In Veronica Roth’s debut dystopian novel, Divergent, the society is not divided by religion, race or class, but by five factions, each corresponding to a different virtue that they value and foster above all. The Abnegation are the selfless, the Amity are the peaceful, the Candor are the honest, the Dauntless are the brave and the Erudite are the intelligent.
Divergent opens as the main heroine, sixteen-year-old Beatrice Prior, faces the aptitude test designed to help her determine which faction she is suited for. The test is followed by the Choosing Ceremony where she will decide the rest of her life; she will either stay with her Abnegation family or abandon them forever. In Beatrice’s society you can have only one virtue. Her choosing is just the beginning of her story and the challenges she will face both during the brutal initiation to her faction and in her life. Before long she will discover that her society is not as perfect as it first appears.
Divergent has been compared frequently to The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. Undoubtedly, Divergent is a fast paced, action and adventure packed novel with strong characters I could relate to. I found the premise original and well developed. Roth’s writing is not as refined as the more experienced Collins’ is; however, overall the novel is very satisfying read. Highly recommended.
Insurgent, the second book in the Divergent trilogy will be released in May, 2012.