This review includes spoilers
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, Tris also learns that her secret might help her save the ones she loves . . . or it might destroy her.
great & flawed characters, addictive, predictable at times, fast-paced, entertaining, many layers to the story.
My Rating: 4/5
Genre: YA, Sci-Fi; Dystopia
Published: April 25 2011
Characters discussed: Beatrice (Tris), Four, Christina, Will
I love this book, but I’m trying figure out why I love it so much and I’m lost for words. It’s strange. I want to give this 5 stars purely based on the mystery that is Four but with a 5 star book-I’d want to read it again and again. I wouldn’t do that with this one, I’d skim through the good parts. It’s not a book that makes much sense-in terms of the world building. I understand that they have certain beliefs that they think benefit the people.
Even though the world didn’t make much sense and I didn’t understand how people could commit to these lifestyles. I accepted it for the sake of this story. As you read on, you learn that the divergent are suitable for multiple factions which must mean that these fictional people have different brain functions to people in real life (we are all Divergent). For that reason it makes sense that they are able to live in factions. But then again this is supposed to be based in the future. So it makes no sense.
You also learn from Four that the reasons behind formulating the factions have been forgotten and only certain practices are being followed. New customs were invented recently by people who do not understand what Dauntless is about (Dauntless are more abusive than brave, they don’t know how to be brave because bravery comes from selflessness; as Four stated. Selflessness is Abnegation).
Four: Loved this character. I loved his maturity and his gender was evident- purely masculine and it was refreshing to read about him. If I was Tris’s age, I’d be intimidated by Four. He seemed like he was self-sufficient and in his presence-I’d feel like a child, no wonder Tris seemed childish. But Four doesn’t know how to be young. He was intense, as he should be. He has had a tough life. His mother died and he was raised by an abusive father. I’m actually surprised he’s not more emotionally closed off. I think he was quick to tell Tris he liked her especially because of the environment he was raised in. It seemed to me that Abnegation aren’t the type of people to have relationships outside of marriage. I don’t know why, but that’s what I think a ‘stiff’ to be.
Tris: Is likeable. Within the beginning chapters when Tris finds out that she is Divergent, I remember being excited. It reminded me of movies from my childhood which included the protagonist having some special ability and they’re on an exciting journey of self discovery. I couldn’t stop reading. Before I knew it, I was in the initiation stage of the book. This is the part where I felt I could relate to Tris. Her special ability wouldn’t help her in a fight and I love that. I would have felt so hopeless if she was able to remain physically unharmed due to her ability. I know how terrible it sounds but it’s only a story and the more realistic a story is the more I love it because in real life we are supposed to experience difficulties. These are the moments that define us. The more we experience tough situations the less fearful we remain of going through them again. Or the fear remains but we know we can get through it.
Christina: Did not like her, but I think that was the point. Good character but not a great friend to Tris. Her jealousy and inability to appreciate Tris’s skills – made Tris a likeable character.
Will: He was nice to Tris, that’s why I think I liked him otherwise he’d be irrelevant. Didn’t make much of a impact. Much like the other secondary characters, I forgot who was who. But I understood there were the transfers and the original dauntless kids. I liked that Tris was able be herself with the dauntless kids; they didn’t make her feel incompetent and she didn’t fear that they’d be jealous of her.
Veronica Roth is great at writing great realistic characters, that complement each other. That is why I loved reading this book.
I hope this was helpful. Feel free to leave a comment below and let me know what you thought of the book. Thanks for reading 🙂