from you, buried in their own hearts. You will never know them, but sometimes you decide to trust them.”
“Cruelty does not make a person dishonest, the same way bravery does not make a person kind.”
“Sometimes, the best way to help someone is just to be near them.”