Author: Veronica Roth
Level: Young Adult
Location: YA Roth
Divergent was being compared to Hunger Games before the book ever came out so for those of you who are wondering just how alike they are, here it is. Both are dystopian young adult books with adult crossover appeal. Each has a female main character who is separated from her family, faces tough situations and decisions, is disliked because of where she is from, has an ally die, and a least one person who wants her dead. Unlike other popular teen series the main character in this one has only one love interest and it’s more realistic. I found this refreshing.
The dystopian world in the book is divided into five factions that eradicate those qualities they believe were responsible for the world’s disarray, meaning they live their lives based on one aspect of human personality. At sixteen everyone takes an aptitude test to help them determine which faction they belong in. Then at a Choosing Ceremony all declare which faction they want to belong to. Once the ceremony is over those who transfer factions might not ever see their families again. The choosing is the easy part though. If they don’t pass the initiation they could become factionless, which is described as worse than death. Tris, the main character, has a bit of a different experience with the aptitude test, and isn’t sure which faction she will choose until she cuts her hand for the ceremonial drop of blood into her chosen faction’s bowl.
Initiation begins for Tris as soon as the last sixteen year old has chosen a faction. Within an hour she’s not sure she will survive it. The faction doesn’t seem to stand for what she thought it did. She’s not sure who to trust and knows if the secret she is trying to keep hidden is discovered everything could be over for her. Luckily for Tris, she has an unknown ally. She is surprised on Visiting Day when her mother shows up and even more surprised by what occurs during the visit. By the time she realizes who her ally is she also knows something is not right and whatever that something is, it’s growing.
Bottom Line: Divergent is an action packed dystopian novel. When I reached the last hundred pages I couldn’t put the book down! If you liked the Hunger Games series you will probably like this series also. Be aware this is not a copycat so it isn’t going to be just like the Hunger Games. While both have a female main character, a love interest, and a need to stay alive all of these aspects are very different in Divergent. Even the violence is different. I liked the Mom in this book, but to write anything about her would give away part of the plot. She is an unexpected, but welcomed personality in the story. The ending was left so open I am interested to see what direction Ms. Roth will take with the second book in the series. I will be recommending this book to many teens and adults.