Divergent by Veronica Roth
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.Published in US: Feb 2012
Series? Yes. 1st. Insurgent (Divergent, #2) released May 1 2012 and Untitled (Divergent, #3) releases Sept 26th 2013
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It didn't take me long to get immersed in Beatrice's story. I felt for her that she didn't exactly fit in and felt she was on the edge of her faction, the people that her family belonged to, the ones that she grew up with. When she takes the test to help her determine her faction, she realizes why. When she chose to leave her faction, I felt for her, but also admired her bravery. I don't know that I could leave everything I knew, and my family for the unknown.
Beatrice, or Tris is kick-butt and I liked watching her really determine what she thought was right and learn to stand up for it. With each trial in front of her, she realized more of her motivations and that she couldn't be boiled down to just one word, one character trait.
I appreciated getting to know Christina, another transfer and watch them learn about the faction and face challenges together.
I was kinda shocked at some of the betrayals and decisions that a few of the characters made. I was left in this position of almost seeing where they were coming from, but never being able to justify it. Then there were the actions of certain members in leadership that I don't think I will ever be able to forgive.
Four was a constant mystery to me, I wasn't sure where his motives lay and especially at first, couldn't get a good read on him.
Divergent was definitely entertaining, and I will be reading the next one. I liked it, but I do have to say that I have read other dystopias that I liked better. It was good, but not mind blowing to me. I think that I wanted more information than this book gave me about exactly what being a divergent meant and why it was such a secret. We see clues, and I guess that I understand why we don't see the whole picture, but it was just too clouded in secrecy and I didn't understand why. I also needed a bit more world building. I felt like I knew the qualities of the factions oh so well, because they were explained over and over, but not so much why they were there or how they worked in the world that is different from ours, and I am not really sure why.
This is a very gritty book, it has violence, a bit of gore, and hard issues. It was hard to read about the characters I'd come to care about fighting each other, getting beat up, and going through other trials. It was also hard knowing that not all of them would make it until the end. Every time something happened, I wanted to halfway close my eyes because I didn't want one of the characters I'd just started liking, or had respected from the beginning become an outcast.
Bottom line: Enjoyable start to a trilogy. I liked it but it did not live up to the hype for me. While I really liked Beatrice and the characters, something didn't completely click with me.
Similar reads: Hunger Games, The Forsaken by Lisa M. Stasse, Defiance by C.J. Redwine, The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken
My question to you, my lovely readers:
Could you leave behind your family to follow your dreams?