Beatrice lives in a world divided by factions which hold certain traits of character highly – there’s Abegnation (selflessness), Amnity (peace), Dauntless (courage), Erudite (knowledge) and Candor (honesty). When you are 16, you are subject to a test determining which faction you should be in for life, although you still have the final choice in the Choosing Ceremony, which tends to be the one you grew up in. Beatrice’s results, however, are unusual – dangerous, even – she is labelled Divergent, as she fits into more than one faction.
Divergent sat in my To Be Read pile for months before I finally picked it up. Why? I assumed it couldn’t possibly be as mindblowingly amazing as everyone was making out, and didn’t want to be disappointed by yet another book. Thankfully, I was wrong - it is as brilliant as everyone is making out!
Sure, there are a number of gripes I had with Divergent – although Tris was fairly likable, it really put me off her character towards the end when deaths hardly affect her. Roth is much more of a storyteller than a writer, a la J.K. Rowling, which isn’t a bad thing, but if we had some nice prose instead of dull description I might be tempted to give Divergent the extra half star; however, it does mean that the pages fly by, even if closing on five hundred there are perhaps a few too many. Finally, we don’t see an awful lot of world building, and you are left with a lot of questions regarding Tris’ society.
The cover is pretty striking, especially the fireball and the rainbowesque shine that it has and I'm so glad the theme is continued in the next book Insurgent, but I don’t like the couple on the bottom, who look very photoshopped in, and I notice that they wisely aren’t on the US cover. There were some nice twists, likeable characters and for once a romance that was actually believable – I don’t want to say much else for fear that I may spoil the book, so I’ll just highly recommend Divergent if you haven’t already discovered it – a fun, gripping novel that I can’t wait to read the sequels to.
[SYNOPSIS: She turns to the future in a world that’s falling apart. For sixteen-year-old Tris, the world changes in a heartbeat when she is forced to make a terrible choice. Turning her back on her family, Tris ventures out, alone, determined to find out where she truly belongs. Shocked by the brutality of her new life, Tris can trust no one. And yet she is drawn to a boy who seems to both threaten and protect her. The hardest choices may yet lie ahead….]