In Beatrice Prior’s dystopian Chicago world, 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 alongside her fellow initiates to live out the choice they have made. Together they must undergo extreme physical tests of endurance and intense psychological simulations, some with devastating consequences. As initiation transforms them all, Tris must determine who her friends really are–and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes exasperating 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 unrest and growing conflict that threaten to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves . . . or it might destroy her.
What made me want to read this book, this series, was due to the general opinion that Divergent is so much better than The Hunger Games.
I don’t know if I agree.
Please don’t misunderstand me, I loved Divergent. I’m also a very big fan of The Hunger Games. But I don’t think they should be compared. I don’t think they can be. They are dystopian. That’s it. There ends their similarities.
Beatrice, “Tris”, is a bad ass. This is all I could think throughout my experience with this novel. I never thought the same of Katniss. Katniss did what she had to survive. But Tris, she embraced her fate. She chose Dauntless, and she embraced that life. She never succumbed to cowardice. Her attitude adapted to the lifestyle she was living, and she was an awesome character. With Tris, Roth’s talent for character development shocked me. Tris was such a deep character – she constantly expressed this inner monologue that was so righteous. There wasn’t ever a time that something Tris did bugged me, like the case so often is with YA novels. I was always siding with her.
Four was a very easy character to fall in love with. His mysterious outer shell enticed me from the beginning, and I really fell into the novel as his relationship with Tris developed. He strove for the ideals for every faction, and I think he succeeded. He said he wasn’t kind, but he really was. Four is a good man.
I especially appreciated this novel for its setting. Roth’s imagination stretches far and wide throughout this novel, as the factions stay true to her vision of them and no questions are left unanswered. Though this novel was dark in nature (what kind of dystopian would it be if it wasn’t?), I found myself relating to its world and its characters. It didn’t seem far-fetched to me, this could really happen. And in this series, it does.
I was afraid for the ending – I have no respect for novels that end abruptly only for the sake of a cliff-hanger – but Roth closed it nicely, while still leaving it open for the next book, Insurgent. Which I will be jumping into immediately.