In a futuristic society, everyone is divided into 5 factions which form the basis and guidance in which they must lead their lives; of honesty, intelligence, bravery, selflessness and peacefulness. These factions were set up to maintain order and upon turning 16, an aptitude test is administered to the young people in the society to determine where they belong in society. Beatrice Prior has never felt like she belonged in the faction that she was raised in, and after the results of her test are announced, she discovers the reason why – she might not belong to any one group alone. Once Beatrice makes her choice, she must live up to the expectations and live with the decisions she has made while realizing that the harmonious society that she’s grown to know isn’t all that it seems.
Like with another highly recommended book, I can’t believe it took me this long to get to Divergent – what a phenomenal read. Roth is well-versed in the world that she’s created and satisfyingly sets up the first in a trilogy. There were times that I felt it reminded me of a mix of Harry Potter and The Hunger Games. Not in the story context (and I’m by no means directly comparing these three books), but certain elements of it – such as being divided up into factions (“Houses”) that are so distinctive, the “new kids in school” feel to groups of characters, or the intense training that the new initiates go through, definitely gave a familiar nostalgic feel to the previously aforementioned books. While it did take me a little bit to grasp & remember which faction meant what virtue, Roth does a subtle but steady reminder of what is what to help the readers be completely immersed in her story.
I also loved that Beatrice is such a strong character in the book. Her personality and relationships with those around her drive the story of the book as much as the plot itself. She’s a regular teenage girl with complicated and confusing feelings to her family and friends, especially under such stressful situations.
Overall a fantastically captivating read. At just under 500 pages, I was surprised how quickly I flew through this. Thank goodness I don’t have to wait for the next book to come out! If you haven’t read Divergent yet, what are you waiting for? Don’t make the same mistake I made by waiting so long to get to it!
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ (5/5 stars)
Divergent is currently available in stores, and newly out in paperback.