Divergent is a gripping story with a spunky heroine in a strangely believable dystopian world where people are divided into five groups—Abnegation, Candor, Dauntless, Amity and Erudite. Beatrice, who is raised in Abnegation and taught to think of others before herself, secretly wants to be in Dauntless. When she turns sixteen, she is made to take a test to determine which group would be best for her and it turns out that, unlike most people, Beatrice doesn't only have one inclination. She doesn't fit neatly into one category; she is divergent.
In a world where everything is determined by what group you belong to, being divergent is dangerous. Beatrice must choose a group and, to her parents' disappointment, she chooses Dauntless. Her brother also chooses to leave Abnegation in favor of Erudite. After this, Beatrice's world is one test after another. First, she must build up her physical strength and prove how physically dauntless she is. Many initiates don't make it past this phase and they end up living on the outskirts of society. After this phase, Beatrice, or Tris, as she renames herself, must prove how mentally dauntless she is. It turns out that because of her divergence, she is mentally very strong and can overcome her fears easily.
However, life in Dauntless is always a little scary and there are threats of political upheaval in the background. Plus, Tris starts having feelings for her mentor at Dauntless, a boy named Four who, she later discovers, also came originally from Abnegation. Together, Tris and Four must keep an eye out for those who are more cruel than they are dauntless, and also prevent a political coup by the leaders of Erudite and Dauntless.
Tris is a very likable character, partly because she's so open to new experiences, moving from Abnegation into Dauntless. She really digs deep within herself to find that core of bravery which doesn't always come easy. On the outside, she develops a tough exterior, but she's still sensitive and cares for people. Throughout the book, there's a feeling that something sinister is going on and Tris and Four must keep an eye out to make sure that they don't get caught up in it. Plus, the romance between the two is quite touching at times, especially when Four lets Tris see all his inner fears so that she can know who he really is. Perhaps this act of opening up to the one you love is the most dauntless of them all.
Veronica Roth, author of Divergent, is a graduate of Northwestern University's Creative Writing program. In 2011, she married photographer Nelson Fitch and they currently live in the Chicago area where Divergent is also set. Roth has written a sequel to Divergent named Insurgent and book three in the series is forthcoming in the fall of 2013. The movie version of Divergent, starring Kate Winslet and Shailene Woodley is set to release in 2014. On her website, Roth claims that although she hopes that she would choose Dauntless just like her heroine does, she thinks she's much more likely to choose Abnegation.
In Beatrice Prior’s dystopian Chicago, 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 to determine who her friends really are—and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes infuriating 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 a growing conflict that threatens to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves … or it might destroy her.
Debut author Veronica Roth bursts onto the literary scene with the first book in the Divergent series—dystopian thrillers filled with electrifying decisions, heartbreaking betrayals, stunning consequences, and unexpected romance.
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