Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Review: Divergent

Veronica Roth
2011; Katherine Tegen Books (HarperCollins); ISBN 978-0-06-202402-2 (hardcover)

Summary: In a future version of Chicago, most people are divided into five factions, each focused on a particular virtue or trait.  Beatrice Prior is nearly sixteen and a member of the Abnegation faction.  She isn't sure what faction she'll pick when it comes time to choose her home as an adult.  To her surprise, her aptitude test doesn't narrow her choice to one faction.  This marks her as a Divergent, something unusual and potentially dangerous.  Giving in to an instinct, Beatrice chooses Dauntless as her faction.  Reborn as Tris, she learns how to fight, how to conquer her fears, and how to be a friend.  She even finds romance with another Divergent member in Dauntless.  Yet when the Erudite faction attempts to overthrow Abnegation, using Dauntless as mindless muscle, Tris is able to resist.  Resistance, though, is just the first step.

A dystopian thriller that questions human nature, Divergent proves itself worthy of its initial buzz.  The comparison to The Hunger Games are inevitable, yet this novel is quite different.  Less action-focused than that trilogy, this novel focuses more on the internal drama and introspective thoughts of Tris, as well as providing a stronger romantic subplot.  Tris is a strong young woman who at first doesn't realize what strength she has.  Her struggles to realize her abilities showcases the strength of the characterization in this novel.  Thanks to simple, straightforward prose and efficient plotting, Divergent is an engaging novel from debut author Veronica Roth.

Other Reviews
The Lovely Reader:
Ketch Tavern:
Narratively Speaking:
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