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Review: Divergent

Divergent by Veronica Roth was released in the U.S. on May 3, 2011 in hardcover, audio and eBook formats. It is currently available to order online in all formats at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Published by Katherine Tegen Books, an imprint of Harper Collins, the print edition is 496 pages.

Divergent is the first book in a new planned trilogy by author Veronica Roth. Insurgent, the second book in the series is slated for release on May 1, 2012 and is available to pre-order in hardcover or eBook formats at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Divergent is one of the books that can be chosen for the 2011 Debut Author Challenge hosted by Kristi at TheStorySiren.com.

Goodreads description:

In Beatrice Prior’s dystopian Chicago, 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 to determine who her friends really are—and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes infuriating 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 a growing conflict that threatens to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves… or it might destroy her.

Debut author Veronica Roth bursts onto the literary scene with the first book in the Divergent series—dystopian thrillers filled with electrifying decisions, heartbreaking betrayals, stunning consequences, and unexpected romance.

***

Beatrice Prior was born into a faction that required selflessness. One that required putting the needs of others in front of her own. One that demanded silence when she would have rather spoken and inaction when she would rather have taken it.

But being part of one faction didn’t mean staying a part of it. And at sixteen, the choice would be hers. Remain with her family and the faction she was born into, or leave them all behind and embrace something new.

And while Beatrice wasn’t selfish, she’d never really fit into her family’s faction, and she knew she’d never be able to always put others first.

So she chose.

To leave her home. To say goodbye to her family. To take the risk that her new faction might not be the right one. And to face the very real possibility that she could become factionless if she failed the initiation. Or that she just might not even survive.

***

Divergent is the incredibly imaginative, beautifully written and completely captivating first book in author Veronica Roth’s new series set in a dystopian Chicago. Filled with heart-stopping action, danger and suspense from cover to cover, it is unputdownable.

This story immediately grabs, introducing readers to this society which separates itself from the outside world and further divides itself up into five very different factions of like-minded people – Abnegation, Amity, Candor, Dauntless and Erudite. The hope is to create balance, equality and keep the peace. The reality is something much different.

As the main character, Beatrice Prior, reinvents herself as Tris and tries to fit into her new world, she quickly learns that just because she wants a new start doesn’t mean that she’s ready to let go of everything from her past. And that being a part of it doesn’t mean she has to.

But if she thought that choosing her new faction and leaving her family behind would be her toughest challenge, she’d have been wrong. Because choosing a faction offered no guarantee she’d become a part of it. And with a limited number of initiates who pass, the competition is fierce. Deadly even.

Even more so for her. Because Tris has a secret. A secret she must keep hidden as she faces each round of the initiation. A secret she can’t reveal, not even to the boy who seems familiar to her, who seems to know her better than anyone and who seems to be on her side.

Because the secret she’s keeping is dangerous. And the price she’d pay for its discovery could be her life.

Author Veronica Roth has created an utterly riveting start to this series in Divergent. For a book that is nearly five hundred pages, the pace is lightning fast. The action is non-stop, the characters are easy to connect with, the society is as intriguing as it is disturbing, and the plot propels readers further and further into its depths.

For fans of books with a strong, likable and relatable heroine, an exciting, danger-filled and action-packed plot, a society on the verge of upheaval and a hero with secrets of his own who is fascinating and mysterious, then Divergent is an absolute must read.

Reviewer gives this book…

On a personal note:

What an unbelievably amazing book this was. I expected something so totally different than what it actually was. I imagined it would be this cold, clinical dystopian society. Something that felt very alien and difficult for me to connect with. It’s why it took so long for me to start reading it, even though it caught my eye over a year ago.

I thought the idea was absolutely intriguing, but thought that I couldn’t fall in love with a story that hinted of societal unrest and talked of warring factions and initiations. And I never imagined I could ever like, let alone love, a boy named after a number. Oh how wrong I was.

This story was so enchanting and it was just so easy to get caught up in this world. From the second I read the first paragraph I was hooked. I could not stop reading it, until I was forced to. And the second I could return to the story I did.

I couldn’t wait to get back into this world, to see just what Tris would be faced with next. And to learn all I could about this mysterious boy, Four.

I fell in love with the characters almost instantly after meeting them. Well, the lovable ones anyway. Tris especially. Four, definitely. But it was Tris I connected with the most. As much as I loved Four, it was nice to see a heroine be the strong one, to be the amazing one.

I found myself sighing, a lot, when reading the scenes with Tris and Four. I found myself tearing up when certain heartbreaking events came to pass. I did not expect to be so emotionally connected to this story. But I was.

This story felt so incredibly real. Which is not typical of a dystopian, for me. The characters, too, felt very real. The sacrifices made, the loses endured and the issues they faced were believable and scary and chilling, but true to life and refreshingly realistic.

I loved the fact that Tris’s friends weren’t insta-friends. That they did turn against her and weren’t always in her corner. That they felt jealous and selfish and petty and envious.

And I loved that the relationship between Tris and Four was also not an immediate one…. I won’t talk any more about what I love about the two of them, because that paragraph would be a complete spoiler.

While there were a few guesses that I made correctly, there were a few unexpected surprises. The biggest of course being how much I loved this book. And now, along with the rest of the universe, I am dying to read the next one.

I cannot wait to find out where this series is headed. Though the title of the next book gives me some idea. I am almost glad I waited until now to read this first book, because the wait until Insurgent is so much shorter. I feel kind of lucky, actually.

One thing is certain, though. I will not be waiting seven months to read Insurgent. I read Divergent ten days ago and I already miss Tris and Four. That sequel will be read on release date. No question.

***

I have a favorite passage. It’s actually an amazing quote by Four. But because I think it’s best discovered in context, I will not reveal it here. There are so many beautiful passages that made me sigh, but as I can only reveal one here, I choose…

I have only one memory of getting here, and even that is just a single image: black ink curling around the side of a neck, the corner of a tattoo, and the gentle sway that could only mean he was carrying me.

To get a nice long look inside Divergent courtesy of the publisher, CLICK HERE.

Book trailer for Divergent:

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