The Compulsive Reader: Divergent by Veronica Roth

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Divergent by Veronica Roth

Beatrice Prior lives in a city divided into factions, and which faction you belong to determines every aspect of your life. She's never felt at home in Abnegation, which values selflessness above all. At sixteen, she undergoes aptitude tests and is given the chance to remain in Abnegation, or move to either Erudite, Candor, Amity, or Dauntless. Then the tests come back inconclusive, labeling Beatrice as a Divergent--something she doesn't fully understand. Re-christening herself Tris, she boldly chooses Dauntless, where she is put through a battery of tests to determine her worth and where she meets her mysterious new instructor, Four. Together, they probe into the dangerous forces at play in their city that threaten to tear their world apart.

Veronica Roth has an incredible talent for creating a complex and impeccably described world that will completely suck readers in. This dystopian version of Chicago is unsettling and fascinating in all of its complexities and political disquiet between the factions. The characters and their problems are all very well portrayed, especially the tensions between those in the same faction, like Tris and her fellow Dauntless candidates, and in the case of Tris and family, those in separate factions. Tris is a bold and engaging narrator who tells a fast-paced story packed with plenty of action, but also struggled internally with a sense of betrayal and what it means to be brave. One of the most gratifying aspects of Divergent is her realization that who she is and where she comes from--Abnegation--makes her selfless, and as a result, a stronger Dauntless. The fact that she is also a Divergent gives the book another layer of mystery and danger as Roth never fully explains what being a Divergent means, but the lengths that others go to cover it up add suspense, and slowly provides a chance for Tris and Four to connect on a deeper level. Their romance isn't instantaneous, but it is realistic, something that many readers can appreciate. Things get complicated when the characters undergo the fear tests, and Roth plays with the readers'--and characters'--minds. Her world is imaginative to the extreme, and her style will captivate. This is one heart-pounding, exciting, and emotional book that lives up to the hype!

Cover Comments: I absolutely adore this cover! The dauntless symbol is awesome, and I like how it stands out against the blue/gray background with the stormy sky, blue water, and city skyline. The font is awesome--this is a cool package that girls and guys will pick up.

ARC provided by publisher,

Divergent will be available on May 1st, 2011!


geekgirl said...

This just shifted a few spots up in my to-be-read pile, thanks to you.

Great review. I can't wait to read this book!


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