DIVERGENT by Veronica Roth
Beatrice "Tris" Prior has reached the fateful age of sixteen, the stage at which teenagers in Veronica Roth's dystopian Chicago must select which of five factions to join for life. Each faction represents a virtue: Candor, Abnegation, Dauntless, Amity, and Erudite. To the surprise of herself and her selfless Abnegation family, she chooses Dauntless, the path of courage. Her choice exposes her to the demanding, violent initiation rites of this group, but it also threatens to expose a personal secret that could place in mortal danger. Veronica Roth's young adult Divergent trilogy launches with a captivating adventure about love and loyalty playing out under most extreme circumstances.
Cover: The cover is deeply symbolic of the story, but you don't really get that until about halfway through the story – which is okay. The city backdrop is the city it's set in. The clouds and stormy sky represents the discord in the world of the novel. The fire sign responds to a group of people the main character chooses. It's not a standout cover that I swoon over, but it's nice and fits the story well.
Story: At first, it was hard for me to get into the story, which follows Tris (Beatrice) who needs to decide whether she's going to stay in the group she was born into or switch. The world is such that there are different factions that honor different qualities, and there is no crossover between them. At first I was really turned off by the strange name of the factions and it was difficult for me to step into the world. But that quickly changed as I got used to Tris and became invested in her struggle to get through an initiation ceremony. There's more at stake for her than other recruits because she's hiding the fact that she's divergent, meaning she has traits for more than one faction. And in a world that's all about separation, that's a dangerous thing to be.
Characters: Tris was a little whiny to begin with, but she quickly turns into a strong character who has many choices ahead of her. Once we get past the choosing ceremony and she enters initiation and the action actually starts. Tris is the kind of character who seems a little weak until she grows into herself – the kind of character with whom a lot of people can identify. She is, however, a little dense when it comes to the other characters. Four is pretty much my favorite character in the book. He is Tris' trainer and is totally swoon-worthy with his mysterious past and his tough exterior. I think he's also the most interesting character once you learn more about him.
Overall: Overall I give DIVERGENT 4.5 out of 5 stars. It was hard for me to get into, but once I did I was completely invested. It's definitely an interesting spin on a world, and I really can't wait for the next installment to find out what happens to our heros.
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