Divergent by Veronica Roth
Release Date: May 3, 2011
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Reading level: Young Adult
In a future Chicago, 16-year-old Beatrice Prior must choose among five predetermined factions to define her identity for the rest of her life, a decision made more difficult when she discovers that she is an anomaly who does not fit into any one group, and that the society she lives in is not perfect after all.
-- from Goodreads.com
How can I express just how much I loved every minute of reading this book? As soon as I was finished with it I handed it to my mother to read & she loved it too. My joke is that it's the first & only book where NOTHING, not one thing, annoyed me about the writing or plot or characters. This book is a VERY tough act to follow & I am only sad that I let it sit on my shelf for a year before reading it!
First, I immediately liked Tris. I liked that she had a core set of values that she wanted to live by & even though she struggled with them she always tried to uphold that level of self-control within herself. I appreciated her morality & the fact that she wasn't willing to just throw herself & her body to the wind. Everything she did had purpose, even if it was to curl up & hide from the world for a while because we all need that at times! Tris was immensely likeable (whether she thought so or not) & had a very good head on her shoulders. Reading about Four was the icing on the cake. I love that boy! And the slow burn romance between Tris & Four, while obviously inevitable from day one, doesn't come across clichéd or rushed. There is no obsessing or wishy-washy-ness in this book!
Only second to enjoying Tris & Four is how pleased I was with the world Ms. Roth built. I love the idea of the factions & that one of the main messages of this book is the danger of forcing people to think only a certain way to fit in somewhere. We were given enough of a taste of each faction, I felt, that I want to see much more of them in coming books. Especially Amity because they were a bit mysterious in their outlying farms. And, being a fairly pure Erudite myself, I'd appreciate seeing some Erudite (like Will) who aren't causing trouble!
This book was a complete breath of fresh air to me. I could write pages of effusive gushing over it but I will leave you with the fact that I feel this book is appropriate for anyone in the YA age range. There is some kissing & violence but nothing is ever very graphic. To me, Divergent is pitch perfect. I hope that if you haven't read it, you will RUN to your library or bookstore & snag it. Go! Now!
PS: Only 6 more days until the sequel Insurgent is released! I cannot wait.