Divergent came at a time when dystopian based stories were at its height in the YA world. However, this was also the time I wasn’t reading much so I didn’t get around to Divergent until this year. I picked up a copy while in Chicago (convenient, no?) and finished reading it in a few days.
During her sixteenth year, Beatrice Prior undergoes her Choosing Ceremony, as does every other sixteen year old within the five factions. Beatrice is from the Abnegation faction, one in which its members advocate selflessness above all else and, as such, are the leaders of the community. But although she has been raised to be selfless, Beatrice often feels out of place in her faction. During her aptitude test, it is discovered that she has traits from three factions – Abnegation, Dauntless, and Erudite. Having traits from more than one faction is unheard of and such people are labelled Divergent. Beatrice is warned to keep her divergence a secret. Struggling with this new information, Beatrice chooses to leave Abnegation and join Dauntless.
Now known as Tris, she must undergo the initiation of Dauntless which comes in three stages. Those who rank in the top ten after all three stages are officially Dauntless members; the rest are factionless. Being one of the transfer initiates and being from Abnegation does not work in Tris’ favor during the first stage of initiation, but she makes it through; due to her divergence, she is able to successfully pass stages two and three and become the top ranking initiate. All the while, she struggles with her secret of being Divergent and also with the whispers that the Erudite faction is plotting to overthrow the Abnegation faction using the Dauntless. But how? Is Tris’ divergence a key in stopping the Erudite faction from succeeding? And what does it mean to be Divergent?
While I enjoyed the story, I didn’t enjoy it as much as I would have had I read it a few years ago. Many people compare dystopian stories to The Hunger Games, but Divergent is a different story though it shares the same first person perspective story telling. I really enjoyed the fact that most of the story is centered on Tris’ initiation and how she grows into a new person. But, in reading this story, I’ve come to realize that I simply do not lean towards the dystopian genre.
Will I continue the series? Likely not; Divergent didn’t hold my attention enough to want to know what happens to the characters and the story. But that has nothing to do with how Veronica Roth writes the story, just how I personally don’t connect with the genre. What I really enjoyed was the scenery. There isn’t much backstory on how Chicago got to be so shattered (at least not in this volume), but the places that are described are well done. Having recently been to the city, it was a real treat to read those scenes and know exactly where they are.
My rating: 3/5