A semi-dystopian tale, Divergent delivers excitement, danger and attraction. In their sixteenth year, each child takes an aptitude test to determine which faction best suits them. Each of these groups fosters a certain virtue and every unit balances out the others: Candor (honesty), Abnegation (selflessness), Dauntless (bravery), Amity (peace) and Erudite (intelligence). Beatrice Prior grew up in the Abnegation faction. This division is known just as much for their plain dress as for putting their wants and needs second to all. Beatrice has always admired her parents and brother and their seeming predisposition to help others, but for her, constantly thinking of others first does not come as easily. On the day she takes her aptitude test, she discovers that her results do not follow the norm. Warned by her examiner, she is told to never reveal the conclusion to anyone. Ever. You see, Beatrice’s exam only ruled out two of the five factions, which means she is Divergent: extremely dangerous.
The next day is the Choosing Ceremony, where Beatrice has to declare which faction she has chosen to live with for the rest of her life. Standing next to her at the ritual will be her older brother, Caleb, who is in the same grade as Beatrice. Will she be able to disappoint her family and switch factions, or will she be the selfless person she was raised to be by staying with her family? When Caleb shocks everyone by changing to Erudite, Beatrice has added pressure to stay with Abnegation. She can’t. She’s Dauntless.
Through Tris’ (as she is now known) training to make the Dauntless cut, we smell the sweat and blood that is shed, see the formation of allies and enemies, discover the meaning of what it is to be divergent and learn the secret of Four, one of the Dauntless trainers. Tris discovers that she is strong, intelligent and can retain her own identity, even when a secret pact between some leaders in Dauntless and Erudite may just end everything.
Well-written, engrossing and fast-paced, Divergent is a book that will keep you entertained and waiting for the second volume, Insurgent, with bated breath.
4 out of 5 Stars
Divergent by Veronica Roth was published May 3, 2011 by Katherine Tegen Books.