Saturday Series: Divergent (Divergent #1) by Veronica Roth

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, Tris also learns that her secret might help her save the ones she loves . . . or it might destroy her.

I came across this series back when Divergent just got released. Since I then just finished reading The Hunger Games, I wasn't really in the mood for another dystopian. Now with the release of the movie, I got curious again. Those trailers looked really good and I can not watch a movie without reading the book first. Also I can not start a series and not finish it as soon as possible. It's perfect for my Saturday Series.

Since seeing the trailers I could already picture Tris and Four (Hello, Theo James.) very easily.  I did stay away from all the other clips, because that would have ruined the surprise of the book. Honestly with all the hype around Divergent, I expected more.

The world Tris lives in is very interesting. Divided in different factions, at the age of 16 they get to choose which one they will join for the rest of their lives. The whole "fraction above blood" seems almost barbaric to me. You get to choose a faction, not necessarily the one you've been in for the past 16 years and thus leaving your family behind and never speaking to them again. I don't see how you can not have both. From the beginning it's very clear all about control, namely controlling the people. Though at first there is no clear leader.

When Tris chooses another faction, life as she has known it, changes forever. Her new faction, is pretty much the opposite of the way she grew up. Still she loves the challenge and I was really surprised by her character. She will do whatever is necessary to become a full member, which means she sometimes even has to be a bit merciless. 

Tris is obviously physically weaker, but her Divergent status gives her an edge when it comes to the mental challenges. Nobody is to know about her being Divergent, which just means that her mind isn't programmed for just one faction. Somehow this makes her a threat to the control and order some people want.

She doesn't even know half of it. The ones who want control are more sinister than you can imagine. What they do is horrible. Now it is up to Tris to stop them.

Divergent is clear an introduction book. We see Tris settling in with her new faction and it's only more towards the end we get to see real plot development, get some idea where Veronica Roth might want to take this. So for the first part it's all very much mental problems and trying to survive training. Towards the end comes the action on a larger scale. I am really curious as to what is going to happen next. This really can go anyway.

Tris is definitely what kept me going through this story. Her change and development was fascinating to read about,  though I do hope we get some more action and plot development in the next installment.

Divergent was not a bad start, but I wasn't wowed.

Divergent - Reading order and purchase links


The Author
Veronica Roth is from a Chicago suburb. She studied creative writing at Northwestern University, and wrote DIVERGENT (Katherine Tegen Books, May 2011) and INSURGENT (May 2012). The third and final book in The Divergent Trilogy, ALLEGIANT, will come out on October 22, 2013. In the meantime she will spend endless hours browsing Wikipedia in her pajamas as she eats corn flakes. (Or some other kind of bland breakfast cereal.)

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