Roth, Veronica. Divergent,
Published by HarperCollins Publishers, 2011.
Written By: Veronica Roth
Reviewed By: Jennifer Dietz
Recommended Audience: Young Adult
Divergent is a young adult novel that takes place in a dystopian Chicago. The main character is Beatrice Prior, she is 16 years old and she will soon have to make a decision that changes the rest of her life. The city is divided into five factions: Abnegation, Candor, Erudite, Amity, and Dauntless; each faction representing a different characteristic. Abnegation are selfless and candor always tell the truth. Erudite are always searching for more knowledge and Amity are just searching for peace among the factions. Lastly, Dauntless are different from the other groups because they are pierced, tattooed, and black clothed but they are also the citizens who guard the fence that surrounds the city. The dauntless are brave and courageous, always testing the limits. Beatrice was born into abnegation and has only known a selfless life, living with her brother, mother and father. As the tensions rise between Abnegation and Erudite in a power struggle, Beatrice began to realize even though she grew up in this faction, she never quite felt as if she belonged.
Every year in this dystopian world, all the 16 year olds in the factions must take an aptitude test to further determine which faction they will belong in. These young adults must have to make a decision to leave the faction they were born and raised in or forever leave their family to join another faction. The aptitude test challenges you mentally, physically, and emotionally. The decisions you make in the aptitude test determine which faction you will be placed into. Usually after the aptitude test you are placed into one faction but this is not the case with Beatrice. She comes out of the test being classified as divergent, which means she qualifies for 3 factions: Abnegation, Dauntless, and Erudite. She is told to keep this is secret for it will be dangerous for her in the future, now she just must decide which faction to choose. On the day of the choosing ceremony, Beatrice shocks everyone by choosing dauntless and leaving her family behind forever.
Once the factions are chosen, the teenagers must then move to the new faction and start the initiation process. Not everyone survives initiation though; some come to the conclusion of death and others must live in the factionless district. Beatrice overcomes the difficult dauntless test even when facing stronger opponents. She is put to the test physically and mentally. She struggles in fighting the other initiates but triumphs when mentally overcoming obstacles. She deals with the constant harassment by other initiates because she came from abnegation, which is considered to be weak among the other factions. As her initiation goes on, the looming threat of the Erudite attacking the Abnegation carries on. When the Erudite does indeed attack the Abnegation leaders to get more power, the dauntless are sent armed and ready to help the Erudite in any way. Beatrice is now faced with the ultimate question, stay true to her faction or protect her family?
This novel is riveting and holds your attention the whole time. It keeps you on the edge of your seat and always guessing what is going to happen next. Divergent is daring at some parts, and emotionally romantic at others. It shows life in a dystopian future with corrupt leaders and how one, sixteen year old girl is getting ready to conquer it all.
Veronica Roth being interviewed on Divergent: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V1BZc3K18rI
Veronica Roth’s Blog: http://veronicarothbooks.blogspot.com