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I Belong


Review: Divergent by Veronica Roth

Title: Divergent

Author: Veronica Roth

Genre: YA Dystopian

Series: Divergent Trilogy (Book 1)

Publication Date: May 3, 2011

Format: Hardcover, 487 Pages

ISBN-10: 0062024035 (Harper Teen)

ISBN-13: 978-0062024039 (Harper Teen)

Reviewed by: Kayla

Synopsis:

In Beatrice Prior’s dystopian Chicago world, 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 alongside her fellow initiates to live out the choice they have made. Together, they must undergo extreme physical tests of endurance and intense psychological simulations, some with devastating consequences. As initiation transforms them all, Tris must determine who her friends really are—and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes-fascinating, sometimes-exasperating 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 unrest and growing conflict that threatens to unravel her seemingly-perfect society, she also learns that her secret might be what helps her save those she loves . . . or it might be what destroys her.

Quick and Dirty: About a girl who has to decide between being brave, selfless, or peaceful in a society where you can only be one. If you love the Hunger Games, READ THIS BOOK! If you don’t, READ THIS BOOK!

Opening Sentence: There is only one mirror in my house.

Excerpt: Yes

The Review:

I had high expectations for this book after hearing the praise from other people and seeing good reviews. And does the story deliver. In a world where everyone has to choose which faction they want to be in for the rest of their lives — Dauntless, Cantor, Amity, Erudite, or Abnegation — one girl has a decision that could change her entire life. During Beatrice (Tris) Prior’s placement test she discovers a dangerous secret. She’s Divergent — someone who has the aptitude for multiple factions. Although she was born into Abnegation, she decides to transfer into the intimidating faction Dauntless. The story follows her through Initiation (the trials in order to become a member of Dauntless) and her realization that something bigger is happening in the world of the five factions.

The world-building in this book is refreshingly original. Each faction has its own flaws and virtues, some more obvious than others. Dauntless is brave to the point of recklessness, but they know how to persevere in times of trouble. The trials Tris has to go through in order to become Dauntless are intimidating and absolutely perfect for the initiation of a group trying to be courageous no matter what situation.

Beatrice seems weak in the very beginning of the book, but she has the strongest backbone out of any heroine I’ve ever read. Sure she is still afraid before tests, but it doesn’t faze her. She keeps going, even if the future seems impossible. Fleeing isn’t even an option to her; her bravery is refreshing and her aptitude for other factions keep her level headed while the rest of Dauntless becomes careless. She also has loyalties to her family (going against “faction over blood”) that she doesn’t want to change even if it means problems being accepted into Dauntless. Yet she still has flaws. Tris has trust issues because of her secret of being Divergent and her determination not to show Abnegation traits among the Dauntless. Of course dating her instructor doesn’t fit into that plan.

Four is Tris’s instructor with bucket-loads of secrets. Sometimes he seems uninterested. Sometimes he taunts her during training, and yet sometimes he seems like he cares for her. The whole thing has Tris confused with this unexpected and new type of affection (Abnegation didn’t allow public affection — it’s selfish). Four is a broken hero that seems all tough on the outside, but he’s really shielding himself from his past and the secrets he’s keeping hidden away.

The entire book is action-packed with a satisfying but not overwhelming romance, funny, and has snide remarks. It’s a great book for those who love the Hunger Games (I found myself comparing Tris and Katniss on multiple occasions). There are plenty of twists that keep you guessing and new obstacles to overcome throughout the entire book. My suggestion: take a weekend and READ THIS BOOK!

Notable Scene:

She curls into a ball to protect her side, and I kick again, this time hitting her in the stomach. Like a child. I kick again, this time hitting her in the face. Blood springs from her nose and spreads over her face. Look at her. Another kick hits her in the chest.

I pull my foot back again, but Four’s hands clamp around my arms, and he pulls me away from her with irresistible force. I breathe through gritted teeth, staring at Molly’s blood-covered face, the color deep and rich and beautiful, in a way.

She groans, and I hear a gurgling in her throat, watch blood trickle from her lips.

“You won,” Four mutters. “Stop.”

I wipe sweat from my forehead. He stares at me. His eyes are wide; they look alarmed.

“I think you should leave,” he says. “Take a walk.”

“I’m fine,” I say. “I’m fine now,” I say again, this time for myself.

I wish I could say I felt guilty for what I did.

I don’t.

The Divergent Trilogy:

1. Divergent

2. Insurgent

FTC Advisory: Katherine Tegen Books provided me with a copy of Divergent. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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