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Veronica Roth

Average Review Rating Average Rating 8/10 (1 Review)
Book Details

Publisher : HarperCollins

Published : 2011

Copyright : Veronica Roth 2011

ISBN-10 : PB 0-00-742042-0
ISBN-13 : PB 978-0-00-742042-1

Publisher's Write-Up

The explosive debut by No. 1 New York Times bestselling author Veronica Roth.

In the world of Divergent, society is divided into five factions – Candor, Abnegation, Dauntless, Amity and Erudite. Every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice Prior, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is. Her choice shocks everyone, including herself.

During the initiation that follows, Tris and her fellow initiates undergo extreme physical tests of endurance and intense psychological simulations, with devastating consequences. As initiation transforms them, Tris must determine who her friends really are – and whether she can trust the man who both threatens and protects her.

Because Tris has a deadly secret. And as growing conflict threatens to unravel their seemingly perfect society, this secret might save those she loves… or it might destroy her.

Debut author Veronica Roth bursts onto the scene with the first book in the Divergent trilogy – dystopian thrillers filled with electrifying decisions, heartbreaking betrayals, stunning consequences and unexpected romance.

'The next big thing.'

Rolling Stone

'A memorable, unpredictable journey from which it is nearly impossible to turn away.'

Publishers Weekly

'Divergent holds its own in the [dystopian] genre, with brisk pacing, lavish flights of imagination and writing that occasionally startles with fine detail.'

New York Times
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Reader Reviews

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Review by Chrissi (300414) Rating (8/10)

Review by Chrissi
Rating 8/10
I had not heard of these books until I started to see the advertisements for the film, and so had no expectations other than knowing that they were a recent YA/crossover hit.

At the heart of the story is the formation of a society split across arbitrary lines into factions according to certain personality traits, chosen when a person reaches sixteen, their choosing aided by testing which reveals which group a person is most suited for. Those who are brave and daring are Dauntless, those who seek knowledge are Erudite, honest and forthright are Candor (American English), those who seek peace and friendship belong in Amity and those who are selfless and who work for the benefit of others are Abnegation. Society functions by the factions performing essential roles, the Dauntless guard, the Erudite research and teach, the Amity produce food to support the community, the Candor ensure the correct use of laws and Abnegation govern and perform work for the good of society.

The story of Divergent is the story of Beatrice Prior. She grew up in a family of the Abnegation faction, but her testing indicated that she was suited for not one faction but three, and she was advised not to tell anyone her results. Beatrice feels that she is not sufficiently selfless to stay in Abnegation, and at the choosing ceremony she elects to transfer to the Dauntless faction, and given the chance to reinvent herself, she shortens her name to Tris. To survive the initiation and make it through as a member of Dauntless she has to compete with her fellow class members to be within the top portion of her class. If she fails, then there is no second chance to join a faction, and you become factionless, fit only for menial work with no voice in government.

Upon joining Dauntless she meets people like herself who have lived with other factions until the Choosing ceremony, some people become steadfast friends and some take on other roles in Tris’s life, including the enigmatic Four, to whom she is drawn without understanding why. This group is trained separate to the young people who grew up in Dauntless, although they will be competing for places throughout their training.

The period of training is the focus of the first story, with political shenanigans going on behind the scenes, friction between factions and the use of anti-Abnegation propaganda cause tension among the initiates. It culminates with a deadly attack on one of the factions by the sinister string-pullers, an attack in which Tris does her best to save those she loves.

I do like the fact that as girls read more than boys (for the most part), there are now more books with brave, intelligent female protagonists, Katniss from the Hunger Games, Hermione Grainger, and Sabriel and Lirael (from Garth Nix’ Abhorsen series). I do not include Bella Swann here as I found her mopey and stubborn. Not bad attributes but different to those celebrated in this book, although I do wonder whether anyone would ever admit that they would not have wanted to join the Dauntless faction (or Gryffindor).

A well paced story, excellently written, that I thoroughly enjoyed.
Chrissi (30th April 2014)

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