Book Review: Divergent


Divergent, by Veronica Roth

Beatrice Prior has lived her life in the Abnegation faction of her dystopian city. The Abnegation believe in the virtue of selflessness above all else. The other factions are comprised of Candor (honesty), Dauntless (bravery), Amity (peaceful), and Erudite (intelligence). When Beatrice turns sixteen she is tested, yet able to choose which faction she will belong. She knows that she doesn’t belong in the completely selfless faction of Abnegation, which means leaving her family behind. Yet, Beatrice’s choice will mean a difficult initiation and hiding a secret that no one can know. Meanwhile, the factions begin arguing about governmental control, and the seemingly peaceful society’s fatal flaws come to light and may cause the ruin of the entire city.

Beatrice, or “Tris” as she renames herself, is a complex girl in a heartbreaking position. Though she doesn’t always believe it, Tris is self-sacrificing, extremely brave, honorable, and a good friend. As her story unfolds and she grows to maturity, she is faced with gut-wrenching horrors, betrayal, her greatest fears, and budding romance. Roth’s characters are vivid, complex, and entirely engaging.

Roth’s debut is a surefire hit in the recently popular dystopian subgenre in the young adult market. Her future dystopian world is a creative look at one community’s solution after a devastating war. The story is gripping, emotional, and suspenseful, with plenty of mystery and intrigue. First in a purposed trilogy, Divergent is dark and violent, yet infused with hope and heart. Science fiction fans, from teens on up, should check out this incredible debut by a promising new author.

Divergent releases from Harper Teen on May 3, 2011.

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