Thursday, March 19, 2015

Book Review: Divergent by Veronica Roth

I held off on reading the Divergent series.  50 Shades upset me enough with the similarities to Twilight that I didn’t want to read another copycat book.

I was so pleasantly surprised. 

Yes.  This is the ever-after story of the end of the world.  Yes.  There is a strong, female youth set to save them.  But really, that is where the story lines…diverge.

Beatrice is a young lady that is possibly a little small for her age, a little na├»ve, and unsure of her place in the world.  Her world is recuperating from an end-of-the-world apocalypse and the new government has decided that in order to keep the peace, there will be different factions responsible for different parts of the new world.  Beatrice is a part of the Abnegation faction which is a group of selfless people and the leaders of the new world.

At the age of 16, Beatrice goes through an aptitude test that will determine what faction best suits her.  Most youth are suited for the life they grew up with, however, some are not, in which case they transfer to another faction and are lost to their families forever: Faction before blood.  If someone’s test comes back inconclusive, meaning they are appropriate for more than one faction, they are labeled Divergent which is dangerous because they don’t conform.  They are looked at as rebels, so in Beatrice’s case, her tester tells her to tell no one of her result and that she will have to choose her own faction at the upcoming Choosing Ceremony. 

After the Choosing Ceremony, belonging to the Dauntless faction, she takes the new name of Tris and embarks on a life of risk-taking and learns fighting skills as the Dauntless are the protectors of the new world.  Tris makes new friends, enemies, and even falls in love.  As the book closes, the real threat is recognized in the form of the Erudites who take their intelligence to a level of manipulation, injecting Dauntless with a serum that gives the Erudites control of the Dauntless minds.  Of course Tris saves the day and her boyfriend, but loses her parents who selflessly put themselves in harm’s way to save her.

I enjoyed this book.  There were parts that moved a little slowly, but the friction between the different factions was believable and the story line was easy to follow.  It was suspenseful but not scary.  The tasks that were put before the initiates made it clear that something big was going to come up.  I was surprised that it was as easy as it was to keep her Divergent status a secret though.

Overall, I give the book five stars and can only hope that Insurgent, book two in the series, is as good as the first.