Series: Divergent #1
Also in this series: Insurgent, Allegiant
Published by Harper Collins on May 3rd 2011
Genres: Young Adult, Dystopian
Buy on Amazon
Now includes an excerpt from the upcoming Four: A Divergent Collection.
This first book in Veronica Roth's #1 New York Times bestselling Divergent trilogy is the novel the inspired the major motion picture starring Shailene Woodley, Theo James, and Kate Winslet. This dystopian series set in a futuristic Chicago has captured the hearts of millions of teen and adult readers.
Perfect for fans of the Hunger Games and Maze Runner series, Divergent and its sequels, Insurgent and Allegiant, are the gripping story of a dystopian world transformed by courage, self-sacrifice, and love. Fans of the Divergent movie will find the book packed with just as much emotional depth and exhilarating action as the film, all told in beautiful, rich language.
One choice can transform you. Beatrice Prior's society is divided into five factions—Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). Beatrice must choose between staying with her Abnegation family and transferring factions. Her choice will shock her community and herself. But the newly christened Tris also has a secret, one she's determined to keep hidden, because in this world, what makes you different makes you dangerous.
Supports the Common Core State Standards
Warning: This article contains spoilers.
This book is in the Young Adult Category but the truth is I enjoyed it either way. There were some clichés in the story that was typical of what you expect from the YA genre. That is, the main character is a small, female, who likes to make rash decisions. This could be rather upsetting at times but in my opinion it wasn’t as bad in this book as it is in the second one. The book is written as a first person point of view (POV) from Beatrice Prior.
The book is set in the future in the aftermath of war. We don’t get to know the name of the city we are in we only assume it is the only city in the world left (that is the reader) to people in the city it might as well be the whole world. People are separated into factions based on their personal values. There are 5 factions: Abnegation for the selfless, Candor for the truthful, Amity for the peaceful, Erudite for the scholars and Dauntless for the brave. Children live with their parents in their parents’ factions but they go to a common school where all children in the city go. They learn general things and I suppose it allows them time to be exposed to the other factions because at age 16 they must then take their aptitude test and choose their own faction.
Beatrice Prior lives in Abnegation with her parents, Michael and Natalie and her older brother Caleb. Caleb is less than a year older than Beatrice and they are both 16. After her aptitude test her instructor, Tori, seems spooked and tells Beatrice that she doesn’t have aptitude for only one faction but three (Divergent), which is very unusual and very dangerous. She mustn’t tell anyone her results but she must still choose her faction at the choosing ceremony. Both Beatrice and Caleb shock everyone by leaving their parents’ faction. Caleb goes to Erudite and Beatrice goes to Dauntless. There she will go through training to become a Dauntless. But competition is stiff. There are more than 10 Dauntless initiates but only 10 will be accepted, the others will be factionless. Being factionless is almost worse than death. You don’t belong anywhere, you can’t get a job and you live on the streets.
When she arrives at Dauntless, Beatrice changes her name to Tris and tries her best to learn the techniques of combat. But she is tiny after all, and most people beat the crap out of her. She is not in bottom place only because one of her new friends is scared and will not win fights. In desperation he, Al, tries to help 2 other initiates kill Tris. Her instructor Four hears the commotion and comes to Tris’ aid. The next day Al commits suicide after Tris refuses to forgive him.
Tris finds out her mother was previously Dauntless after she visits her (on the one day you can visit your children) and she realizes her mother was familiar with the compound. Her mother asks her to visit her brother and ask him to research the simulation serum. Tris goes to visit her brother and asks him to reach the simulation serum. She is caught and meets Jeanine Matthews who then takes her back to the Dauntless compound. During the second phase of initiation, Dauntless initiates must overcome their fears in simulations. Being Divergent makes her able to be aware in simulations and to be able to manipulate the simulations. This draws the attention of Four who tells her that for her safety she must find other ways to control her fear. She and Four start falling for each other and eventually become a couple. One night she sees Jeanine at the Dauntless compound taking to a Dauntless leader (Eric) about finding the Divergent.
Four later lets Tris into his fearscape and she finds out he is the son (Tobias) of an Abnegation leader Marcus Eaton and was abused by his father. He admits to her that he believes that Erudite is going to attack Abnegation. The next day after Dauntless initiation Finals all Dauntless are injected with a new tracker of some kind which later turns out to control a mass simulation. Tris awakes and finds everyone dressing for combat and leaving to attack abnegation. By the time they arrive many of the Abnegation are dead but it’s hard to give away their position for fear that people will find out that they are Divergent. Tobias turns out to be Divergent as well and they try to help how they can but get caught and taken to Jeanine. A newer version of the simulation serum is tested on Tobias but Tris is wounded and they decide to drown her. Her mother saves her and they head over to where her father is. On the way though her mother has to create a diversion and is shot and killed. Tris gets attached by a friend of hers, Will, who is under the simulation and she ends up shooting him and he dies.
Tris meets up with her father, brother (who has left the Erudite to return home), Tobias’ father Marcus and some others hiding out. The others are sent ahead to Amity, the only faction that is outside the city limits. The rest (Tris, Michael, Caleb, and Marcus) must now make their way to Dauntless HQ where Tobias was sent to control the simulation. There Tris shoots Peter (but he doesn’t die – he was another initiate who tried to kill her with Al and who also dug out the eye of another initiate Edward) and forces him to take them to the control room. Tris’ father then dies trying to get her to the control room to stop the simulation. Tris almost dies herself when Tobias, in the simulation, thinks she is the enemy and tries to kill her. However, she manages to get through to him and he snaps out of the simulation. They then shut down the simulation and escape to Amity. The books ends on the train ride to the Amity compound.
I personally like this book because it always has some new secret to uncover. You don’t get all the answers in this one book but it makes you want to read the other one. Although the characters are mostly young, it’s easy to relate to them because they are not typical teenagers. At 16 they are on their own in the world and having to make adult decisions. The writing style wasn’t complicated, so it was an easy read. I believe people from teens to about 30 years even more might enjoy this series. I think the books brings up issues that everyone could related which is dealing with the death of family and friends.
About the Author:
Veronica Roth wrote this book during college, which I was surprise to find out that she is 2 years younger than me. The book got her a Goodreads award in the year it was release. The Divergent series is the only set of books she has written.