Blurb from Goodreads:
In Beatrice Prior’s dystopian Chicago world, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue–Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is–she can’t have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.
During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles alongside her fellow initiates to live out the choice they have made. Together they must undergo extreme physical tests of endurance and intense psychological simulations, some with devastating consequences. As initiation transforms them all, Tris must determine who her friends really are–and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes exasperating boy fits into the life she’s chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she’s kept hidden from everyone because she’s been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers unrest and growing conflict that threaten to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves . . . or it might destroy her.
My rating: 3.5/5 Stars – Could’ve been better, but I liked it overall.
I have mixed feelings about Divergent. On the one hand, it’s a fast-paced, exciting book, and I raced through it to find out what would happen next. The characters are compelling, and the ending even made me cry, demonstrating how emotionally invested I was in their story. On the other hand, I have a major problem believing the premise that people would manufacture a social caste system based on simplistic personality attributes like bravery, selflessness, and honesty. It seems like such an artificial, contrived setup that I had difficulty talking the story seriously.
Ultimately, I’m not quite sure how to rate this book. I certainly enjoyed it, but I also feel that such an awesome story deserves a believable premise. If only the worldbuilding had some basis in reality, some way for me to say, “Okay, I could see that happening,” then I’m sure the book would have worked even better for me than it did. (Of course, I know many readers will have a very different view of what’s believable and what’s not; this is just my own personal “Flying Snowman” as Scalzi would say.) But despite its slightly ridiculous premise, Divergent is an action-packed, entertaining read. I might not get around to reading the sequels, but I will definitely see the movie when it comes out.
Also reviewed at:
- The Ranting Dragon – 3/5
- The Book Smugglers – 7/10
- Tynga’s Reviews
- Book Addiction
- Dark Faerie Tales – 5/5